|In addition to comfort, moisture can comproalso seriously put the health of the home and its inhabitants.|
Everyone has experienced the combination that induces physical fatigue in the presence of high temperatures and high humidity outside, but it is humidity inside to often escape our attention. Although domestic humidity is generally not as obvious as outdoor humidity, chronic long-term exposure to unhealthy levels of air humidity (or lack thereof) can have a surprisingly large effect on the health of the inhabitants and on the home itself. . The Agency for the proEnvironmental protection lists the quality of indoor air as one of the main threats to environmental health, but many are not aware of the quality of the air inside the house.
Excessive internal humidity can favor the proliferation of dust mites and molds. A concentration of mold and dust has the potential not only to exacerbate any proexisting respiratory problems, but has also been directly linked to the development of conditions such as COPD and asthma in otherwise healthy individuals and can make allergies worse. Excessively dry air it can be just as harmful to health, as it dries the upper respiratory system and greatly increases the body's susceptibility to airborne infections, so it is more procontractable colds and / or influences during the winter.
A delicate balance
Ideally, relative humidity levels in the home they should be above 30% during the coldest months and dry e among the 40-60% during the summer. Microorganisms generally require a relative humidity greater than 60% to grow and spread throughout the home, although they can remain dormant indefinitely in drier conditions. Most people feel like a proease with humidity included between the 35 and the 50%, but this number may be slightly higher for newborns and the elderly, which require slightly damp air.
Although the relative humidity inside is mainly related to humidity in the outside air, many daily activities - from the shower to the boiling water on the stove release moisture into the air inside - without adequate ventilation to allow this humidity to escape the humidity may increase at an unhealthy level quickly enough.
Causes of promoisture problems
Often, many issues related to humidity in the home they are linked to building practices made popular by the post-war real estate boom and the global oil shortage of the 70 years. The economic boom of the 50 years has led to an unprecedented housing demand and, in an attempt to satisfy this demand, builders have sometimes moved away from traditional bricks, mortars and plaster in favor of plasterboard, which is cheaper and easier to install. Ironically, the plasterboard wall is incredibly difficult to dry once exposed to moisture and the cellulose found inside the material makes it an ideal incubator for the growth of black mold.
Two decades later, the global oil shortage of the 70 years led to the first push for construction of low energy houses. In an attempt to reduce energy costs related to heating and cooling, the houses built in this era have been so carefully isolated as to be almost hermetically closed to outside air. Unfortunately, this had the corresponding effect of intrappole moist air in homes without ventilation to allow moisture to escape. It is known that the houses built from the 70 years onwards have details proproblems with mold growth and persistent humidity, particularly with age.
Houses with crawl spaces or basements are also particularly sensitive to high humidity. These areas are naturally humid as they absorb moisture from the ground then penetrates through the foundations, the floors and walls and spreads through the rest of the house.
Symptoms of an unhealthy ENVIRONMENT
For an environmental factor that is so often overlooked, the quality and humidity of the air inside the house have been directly linked to a surprisingly large number of promedical problems. The Agency for the proEnvironmental protection cites indoor air quality as a health risk many more proability to influence personal health compared to the inquisitionnamefound outside.
Although often overlooked, humidity could be the underlying factor of difficulty sleeping, fatigue, allergies, persistent proupper respiratory problems and a host of other symptoms. High humidity in the home has been associated with proupper respiratory problems, including increased susceptibility to infection, wheezing, development or worsening of allergies, probreast problems, as well as exacerbation of asthma and COPD symptoms. High humidity levels are also commonly associated with feelings of dizziness, fatigue, nausea, frequent headaches, muscle aches and cramps. In extreme cases, high humidity combined with high temperatures can even lead to heat stroke and heart failure, especially in more sensitive children and older people. Without wishing to be alarmist, the level of domestic humidity is a really important factor.
Low humidity may be less noticeable in terms of comfort, but inadequate humidity in the home can be as damaging to health as excessively wet environments. The symptoms of dry air in the home usually occur in the skin and upper respiratory system. The air lacking in humidity leads to dry skin, chapped lips and irritated lungs, throat and nose. The drying of the mucous membranes makes the body much more susceptible to colds, to flu and cough, so because the height of the cold and flu season occurs during the coldest and driest part of the year.
