When you think about the ways you can contract a virus, what comes to mind? For many people, it’s the things we touch. Light switches, door knobs, railings, and other surfaces. Homeowners around Los Angeles are working hard to keep items we touch sanitized (including us!). But preventing illness requires more than just hand sanitizer. Research shows that the humidity levels inside your house can play a big role in your health.
Is Indoor Humidity Even a Problem in Los Angeles?
We know what you’re thinking: “Come on. Los Angeles is practically a dessert! I don’t need to be worried about humidity.”
A lot of homeowners say this, and they are partially right: Los Angeles can be extremely dry. Here in Southern California we do not face some of the same problems as our friends in South Florida where excessive humidity can cause the growth of mold and a clammy, uncomfortable home.
But there is still a concern about humidity: not having enough. Believe it or not, low humidity levels can cause several problems. First, low humidity levels can create uncomfortable conditions inside your home. But recent research shows that a lack of moisture can increase the likelihood of transmission of infectious viruses like the flu.
The Scientific Research on Humidity Levels
One of the leading researchers on indoor air quality is Dr. Stephanie Taylor, MD. She discovered that several patients in a local hospital were contracting infections and flu, despite the hospital’s enormous prevention efforts. Dr. Taylor monitored hundreds of variables in the indoor environment. The results of the study showed a direct correlation between dry air and viral infections.
Since Dr. Taylor’s original study, there have been many more published, peer-reviewed studies on low humidity levels and the spread of infectious disease. And although it can take many years for the results of research to get put into building codes, Los Angeles homeowners can take action now to improve the health of their home.
Here’s the bottom line: the ideal humidity level in your home is between 40-60%. That way, the air is not so humid that it could cause mold to grow. But it’s also enough moisture to prevent the spread of viral infections. But how do you control the humidity in your home? Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as taking longer and more leisurely baths.
Humidity Solutions for Los Angeles Homeowners
Although there are commercially available room humidifiers, these aren’t the best solution for chronically dry air. Room humidifiers require regular touch points to stay effective, like refilling the water basin, plugging the device in, and turning it on and off. For this reason, we recommend an effective and reliable solution: a whole-home humidifier.
Whole home humidifiers can be set to a specific humidity level. The device monitors the moisture levels and adjusts automatically. It adds water vapor to air inside your ductwork, so that your entire home is at a perfect humidity level. Canoga Park Heating & Air Conditioning can recommend a high-quality humidity control system for your LA home. Call us anytime at 818-348-4768 for more information.