Why monitoring the humidity in a health home is important


Many devices now allow us to monitoring the humidity level in our homes. It may be a hygrometer dedicated device, or a device combining various functions, such as weather stations. In health home automation, we also have many peripherals offering to monitoring both the temperature and the humidity of the house. If temperature monitoring is often used to manage heating in particular, humidity is very often an under-exploited data. However, the humidity level in our homes can have a significant impact on our health.

In a health home, humidity can cause potential damage. High humidity, for example, damages parquet floors and wooden furniture, and promotes the proliferation of mold around us. High humidity can therefore prove to be really uncomfortable and unhealthy for us. Luckily, there are methods that allow you to monitoring and control the humidity in the house.

The effects of humidity on health

Humidity affects our health in different ways. Humid conditions disrupt our body’s temperature regulation system: sweat evaporates more slowly, making it difficult for our body to cool down, which is therefore more stressed and overworked. Associated with high temperatures, high humidity levels can cause several symptoms, including dehydration, muscle cramps, fatigue, heat exhaustion, fainting, and heat stroke.

But high humidity levels also affect our health by polluting our homes. Indeed, indoor humidity promotes the appearance, growth and spread of biological agents such as bacteria, viruses, fungi (molds) and mites. These are responsible for adverse health effects, including infectious diseases, allergic reactions, hypersensitivity reactions and skin conditions:

  • Colds, flu
  • Asthma and other respiratory problems (wheezing, pneumonia …)
  • Eye, nose and throat irritation, rhinitis, cough
  • Skin irritation: atopy, rash, hives
  • Headache, fatigue, stiffness

These indoor pollutants can trigger and / or worsen health problems. Some people are particularly vulnerable, including babies, the elderly, pregnant women and people with respiratory problems.

Humidity has a greater impact on babies and children due to their physiology and metabolism: these make them less efficient at adapting to environmental changes, making them more likely than adults to suffer. dehydration, fatigue, heat exhaustion, etc. In addition, their immature immune system makes them more likely to develop infectious diseases and other pediatric illnesses such as pneumonia, mumps, gastroenteritis, andasthma, which affects more and more children today.

But if too much humidity is bad, too low humidity can also cause throat and eye irritation, coughing and skin irritation. This is often the case in winter, depending on the heating system used. If there is not enough ventilation, or if you do not have an adequate ventilation system, the air may indeed be too dry.

How to measure humidity?

According to many studies, the relative indoor humidity should ideally be between 40 and 50%. In any case, it must not be less than 30%, and must not exceed 60% or 80% (great maximum!).

But the ideal level of humidity to maintain in a room should actually be determined by the occupants, their state of health and the region (climate) in which they live.

The important thing, first of all, is to be able to measure the humidity level inside. For this, there are several types of devices for measuring humidity at health home:

  • Hygrometer: tools measuring humidity only, mainly intended for professionals.
  • the digital indoor hygrometric thermometer: it measures both temperature and humidity. It is the most common and cheapest type of humidity meter
  • the domestic weather station: it measures various atmospheric data, including humidity
  • health home automation sensors: they are generally used to manage heating by monitoring the temperature. Humidity is often a data also analyzed

With the exception of some smart hygrometer models, most devices require you to check the current humidity level yourself when you are at health home, by directly controlling the device. The problem is in fact remembering to check the humidity level to act when needed. Fortunately, there are some smart solutions that can help you monitoring humidity levels and take action before it’s too late. Thus, a smart health connected weather station like that of Netatmo can send you a notification if the humidity is not good.

screenshot 20210416 104229
The Netatmo station allows very precise monitoring of the humidity in each room

How to act against humidity?

Knowing the humidity level in a house is good. But then you have to act accordingly. There are many dehumidifying products on the market:

  • desiccant materials such as silica gel, calcium chloride crystals, charcoal. They are found in the form of packs, cans, small bags, hanging bags intended for cupboards …
  • dehumidifying devices
  • the fan. Warning: in the event of mold, the use of the fan should be avoided because it spreads fungi and toxic particles in non-contaminated areas.

When the humidity is too low, on the contrary, a humidifier is a solution. But you need to be careful that it doesn’t make your room too humid. Hence the advantage of being able to constantly measure the indoor humidity level.

Some devices such as air purifiers can sometimes humidify the room. As they analyze the air quality (temperature, humidity, fine particles, etc.), they are able to adjust the humidity level if necessary.

If you have a health home automation system, it is also possible to regulate the humidity level by increasing the ventilation system. Thus the regulation will be done automatically.

vmc scenario
A simple scenario enables the VMC to be activated if the humidity is too high

But when high humidity has caused serious damage to the health home and health, it may be worth considering hiring professional services: mold and dust mite removal companies as well as companies. plumbing or construction if the high indoor humidity is the result of poor construction or installation.

Be that as it may, do not underestimate this data relating to hygrometry: it is as important, if not more, than the temperature!