How Does Relative Humidity Affect Your Health?: Part 2

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 by Joy Padgett

Today we’re going to talk about airborne illnesses and how humidity plays a part in the spreading of indoor air pollutants. Perhaps the most harmful effect of high humidity is the distribution of airborne illnesses throughout the home. High humidity allows more rapid growth of bacteria whereas optimal humidity levels (between 40-60%) creates an environment where bacteria such as E. coli and pneumonia are much less likely to survive.

Viruses also prefer humidity levels above or below the optimal levels. Viruses like rubella and measles prefer lower humidity levels whereas viruses that cause respiratory illnesses, colds, and hand, foot and mouth disease thrive in high humidity. Influenza grows and spreads fastest when humidity levels are very low. However, homes with relative humidity between 40-60% had the lowest occurrence of viruses.

Woman sick in bed 1

Humidity levels also have a dramatic impact on the frequency of respiratory infections. Respiratory infections are much more likely to occur when humidity levels are above or below the optimal levels. How are the humidity levels in your children’s rooms?

To wrap it up for today, we know that we don’t want to encourage the growth and dispersal of viruses, bacteria and illnesses in our homes. AND, we know just how important it is to maintain that optimal humidity level.

Weatherization Plus is here to help. Our knowledgeable and trained technicians would be happy to meet with you in your home and help determine what is causing the humidity levels in your home to be outside the optimal levels. We can then provide you with an estimate on fixing those issues.

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