Dry home air: symptoms, causes, and solutions to reach optimal humidity levels

Home is where most people spend a big chunk of their time, and where valuable belongings are kept. Depending on the climate where you live, and how your place is designed, dealing with severe dryness can prove to be both a problem and a challenge.

Don’t worry though  - there are multiple solutions to solve these obstacles, and you can start by using a RuuviTag to track your environment. Nowadays we have access to technologies that can easily be harnessed to create a more comfortable and enjoyable living environment. RuuviTag helps you control humidity levels and to avoid problems arising from dry air at home.To deal with the dryness problem at home, it is important to understand the threats posed by extreme air conditions, where they come from, and how to deal with them effectively.

If you live in a cold climate and want to avoid dry air, caulking and keeping windows closed is what you should aim for. Indeed, when cold air enters your home, it heats up, thus reducing overall humidity. Science!

RuuviTag in hand
RuuviTag multi-use Bluetooth sensor

What is causing dry air at home?

The combination of cold winter air, ventilation, and excessive heating.

Why is the air most likely to be dry at winter time?

Cold air contains less humidity than warm air. For example, a cubic meter of 20°C air at 100% relative humidity contains 20g of water, whereas the same volume at 0°C contains only 5g. Science again!

The role of ventilation and heating in decreasing humidity

This dry cold air enters the house through your ventilation system and any cracks in your windows and doors and is then heated inside. As the air temperature increases, so does its capacity to absorb steam. The amount of water remains the same (if not added from an external source) so the relative humidity falls. 

If you control the ventilation and do not overheat your home, you’ll both increase your relative humidity and contribute to reducing your energy consumption!           

What are the risks and consequences of dry air?

Having an environment that is too dry at home is not without its risks. Lack of humidity has negative consequences for your health and will damage your belongings. 

Impact of dry air on health

        Dry air as the cause of dry skin

An annoying issue that people typically associate with dry air is how it can wreak havoc with one’s skin  -  dry air can cause itchiness, redness, cracking and chapped lips. Most dermatologists agree that dry air contributes to a lot of skin problems.

         Why is my throat irritated?

If you wake up with a feeling of dryness and irritation in your throat in the morning, it is very likely that the air in your bedroom is too dry. Sinus problems are another common symptom, resulting in snoring and a sleepless night for your partner. These symptoms are not only annoying but also unhealthy in the long run.

          Are we all experiencing a dry environment equally?

The answer is no, babies and young children are even more vulnerable to these issues. Their airwaves are smaller so they get blocked more easily, potentially resulting in nosebleeds. Extra attention should be paid to the environment if younger children are living in the house.

Is your furniture protected against dryness?In addition to the impact on your health, dry air damages many things in your home, particularly items that are crafted out of wood, such as furniture, home decor or musical instruments. All of these items will deteriorate faster when the air is dry. Ever noticed how much hardwood floors creak in the winter?

RuuviTag and guitar. Measuring instrument humidity and temperature.
RuuviTag sensor can be used to protect musical instruments

5 tips to increase air humidity without a humidifier

In order to prevent these situations, one solution is to anticipate the problem – utilise a humidifier in your home to balance the humidity, protect your belongings, and moisturise your skin regularly to prevent irritation and chapped lips. If you do not want to invest in a humidifier, we have a lot of great tips for you!

1. Laundry

Tired of doing your laundry? Well, think positively, it actually increases your humidity levels at home! When drying, your clothes release moisture into the air and help you to reach that optimal humidity level at winter time.

2. Boiling water

Thankfully, you don’t need to be Gordon Ramsay for this one. Boiling liquids while cooking creates steam and therefore increases humidity. If you are only using home food delivery services, you can still set a pot full of water on your stove and let the evaporation do the work for you!

3. Plants

We all have a bit of a “green thumb” inside of us. Growing plants and watering them regularly will help to increase humidity. Plants absorb CO2 from the air and release water through their leaves. The only rule here is: choose a real plant and not a plastic one from your local furniture store…

4. Bowls of water

Similar idea to the boiling pot of water, but without the boiling! Fill up one or several bowls with water, and set the bowls in different places of your home. The evaporation process is slower than on the stove, but can be used in all areas of your home. If you want to speed up the evaporation process, place the bowls close to a heater.

5. Shower & Bath

Leave the bathroom door open when having a warm bath or shower. Steam will propagate through the different rooms of your home. You can follow the propagation of steam by using several RuuviTag sensors showing humidity levels in different rooms. The Ruuvi Station app supports as many sensors as you want simultaneously.

Combined all together, these simple hacks will have a significant impact on your home environment. Not convinced yet? Try these tips and see how your home environment is changing on the Ruuvi Station app.

Tracking the ideal humidity level at home

We now know where the lack of humidity comes from and the problems it can cause. There is just one more thing to figure out.

What is the optimal relative air humidity at home?

Air humidity is often measured as relative air humidity. It is a value between 0% (no steam at all in the air) and 100% (fully saturated air). For example, the humidity in a tropical forest is between 70% and 90% whereas humidity inside the house in winter can be as low as 10%.

According to Mayo Clinic, optimal humidity for health should be between 30% and 50%. These values align with the ideal humidity for wooden furniture or musical instruments, which should be between 40% and 50%.

Monitoring the perfect environment with smart Bluetooth wireless sensor technology

How do you know the levels are correct for you, your family and your home? The user-friendly Ruuvi Station, connected to your Ruuvi Bluetooth sensor, measures the humidity levels in your home and shares the data in a convenient, fuss-free manner directly to your phone.

With this technology, maintaining the humidity levels of each room in your home has never been easier, allowing you to adapt to any unwanted changes in the air’s dryness right away. Our Ruuvi sensor solutions are extremely versatile and can be used in any situation that calls for monitoring the environment, even inside a cool box!

In Conclusion

It is important to control the levels of humidity in your home, both for your wellbeing, and the preservation of your belongings. With simple hacks, it can be an easy task that both your health and your wallet will appreciate. Taking care of this will result in a more enjoyable environment for everybody and will help maintain the longevity of your belongings. Technologies such as the RuuviTag and its accompanying app can be put to excellent use in order to facilitate the comfort and ease that we experience in our everyday lives. 

Would you like to have one?

Ruuvi is an easy way to measure environment at your home, hobbies or business. Order now and get hooked with measuring!

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RuuviTag – Wireless Temperature Sensor (3-in-1)

RuuviTag – Wireless Temperature Sensor (3-in-1)

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