The other day I entered my cozy basement room expecting a restful nap. But instead of a warm welcome, a nasty surprise awaited me: black mold had invaded my walls like an alien army! I gasped in horror and disgust, wondering how this could happen to my beloved sanctuary. I knew I had to act fast before the mold took over. Out of nowhere, my husband came to the rescue with his dehumidifier, which was at least fifteen years old and looked like it belonged in a museum (it turned out to be a Chinese Midea brand unit that had been rebranded years ago for overseas markets). We plugged it in and hoped for the best.

After a few hours, the dehumidifier was working at full speed, sucking the moisture out of the air like a thirsty vampire. I checked the water tank, which was filled to the brim. I emptied it and looked at the moisture meter. It had dropped from a swampy 88% to a tolerable 65% (Not bad for an ancient machine!) We couldn’t open the windows to let in fresh air because our furry friends would have escaped. So we had to rely on the dehumidifier (and some elbow grease) to get rid of the mold. This made me curious about what the ideal humidity level is and how we can achieve it for our health and well-being.

I know you are wondering the same thing. Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, because it depends on the time of the year, the weather and your preferences. However, most experts say that a good range is between 40% and 60% of relative humidity, which means that the air contains 40% to 60% of the water it can hold at a certain temperature. If it has more, it feels sticky and damp. If it has less, it feels dry and cold.

To achieve the ideal humidity for a comfortable indoor climate, you may need a few tips:

Use a humidifier or dehumidifier to add or remove moisture from the air depending on the season and climate. You can also use a hygrometer to measure the humidity level and adjust accordingly.

Regularly ventilate the home by opening windows or using fans or exhaust systems to exchange fresh air with stale air.

Avoid activities that generate excess moisture, such as cooking, showering, or drying clothes indoors, or use ventilation systems or fans to remove moisture.

Choose plants that can help regulate humidity, such as ferns, orchids or peace lilies that release moisture into the air, or cacti, succulents or snake plants that absorb moisture from the air.

potted green indoor plants

The ideal humidity level of 40% to 60% is a magical range where you can enjoy many benefits:

No more sneezing, coughing and wheezing caused by mold and mildew. These are the enemies of your health and your home. They love to grow in damp and humid places, but they can’t stand the balanced humidity.

No more dry skin, nosebleeds, sore throats and chapped lips due to dry air that removes moisture from the body and causes irritation.

No more damage to furniture, floors, walls and electronic equipment due to excessive moisture or dryness. These are the things that can cost you a lot of money and hassle to repair or replace. Moisture can cause wood to warp, metal to rust, paint to peel and electronics to malfunction. Dryness can cause wood to crack, paint to chip, and electronics to overheat.

spacious living room with open plan and african style decor

Keeping the humidity between 40% and 60% will make you and your guests feel comfortable and fresh in your home. To achieve it, you don’t even have to spend a fortune on a fancy humidifier or dehumidifier, because with a little more attention and action, even the most basic models can do the job.

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