High humidity causes mold growth in your home, inviting diseases and bacteria to take hold.
It will also affect how much you spend on your home’s heating system.
A decent dehumidifier will reduce humidity levels, but is it possible to use it too much?
It is possible to dehumidify your home too much, especially when you run your dehumidifier for long hours. You can create some health issues, cracked or dry skin, a feeling of dry air, and more.
In this guide, I will discuss how you can dehumidify your house too much, highlighting how to avoid this problem and maintain humidity within the optimal range.
Read on to learn more.
How To Know When Dehumidifying Is Too Much?
It’s not hard to notice when your house has low humidity; you can tell with the following signs:
- Dry skin. This is a good indicator of very low humidity in a home, especially if you have not experienced dry skin previously.
- Respiratory issues. These issues usually occur when you have inhaled dry air over a long period. It usually starts from a sore throat and dry nostrils before it escalates. It can trigger asthma, bleeding nose, or other allergies.
- Static electricity. A surface retains electrical charges, which can be released suddenly when you touch them, producing a small electric shock. This situation is more likely when there is low humidity.
- Deteriorating aesthetics. If you have wooden flooring, it will shrink due to dryness. If you can’t notice this shrinkage, you can check the edges of your wallpapers and paints for cracks.
Over-dehumidification might be the reason your home is too dry. Here are some reasons for low humidity in your home:
Using Dehumidifier for Long Periods
Too much moisture in the home can be dangerous, so it might seem sensible to keep your dehumidifier running all day.
However, you must understand that dehumidifiers come in different capacities, depending on the brand specifications. Running an oversized dehumidifier can take too much moisture out of the air and lead to problems with dryness.
How a dehumidifier will perform in a room depends on the size and humidity level of the room. For instance, if you use a high-capacity dehumidifier in a small space, the air will become dry in a short period.
However, if the room is larger, the dehumidifier will take longer to make it dry.
There is no specific timeline for a dehumidifier to run, although some experts advise twelve hours to save energy bills.
However, a dehumidifier’s running time should depend on the following factors:
- The dehumidifier capacity
- Size of the room
- Current moisture levels
- Target moisture level.
For more information about how a dehumidifier works, read our article about this here.
Temperature and Weather Changes
Temperature and weather conditions are some of the most influential factors affecting humidity.
Air can hold more moisture when the water is hot than when it is cold. Hence, when the temperature gets cold, the humidity drops.
Opening your windows or doors during the cold seasons will affect your home’s humidity.
Similarly, using an air conditioner consistently over a long period will reduce the humidity. That will happen because the air conditioner removes moisture from the air as a by-product of the cooling process.
It may seem funny, but consistently using your heating system for an extended period will also cause low humidity, just like air conditioners.
Heating systems provide hot air into your home to keep it comfortable. While this hot air is circulating, it can lead to drier conditions inside the home as warm air rises through the building, drawing more dry air in from outside.
Remember that you only use heating systems during cold seasons when the humidity is low, so drying up the little moisture in the air will cause dryness.
Combined Dehumidifying Techniques
If you have experienced the effects of high humidity levels in your home, you will be keen to bring it lower.
However, a combination of dehumidifying techniques could reduce the moisture levels in your home quicker than you expect.
For instance, using your heating systems and dehumidifier simultaneously for long periods will reduce humidity drastically within a short timeframe.
What To Do When Dehumidifying Becomes Too Much
It is possible to take too much moisture out of the air in your home, resulting in very dry conditions that can cause problems such as those mentioned above, like dry skin and cracks in wooden furniture.
Here are some of the steps you can take when you notice you have low humidity in your home:
Stop Using the Dehumidifier
Your dehumidifier may be one of the main reasons for the low humidity in your home.
It may be that the device capacity is too high for the home, or you’re using it over long periods. Regardless, your first step should be turning off the dehumidifier.
You can take this opportunity to check the dehumidifier for dirt and any damaged parts. If your dehumidifier is dirty or has maintenance issues, it won’t work effectively and may be unable to reduce high humidity when weather changes occur.
Get Yourself a Hygrometer
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Humidity within your home should be below 60% – specifically between 30 and 50%.
Before you start dehumidifying, you need to know your humidity levels. That way, you know how serious an issue you’ve got and can confirm whether dehumidification is necessary.
A hygrometer, also known as a humidity meter, will help give accurate measurements of the current humidity levels in your home.
Like every other device, you must be careful when choosing a hygrometer if you want the best results.
I can vouch for DOQAUS Digital Hygrometer (available on Amazon.com) because it shows you temperature and humidity levels, indicating whether you have high or low humidity.
Additionally, this device refreshes after five seconds, effectively providing real-time measurements.
Open the Windows
Opening the windows of your home can be a good way to increase or reduce humidity in the house. It all depends on the weather conditions outside.
Opening windows is no use during winter since dry air will come in. However, when the weather is hot, there is more moisture in the air, and opening your windows is probably the easiest way to add some humidity.
I thought plants were only helpful in adding beauty to the home until I had to increase my home’s humidity.
I then learned that some plants are used to naturally increase humidity in space, while some remove moisture.
Plants that add moisture to the air do so through the leaves after getting water from the roots. This process is evapotranspiration.
Plants that remove humidity from the air can absorb it through their leaves. Such plants include English Ivy and Bamboo Palm.
Use Heaters and Air Conditioners Optimally
If you find the air in your home becoming too dry while operating your HVAC system, there are things you can do to address this.
For example, improving the air sealing in your home will reduce the amount of dry air being drawn into your home during the winter when running your furnace.
Likewise, running your air conditioner only when necessary will prevent it from pulling too much moisture out of the air and reducing humidity levels to below the comfortable range.
Purchase a Humidifier
A humidifier performs the opposite function of a dehumidifier – adding moisture to the air. This device is the fastest and most effective way to add water to a dry environment.
There are five different types of humidifier, each having specific functions and working patterns. Here are the five humidifier types;
- Ultrasonic Humidifiers. This humidifier type uses ultrasonic vibration to form a fine mist from water that provides humidity.
- Central humidifiers. Designed with the general home heating or air conditioning system.
- Steam vaporizers. This humidifier type uses electricity to heat water, then spread it after cooling.
- Impeller humidifiers. This humidifier type employs disks rotating to provide humid air.
- Evaporators. These types use fans to supply humid air through a filter.
I strongly recommend the Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifiers (available on Amazon.com). These humidifiers work quietly and can operate for up to fifty hours, delivering moisture into the air and making it smell nice.
Dehumidifying your home too much is possible, but the best way to avoid this is to keep tabs on your humidity levels through a hygrometer.
When you notice your humidity levels are very low, you should take steps to rectify the situation quickly to avoid health impacts and potential damage to your home, such as cracks appearing in wooden furniture.
If your home is too dry as a result of over-using a dehumidifier, your first step should be to switch off the dehumidifier.
If further action is required to bring humidity levels into the ideal range, simple steps like opening bathroom doors, drying clothes indoors, and cooking without covers can increase humidity.
If you found this article interesting, you might want to read our post entitled, “Average Home Humidity Levels by 9 Climate Zones (With Chart)” for further information about how humidity varies in different parts of the US.