Maintaining the right levels of humidity is one of the most important things you can do to feel more comfortable in your apartment, as humidity that’s too high or low can cause a variety of skin problems, respiratory issues, and even damage to your possessions. If you feel like the air in your first apartment may be drier than normal, read on below to learn if you should invest in a humidifier.
If your humidity level is below 30%
Whether or not you notice the dryness of the air, if your humidity levels are below 30%, you should get a humidifier. According to Mayo Clinic, humidity that’s too low can cause dry skin, irritate your nasal passages and throat, and make your eyes itchy. You should shoot for humidity levels between 40% and 60% to experience the most benefits of humidity without so many drawbacks.
Humidity levels below 30% are rare, as most places naturally have an average of around 50% humidity outdoors. In some extremely arid states, such as Nevada, average humidity falls around 35%, but it can get drier than that at times. If you live in an extremely dry state, you certainly won’t want to run a dehumidifier, which is a common mistake for those moving from a humid area to a drier one.
If you have breathing problems
A humidifier can be a huge benefit if you have lung problems or anything else that makes breathing a struggle. Air that’s moister can decrease your struggles with asthma, allergies, and a variety of other respiratory conditions. Humid air can even decrease your risk of getting nosebleeds and having other issues with your sinuses and nasal passages.
Stuffy noses and sore throats
If you often wake up in the morning with nasal congestion and a sore throat, odds are the air in your apartment is too dry. Other problems such as snoring can amplify this, but fixing your humidity levels is a great place to start, especially if you tend to breathe through your mouth when you sleep.
When you’re sick
You don’t necessarily need to run a humidifier at all times; it can be helpful to have one around even if you only turn it on if you’re feeling sick. Higher humidity has been shown to help improve your body’s ability to fight off sickness and infection, and one Harvard study showed that the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 decays fastest around 60% humidity.
If you get dry, cracked skin or lips
One common problem associated with too-low humidity is dry, cracked, and itchy skin. This is especially prevalent during the wintertime. Cold air doesn’t hold moisture as well as hot air, so winter air tends to be drier. Even if you don’t struggle with dry skin during the summer, it can be worth having a humidifier in storage that you break out each winter.
For the best results, combine a humidifier with other remedies for dry skin such as moisturizer, body lotion, and non-abrasive fabrics.