How Humidity and Moisture Affect Indoor Air Quality | Louisville, Kentucky
Humidity is a favorite topic of conversation, especially in the Louisville area. In the winter, humidity means more precipitation, lower body temperatures, and higher heating bills. Spring is too short, and when the warmer months creep in, everyone gets progressively sweatier and more miserable. It isn’t unusual for Louisville humidity levels to exceed those of tropical rain forests. The climate that sustains our native Kentucky ecology comes with a price.
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Often the outdoor humidity drives people inside, but indoor humidity levels can be another challenge entirely. The fact is that regardless of whether you’re indoors or out, warm and humid places are habitats. After all, the earth only sustains life because it’s warmer and wetter than other planets! The problem is, uncontrolled moisture in the home can bring in unwanted organisms that compromise in-home air quality, which has a direct effect on your health. Basement leaks and other foundation-based problems are often at the root of the issue, since darkness and dampness are the ideal amenities for unwanted guests.
For example, dust mites are found everywhere that humans live. They thrive in mattresses, pillows, clothes, and carpet, and their favorite food is dead human skin. It’s doubtful that you’ll ever see one, as they’re microscopic, but you can bet that they’re shacking up with you uninvited—especially if your home offers them a humid environment to kick back in. They’re known to cause allergic and asthmatic reactions, and they, along with lots of other mite species, are common skin irritants.
Molds, too, are a common issue that homeowners face. Generally, people smell mold before they see it, which is often enough to make them suspicious of their indoor air quality, especially in basements. Symptoms related to nearby mold growth include headaches, asthmatic reactions, and skin irritation. In fact, some molds can produce substances known as mycotoxins, which are not just allergens but pathogens. Mycotoxin-producing molds are known to impact human health and are common in homes with structural moisture and humidity issues.
Organisms that affect air quality in your home can be reduced and removed by proper preventative measures. These airborne nuisances won’t go away until you take their habitat from them, and that means removing the excessive moisture from your home—and keeping it out.