The world has been fighting COVID-19 for over a year. Health safety protocols people have to follow are to practice social distancing and stay in their homes as much as possible to prevent the spread of the virus.
Researchers explain high temperatures make the coronavirus inactive. Increasing the indoor humidity levels in your home can minimize your risk of exposure to the virus. Excessive humidity indoor, however, can cause other health problems.
Effects of High Indoor Humidity Levels on Your Health
The level of indoor humidity in your home plays a vital role in your comfort. Your sleep quality, for example, will vary based on the humidity levels in your room. Your wakefulness can increase and cut the amount of time you spend in slow-wave non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM) if you sleep in a room with high humidity.
The ideal indoor humidity level is between 35 and 60 percent. Higher than 60 percent can put your and your family’s health at risk. High temperatures and excessive humidity can cause your body to overheat.
Sweating is one way to cool off your body. But sweat can’t evaporate when the air is saturated with water vapor. Instead of cooling down, you’ll feel hotter and stickier. If your body struggles to maintain temperature, you’re likely to experience heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Moreover, too much humidity results in excess moisture and condensation in your home. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mold can grow in places with much moisture, including windows, pipes, or around leaks in roofs. One way mold can enter your home is through heating and air conditioning systems.
Mold exposure can also put your health at risk. The CDC explains that those with allergies are vulnerable to molds. Individuals with immune suppression or lung disease are also more susceptible to fungal infections. Molds can cause breathing problems to those with chronic respiratory disease.
You can get environmental mold testing to see if your home is free of mold. It’s best to have your house inspected before it can cause more problems to your home.
Keeping Your Indoor Air Quality Healthy
Maintaining your indoor air quality is vital for your comfort and health. Improving it can help avoid asthma flare-ups, allergy symptoms, and other health problems, especially during the winter months. It can also prevent any mold growth around your house.
When it comes to controlling moisture in your home, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explains there are many ways you can do to control moisture. For example, you can use dehumidifiers and air conditioners during hot, humid days. These appliances can help minimize moisture in the air.
The EPA emphasizes that the climate in a certain region can affect moisture problems and solutions. It’s best to consult with local professionals to help your find the right solution for your home.
Investing in an air purifier can also help improve your home’s indoor air quality. You can place it in the most commonly used areas of your home to catch some irritants that can trigger your symptoms. These devices may not remove all irritants, but they can cut them down.
Proper and regular maintenance of your air conditioning systems is another way to keep indoor humidity at a healthy level. If your air conditioner is not working efficiently, the humidity level in your home will increase. Make sure to tune up your air conditioner and keep it clean so that it works properly.
Despite the early research claims that high temperature makes coronavirus inactive, the World Health Organization (WHO) says the virus can spread in hot and humid climates. The organization recommends physically distancing yourself from other people and frequently washing your hands to avoid contracting the virus.
COVID-19 has infected millions of people globally. People would do anything to protect themselves from the virus, including increasing the indoor humidity level in their homes. Certain practices, however, can cause other health problems that can put you and your loved ones at risk.
Keep yourself updated about the pandemic and follow protocols from health experts. Make sure to inspect your home for any signs of mold and moisture caused by high indoor humidity.