At home, a too dry indoor air can be a problem with long-term consequences such as coughing, dry nose and throat and cracked skin. In the same way, excessive humidity should also be avoided. So, what is the right level of humidity in a house? And how do you obtain this? Let's try to understand better.
The right humidity for health
The optimal humidity to have at home should be between 40% and 60%. In fact, it has been shown that the survival and the degree of infectivity of many microorganisms are minimized precisely in the presence of a relative humidity level between 40% and 60%. Not only that, people living in an environment characterized by a medium humidity value have a lower risk of developing respiratory infections (Arundel et al, Environ Health Perspect, 1986). In the humidity range indicated, the action of mites and therefore related allergies is minimized, which instead is maximum for humidity conditions above 80%. Moreover, many populations of fungi manage to grow only when the humidity exceeds 60% (Arlian et al, J Allergy Clin Immunol, 2001). But humidity also affects the release of formaldehyde that is emitted from furniture and building materials. In fact, the higher the percentage of humidity, the higher the release of this carcinogenic substance is. Therefore, this is why it is very important to have a look at the humidity level in the house to live healthier.
When the indoor air is dry
In the presence of a dry indoor air, it is possible to increase the humidity level with a few small tricks. For example, plants can contribute by increasing the humidity. It has been shown that the chlorophyte, or phalangium, and the jade tree, or crassula ovata, a succulent plant, are among the plants most capable of humidifying environments characterized by a dry climate while they do not increase the humidity level when this is already high. (Kerschen et al, HortTechnology, 2016). Common ivy has also been shown to be useful in increasing the humidity in environments, as well as removing carbon dioxide, helping to purify the air (Gubb et al, Air quality, Atmosphere and Health, 2018). Not only that, when you take a bath or shower, once finished, keep the bathroom door open and allow the vapors to reach the other rooms as well. Another way is to use a lamp that burns essences that, in addition, also releases the precious properties of essential oils into the air. Or you can leave the laundry to dry inside the house. In short, to humidify the air we have several methods at our disposal!
When there is too much humidity in the house
What if the humidity level is too high at home? First of all, it is important to ventilate the rooms often, in this way it is possible to increase the ventilation and reduce the humidity level. But there are also other systems. For example, coarse salt absorbs moisture. So when we talk about humidity in rooms and hallways you can use this little trick. Take two plastic bowls and practice in one small holes. Put the bowl with holes in the one without holes, fill the bowl with holes with coarse salt and place the bowls in the wet room. As the salt absorbs moisture this will accumulate on the bottom of the second bowl that has to be emptied from time to time. If, on the other hand, the humidity is in the closets, you can do this. Fill a cotton bag with 3 generous tablespoons of rice. You can also add a few drops of essential oil, such as lavender. Close the bag and place in the cupboard on a plate.