Disadvantages of excessive low and high humidity

Excessive low or high humidity is often not good for our health and can also cause damage to our household items.

When relative humidity, RH, gets beyond the optimum range of 30 to 55%, it may be necessary for people to take some precautions to minimize its detrimental effects.

Disadvantages of low humidity

Dry air results in irritated sinuses and dry throat

When humidity drops such as in severe winter or in dry air environments, the mucous membrane lining our respiratory tract can becomes dry and cause inflammation if we are not careful.

Besides increasing the risk of colds, flu and other infections once inflammation occurs, the thriving of certain viruses in low humidity conditions also increase our risk of health infections and diseases.

Skin dryness and eye discomfort

Excessive low humidity over extended periods can also cause dry, scaly and itchy skin. The loss of moisture from the skin, commonly known as "winter itch", can cause in small cracks on our skin and damage our skin complexion.

In addition, our eyes tends to be drier and easily irritated when humidity become low, and evaporation of tears from our eye tissue surfaces increases.

When humidity drops below 10% for long periods of time, cracking of skin becomes quite prevalent.

To combat dry skins, first we will have increase our intake of Omega-3 fats to reduce inflammation and normalize our skin cells to prevent dehydration of our cells.

Secondly, by applying pure coconut oil to our skin, it can acts as an “anti-aging” moisturizer and keep our connective tissues strong and supple. This also helps make our complexion smoother by exfoliating the outer layer of dead dry skin cells.

Building up of static electricity

Water molecules in the air are easily polarized when humidity becomes very low, resulting in the increased incidence of static electricity buildup. While these static electricity is too small to cause major health hazards, these electric charges however can affect sensitive electric devices and equipments in the long run.

Shrinking of wooden furniture and flooring

As wooden furniture and flooring often contains some water content in their wood composition, thus if they are used in excessive low humidity environments for a long time, they gradually lose some of their water content, causing them to crack as it shrinks.

Disadvantages of high humidity

Growth of mold, dust mites and fungus

As mold, dust mites and fungus tends to grow rapidly in environments with high water vapour, high humidity is often not good as these organisms can easily grow on wooden furniture, antiques, collectors' items, wines, etc, permanently damaging them.

In addition, carpets and clothing with high water vapour absorbance can also become easy breeding grounds for these harmful organisms, and negatively affect our health.

Moist, warm environment encourage bacteria growth

Besides mold, dust mites and fungus, bacteria also thrive in humid, moist and warm environments.

With increased bacteria levels in the air, people become more susceptible to numerous inflections and illnesses.

Not only that, those with asthma and allergies will be greatly affected by these harmful organisms.