Breakdown: Why humidity can make you feel sick

Breakdown: Why humidity can make you sick

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Meteorologists frequently discuss how the humidity outside can be detrimental, especially in the Summer when it causes dangerously high heat index values. However, the humidity inside your house can actually have a bigger impact on your health.

Relative humidity is the amount of water vapor, or moisture, in the air in relation to temperature. More humidity means more moisture and less humidity relates to less moisture in the air. The ideal humidity level for your home is between 30% and 50%.

If the humidity in your home drops below 30%, you can experience a stuffy nose, itchy eyes and dry skin. This is a common occurrence in the winter. One of the easiest ways to fix this is with a humidifier, which adds water vapor to the air.

However, too much humidity in the home can also make you sick or uncomfortable. The excess moisture can result in mold and dust mites. This can be especially dangerous if you suffer from allergies and asthma. If you use a humidifier in the cold weather months, you also need to be aware of this danger. If a humidifier is placed too close to the walls or curtains, moisture can accumulate and result in mold or mildew on surfaces.

You should always clean your humidifier at least once a week and check surrounding walls and other surfaces for moisture.

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