Moisture and sleep
Before sleep our bodies naturally decrease the internal temperature, which combined with the circadian rhythm signals its time to sleep, but when humidity is high the body's ability to cool is reduced. This not only makes it incredibly difficult to fall asleep, but it can also interrupt the quality and duration of sleep. Low humidity is also a common culprit behind snoring and nocturnal wheezing, which occur due to dry breasts and throat, and can lead to prolong-term respiratory problems with an exposure prolong in excessively dry air.
Children and the elderly they are much more sensitive to the negative effects of humidity, since their bodies are not well equipped to adapt to changes in temperature and humidity and their respiratory systems are more sensitive to damage caused by the breathing of low quality air. For this reason, doctors recommend keeping indoor humidity at the upper end of the healthy humidity range (about 55-60%) to ensure the comfort of children and the elderly at home. This can easily be achieved by strategically placing a humidifier in nurseries and bedrooms, particularly during the colder months.
In addition to the health of the inhabitants, humidity prolong inside can cause serious damage to the home and personal effects. Humidity is particularly harmful to wood in the house and can cause pockets of moisture to form inside the walls, which not only causes the paint to come off the walls, but if the plasterboard wall is formed enough be comproput and must be replaced completely. Even wooden floors are subject to moisture damage in the form of shrinkage and deformation. I tappeti are known to be the ideal environment for molds when they are exposed to excessive humidity and, once contaminated, they emit a bad smell and usually need to be replaced completely. Moisture can also shorten the life of electronic devices in the home and damage clothing and furniture.
In most cases some simple corrections they can greatly improve the quality of the air and the comfort of your home. The most obvious solution is the addition of a humidifier or an dehumidifier to combat sub-optimal air humidity. In particular, houses with crawl spaces or basements can benefit greatly from a dehumidifier in these areas, since they tend to be naturally damp. Strategically positioning the dehumidifiers in the bathrooms and laundry can also help free your home from excess moisture. Repairing leaky pipes and ensuring adequate ventilation in the home can also do a lot for healthier air. Finally, some varieties of domestic plants have been shown to absorb excess moisture in the air, including peace lilies, English ivy, spider plants, cane and areca palms and even some strains of cactus and orchids.
As we read in this interesting article written by Minut and translated by us, humidity can really rappresent a prodomestic problem both when it's too much, as when it's too little. Apart from the solutions, what can meanwhile be very useful - and easily achievable - is a personal home automation system that not only provides the trend of humidity in the various environments, but also notifications (via smart speaker, or via notifications push on the mobile phone) related to exceeding pre-defined humidity thresholds.
To do this it is necessary, as always, to have at least one personale HUB (in the case of the image, Home Assistant) and relative humidity sensors. There are many on the market, and for all budgets: just take a look at ours components section.
|We suggest reading of this article dedicated to how home automation Home Assistant may prove to be a true ally in the battle against the formation of mold in the home.|
Speaking of MINUTES (who we have had the opportunity to review months ago), it is a smart home alarm system that combines integrated sensors of temperature and humidity to eliminate the need for traditional water meters and provide simple and usable information on the quality of the air inside the house. The humidity sensor provides an accurate reading of the relative humidity percentage inside the house and interprets these readings inside ours app.
Theapp (For iOS e Android) also provides an rappgraphic representation of humidity in your home over time, allowing you to monitor any changes in the environment e providing a notification in the event of a sharp increase or decrease in relative humidity, which may indicate a leak or broken pipe, a faucet left running or potential flooding. MINUT is able to combine the temperature and humidity sensor readings to analyze the risk of mold formation in the home.
Then there are more elementary elements, such as the well-known one Xiaomi sensor /LUMI, which must be implemented at the proprio HUB and must be administered independently, choosing which notification automations to implement (for example, triggering a notification via Alexa via Home Assistant), not to mention more complex devices, such as thermostats (for example il Tado°) which, in addition to the basic functions of a thermostat, supply the proeven home automation, such as temperature and humidity readings.