If you think that you have humidity problems in your home, there are a lot of simple signs and tests that can tell you what you need to know. Low humidity levels can cause minor health problems and discomfort, as well as increasing the possibility of getting a cold or some sort of respiratory problem. Too much humidity, on the other hand, can lead quickly to chronic problems with mildew and black mold. Keep track of your humidity levels with these signs and tests so you can quickly adjust if needed.
Signs of High Humidity
There are several visual indicators of too much moisture in the home that can tip you off without needing to test. For example, condensation on the interior of your windows is a direct result of water vapor buildup inside. Wet stains can also appear on ceilings and walls when moisture in the air is heavy. And, since mold and mildew growth is a direct result of a warm, damp atmosphere, signs of these spores will indicate that you need to dehumidify the house.
Signs of Low Humidity
If you or your family are having problems with sore throats, dry skin, and getting a static shock every time you touch something that is metal or synthetic, these are surefire signs that the moisture in your home is too low.
An easy way to test for humidity is to purchase a hygrometer. Make sure to follow provided instructions for your model on how to calibrate the machine, and then set it up in a place away from sunlight or drafts for it to take a measurement.
Another test you can use is the ice cube method. First, set out a regular drinking glass on a counter and place four ice cubes in it. Place the glass in any room where you feel that the humidity is low or high, but do not place it in the kitchen or the bathroom, as these rooms can fluctuate greatly in humidity when in use. Let it stand about three minutes before you check on it again and stay out of the room. If you continue to walk through the area, you will mess up the readings.
After the three minutes is up, check on the ice cubes in the glass. If there is water droplets on the outside of the glass, then the humidity is at a relatively high level. If there are no drops, then you need to set a humidifier in the room.
After you've conducted your tests or inspections and identified a problem in your home, it's imperative that you seek out a solution. Adjust your home's humidity levels up or down as needed with the help or plants or tools, retesting frequently to make sure you retain a good middle ground.