Maintaining the proper humidity for your home is important for creating comfort for your family. This is especially the case during humid summers and dry winters. Although this remains the main way we think of humidity in our homes, the truth is that maintaining the proper humidity can help protect you against the spread of viral infections like COVID-19.
How can the proper humidity protect you against COVID-19?
As it turns out, an interior environment with a lowered humidity level can decrease the chance of contracting and spreading COVID-19. Numerous studies such as this one from Yale University support the idea that humidity can have a big impact on the transmission of viruses.
By keeping the relative humidity of a specific environment within 40-60% relative humidity, one can potentially reduce the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 and other viral infections. For comparison, we should note that it is very common for indoor relative humidity to dip below 20% during the winter months.
“In addition to other strategies—masks, distancing, ventilation and filtration—raising the humidity is another layer of defense to consider,” said Joseph Allen, associate professor of exposure assessment science and director of the Healthy Buildings program at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Among other findings discovered by Dr. Allen, we know that coronavirus decays at a much faster rate when the relative humidity is close to 60%.
What are the health benefits of a home with proper humidity?
By maintaining a home with a relative humidity of 40-60%, your family will be given the following health benefits:
- Better protection against viruses: By keeping the mucous linings of your airways properly dry, you can help your body better defend against viral particles and other invading foreign substances.
- Kill off viruses faster: A home with the proper humidity will result in less viral material hovering in its air.
- Prevent the airborne transmission of water droplets: Greatly decrease the chance of transmission by preventing the spread of airborne water droplets that are able to penetrate more deeply into your lungs.
How can you monitor the humidity in your home?
In this day and age, you owe it to your family to take the necessary precautions. Safeguard your home by maintaining the proper humidity, and do it by using a good home hygrometer.