Newborn Health: Do You Need a Humidifier or Dehumidifier?
Parents of newborns are justifiably concerned about optimizing everything in the baby’s environment, from indoor air quality, to temperature to just the right amount of sensory stimulation. But what about humidity? Is it important to monitor baby room humidity? Maybe. Read on and learn about relative humidity in your home.
The optimum relative humidity range in the home is from 30 to 60 percent. In our climate, we seldom have to worry about low humidity; rather, contending with too-high humidity is the norm. And, as we all know in Florida, high humidity can lead to mold, mildew and fungus growing in our homes.
Certainly you don’t want your newborn or anyone else in your household breathing mold spores.
In general, home humidity should be a little higher in winter, as cooler air holds less moisture. In summer, it’s best to have it a little lower — perhaps no more than 50 percent in your home. But how to achieve that?
First, get a hygrometer from a home store to measure humidity. Then, check your home’s plumbing for leaks and have them fixed so they do not add to the moisture content in your home’s air.
If your HVAC system is not ancient and is well maintained, it will likely do a good job removing moisture from your home’s air. Changing the filter regularly and keeping the coils clean help the HVAC perform this function more efficiently.
If humidity is still too high, look into installing exhaust ventilation in the bathroom and kitchen areas. Make sure the ventilation ducts are connected to the outdoors so that all humidity goes out of the house and does not collect indoors.
You may also want to check out a dehumidifier. You could use a portable in the nursery, if you’re particularly concerned about humidity there, but a whole-house dehumidifier is usually the best option, in that it sends humidity away from the home, down the plumbing, so that you don’t need to empty a reservoir.
For more on baby room humidity, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions of Orlando.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).