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Optimum Indoor Relative Humidity Levels - Do You Need a Humidifier?

Have you noticed the symptoms of low humidity, such as dry and itchy skin and eyes, sore throats and sinus pain? Before you jump to conclusions and buy a humidifier, it’s best to be sure of what’s causing the problems.

A hygrometer, (humidity meter), will tell you for sure if the humidity is too low. They are not expensive so buy one now and see what it says.

You’ll find that humidity levels vary throughout the day. This is normal. Some variation is always to be expected. What you want to avoid is prolonged exposure to low humidity.

A relative humidity level between 40% and 50% is generally considered to be the most comfortable. Anywhere from 30% to 60% is acceptable, but ideally you want to avoid the extremes of that range. Too low, and you get the problems mentioned above. Too high can cause problems as well. Keeping humidity below 50% is recommended to help control dust mite populations, for example.

For most people, a humidifier will be beneficial during cold weather. The best models have full humidity control where you set the desired level and the machine will turn itself on and off when needed. This is particularly useful if you want to stay within the optimum range. Cheaper machines can also be used, but require you to turn them on and off at the appropriate times so you’ll need to keep watching your hygrometer.

If you do discover that a humidifier is needed, there is lots of useful information on this site that will help you find the best one for your situation. Start by looking at the different types, then make a wish list of desirable features, and that will make it very easy to find the one you want. We’ve reviewed many of the most popular models, so you can be sure what you buy will do a good job.