You may already have heard that the air quality inside your house is much worse than the air quality outdoors. The vast majority of homes contain high levels of mold, dust and pet dander. They also contain elevated concentrations of poisonous gasses such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and nitrogen dioxide.


But what if we told you that one of the least poisonous gasses – dihydrogen monoxide, aka
“water” – is also bad for your indoor air quality? And not just when it is present in high concentrations, but at low concentrations as well? Well, those revelations might just compel you to invest in a top-of-the-line whole-home humidifier.


But we’ll get to that in a moment. For now, let’s focus on why it’s important to keep the relative humidity inside your home between 30% and 45%.


High Humidity: Mold’s Delight


Mold. It blackens ceilings and walls until they become hideous, as well as at risk of collapsing. (Mold will not compromise the structural integrity of a home’s frame, so at least there’s that.) Mold spores also have myriad adverse effects on health, including watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, itching, coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, headache, and fatigue.


Fortunately, mold has a weakness: it cannot reproduce at humidity levels less than 60%. To be certain, lower humidity levels won’t kill mold, but they will prevent the sooty fungus from releasing irritating spores. Better yet, lower humidity levels also ward off property damage by preventing wood from swelling, paint from peeling, and condensation from gathering on windows.


Low Humidity: More Flu for You


Have you ever wondered why the flu gets around more during the winter? It’s not just because people spend more time indoors. In addition to cold temperatures, low humidity actually helps the influenza virus spread around more quickly. To make matters worse, low humidity can also make your immune system less effective at intercepting the virus before it can make you ill. And loathe though we are to mention it by name, covid also appears to cause more deaths when humidity is too low or too high.


Low humidity isn’t just bad for your health. It also causes wood to contract, which can easily damage your home’s window frames, door frames and flooring. Even the wood in your furniture can warp and crack when there isn’t enough moisture in the air to keep it supple.


How to Maintain the Best Indoor Humidity


To reiterate: you want to keep the humidity in your home between 30 and 45%. That just begs one question: how? Begin by investing in a hygrometer – an inexpensive electronic doodad which measures humidity (unless your thermostat already includes a hygrometer function, in which case you’re already covered).


If your humidity is too high, you can:

  • Cover pots while cooking
  • Use oven exhaust fan while cooking
  • Run your exhaust fan for several hours, especially after bathing
  • Remove potted plants from home


If your humidity is too low, you can:

  • Air dry laundry indoors
  • Leave tub full after bathing
  • Place bowl of water in front of space heater


The simplest solutions to securing the optimal indoor humidity are technological. Many dehumidifiers are available, including free-standing and whole-house models. You have just as many options when it comes to humidifiers – including the Honeywell Advanced Electrode Steam Humidifier, which we proudly install at our clients’ houses throughout Central Minnesota.


The Honeywell Advanced Electrode Steam Humidifier: Small, but Mighty


Honeywell designed the Advanced Electrode Steam Humidifier to be the smallest humidification system on the market, and just as easy to install as it is to service. The efficient, on-demand humidification system quickly mounts to any duct or wall – totally out of sight, yet always connected courtesy of its integral humidistat. And thanks to its 11 gallon/day humidification capacity at 120v (which doubles at 240v), the Advanced Electrode Steam Humidifier capably maintains any home’s indoor humidity at the ideal level.


If you would like to enjoy greater comfort, minimize your risk of property damage, and reduce your exposure to mold spores and viruses, then Gilk Services is at your service. Contact us today to learn more about the Advanced Electrode Steam Humidifier, as well as our wide range of other services which enhance indoor air quality. We serve residential and commercial property owners throughout Albany, Avon, Cold Spring, Eden Valley, Freeport, Kimball, Lake Henry, Paynesville, Richmond, Rockville, St. Joseph, and Watkins, Minnesota!