Before the worldwide pandemic hit, humidity was often viewed as the enemy of indoor air quality, safety and purity.
After all, mould and mildew spores like nothing better than a nice spot of humidity to grow in. And we all know what mould and mildew can do to a home or workplace.
Pre-COVID, the recommendation was to keep year-round indoor air humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent. But now all that has changed.
Why? The virus that causes COVID-19 doesn’t like humidity. This could, potentially, make humidity our new best friend.
Are you concerned about your indoor air quality? At CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton, Ontario, clean indoor air is what we do!
Learn what experts are saying about the direct link between increased indoor air humidity and reduced risk of COVID-19 transmission. Also learn how to make sure your air has enough humidity to keep you safe.
To Fight COVID-19 You Need Hydrated Air
With COVID-19 still very much with us, researchers state it is no longer enough to keep our bodies well hydrated.
Now we need to hydrate the air we are breathing as well.
The link between hydrated or humid air and reduced risk of disease or infection is not a new discovery.
But it hadn’t ever made international news headlines until the new novel coronavirus came along.
This is exactly why researchers are no longer recommending that homeowners and business owners aim for 30 to 50 percent humidity year-round.
Today, the recommendation is to keep the relative humidity in your indoor air between 40 and 60 percent at all times.
What Does Humidity Do to COVID-19 Droplets?
Put simply, the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 does not like humidity.
The more humidity that is present in the air, the faster the infectious particles will decay, or become unable to cause COVID-19.
One very recent scientific study identified the following differences in decay rate at different levels of humidity:
– At 40 percent humidity, at least half of airborne infectious droplets could remain active for 24 hours or longer.
– At 65 percent humidity, at least half of airborne infectious droplets became non-infectious after just an hour and a half!
Why Is Humidity So Vital During Winter?
In the study we just mentioned, the researchers also identified a link between COVID-19 viability and air temperature.
The reason this link exists is largely because colder air is also drier air. This is also why winter is traditionally nicknamed “cold and flu” season.
When the air dries out, so do our bodies. As our bodies are depleted of moisture, we struggle to make the mucous that our immune system uses to trap toxins like viral and bacterial matter as we breathe them in.
When the relative humidity in the air increases, our bodies are able to make more mucus again. This is true regardless of what temperature the surrounding air happens to be.
Normally, we are just fighting off cold and flu during the long, cold winter season here in Canada. But this winter, we are fighting off coronavirus too.
So, maintaining elevated indoor air humidity is more important this year than it ever has been before. Do you know how to test air quality in your home? Keep reading for tips and tricks from our clean air specialists at CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton.
How Can You Measure Indoor Air Humidity?
It just makes sense that you can’t adjust your indoor air humidity levels until you first establish what they are.
What is the best way to measure humidity inside your space?
This is easy – all you need is a simple, inexpensive gadget called a hygrometer. You can find hygrometers online and at most major home supply stores and pet stores.
Hygrometers are particularly useful for measuring how humidity changes in different parts of your home or workplace. For example, basements tend to be naturally higher in humidity than the rest of a home.
So you can use a hygrometer to get a good sense of where there is the greatest need to add humidity for your safety.
How Much Indoor Air Humidity Is Too Much?
In today’s fast-paced, get-it-done-yesterday culture, we have become socialized to believe more is better.
This is definitely not the case with humidity, however!
Too much humidity can cause problems as well.
The study we referenced earlier compared relative humidity levels of 40 percent and 65 percent.
However, at 65 percent humidity, you may find that you are uncomfortable inside your home or workplace. The risk of mites, mould and mildew increases. Belongings and furnishings constructed with organic fibres may develop rot.
High humidity levels can also increase volatile organic compounds (VOCs) off-gassing, leading to respiratory and other health symptoms.
This is why health officials are not recommending increasing your indoor air relative humidity levels to more than 60 percent.
How to Boost Your Home or Workplace Humidity Levels
If you have ever had a child who suffers from seasonal allergies or asthma, you may have placed a small humidifier in their bedroom to ease breathing difficulties, inflammation and discomfort.
In the same way, if you need to increase the amount of relative humidity in your indoor air, the best way to do this is to add a portable or whole-home humidifier system.
Portable humidifiers are the best choice for non-ducted spaces.
If you have a ducted HVAC system, your best choice is a whole-home humidification system. These systems integrate with your existing HVAC to evenly distribute humidity throughout your space.
Right Now Take $50 Off Any Whole Home Humidifier Installation
Contact our clean indoor air experts today for a free estimate on the whole-home humidifier of your choice. At CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton, we supply whole-home humidity control as an air purifier technique
Take $50 off the cost of installation. And take a whole year to decide. Don’t like it – we will refund your purchase price!
CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton, Ontario Is Your Indoor Air Quality Expert
Addressing overly dry indoor air doesn’t have to be complicated. Our friendly, experienced indoor air quality experts make the process simple! Ask us about safe, contactless estimates and service calls.