What Humidity Level Is Uncomfortable? Above 55%

Really, what humidity level is comfortable for you outside or inside?

Most of the time, we give a range of 30 to 55%. But why such a wide range for indoor humidity? If the humidity is too high, usually, the temperature is high. There is a close relationship between humidity and temperature.

High humidity tricks your body that it is hot and so it activates the cooling mode. You start to sweat excessively. This causes you to feel as if you are being steamed slowly in your own skin. You can read more about the effects of high humidity on the human body.

So, what level of humidity is uncomfortable? Above 55%. When the air holds 30 to 50% of moisture, it is considered the most ideal humidity level for comfort. This means that the air has 30 to 50% moisture, which is comfortable for your skin, hair, breathing and sleeping.

When trying to find out the most comfortable humidity level, you will come across the term relative humidity. According to the National Weather Service, RH is a percentage of the total moisture the air can hold.

What this means is that the air would be fully saturated at 100% humidity level.

Best Humidity Level At Different Temperature

At high temperature, the air can hold more moisture than at low temperature. This is always hard to understand for many people.

When the temperature is at a certain level outdoors, the indoor humidity level should be at a certain level.

Here is a tabular presentation of what the humidity should be at a certain temperature.

Temperature in degrees F (outdoors) Humidity level in % (indoors)
10 20
20 40
-10 25
-20 15

 

Why is high humidity so uncomfortable?

When the humidity is too high, several things can happen to your body. Here are just some of them:

Your skin feels sticky and uncomfortable

That is obvious, isn’t it? If you ever go to Louisiana in summer, you will be cooking in your own skin. The feeling of constant dampness on your skin does not leave you.

But why does your skin feel sticky? When the humidity is high, your body thinks that it is too hot. Thus, it activates its cooling mechanism, which is sweating.

The blood vessels dilate, which means they move closer to the surface of the skin. This helps the vessels to vent the heat through the skin.

In this case though, the sweat does not evaporate since the air around you is too saturated with water. Thus, it remains on the skin making you feel super uncomfortable.

It is hard to breathe

When you have high humidity, the water molecules displace the oxygen molecules in the air. With every breath that you take, there is less oxygen!

This is why you feel as if the air is too heavy while in reality, damp air is lighter in weight than dry air. Therefore, it is not hard to breathe because water vapor is heavier than air, it is just that there is less air in every breath that you take.

You also need to remember that the body is working excessively to sweat for cooling. Thus, taking a breath requires more energy than it normally would.

Lower heart rate

Believe it or not, when there is high humidity in the air, you will experience low heart rate. And this is not because you have not been taking your cardio or aerobic workouts!

When the blood vessels dilate to lose the heat, the heart slows down. This means at this particular time, you might not be able to engage in fast activity.

Lower heart rate makes you feel more sluggish. This is why you feel lazier when the humidity is high.

If you have moved to a place with high humidity, these changes are temporary. If you live longer in a place with high humidity such as Florida, your body starts to adapt.

High humidity causes mold and mildew

In another article, we looked at the symptoms of mold sickness. If humidity rises higher than 55%, it encourages mold growth in your home.

This is a serious indoor allergen that can make breathing harder for people with asthma. It grows in dark, damp and warm spaces. You can start checking for mold signs in the bathroom cabinets, attic, basement and kitchen.

When mold matures, it reproduces. It does this in the form of mold spores that float in the air and move to other rooms in the house. Before you know it, you will have a mold infestation in every room at home.

Too many mold spores in the air can also cause mold in the lungs. It can inflame the airways and cause asthmatic attacks.

What is dew point humidity level?

When it comes to the comfortable indoor humidity level, we talk about RH – Relative Humidity.

Image of What humidity level is uncomfortable

However, for the outdoors, the dew point can let you know  when the air will become too uncomfortable for you.

As its name suggests, dew point is the point at which dew starts to form on the surfaces. Dew point is when the humidity level in the air is at 100%.

Different places have different dew points. For instance, if dew point of a certain place is at 60%, that is not too bad and you can comfortably exert yourself outdoors.

However, if the dew point of a place is higher, say 80%, it means the humidity is too high. This will make your body very uncomfortable when you exert yourself outdoors.

What humidity level is uncomfortable in winter? 25 to 40%

In the winter, the air is cold, so it holds less moisture than in summer. This is why we run our Pure Enrichment humidifier in winter.

Besides, when it is winter, you have to turn on the heat. The heat further dries up the air, which means that you need a humidifier to increase the moisture level in the air.

When it comes to your indoor space, for most of the seasons, the humidity level must stay within the range of 30 to 50%. If the humidity rises higher than that, it leads to mold colonies developing in the house.

But not in winter! I will explain.

In winter, the air outdoors is colder. Thus, you should keep the humidity low, between 25 and 40%. If the humidity rises above that, it starts to condense on the windows because they are already too cold.

This can lead to increased dampness in the house, which will allow mold to grow indoors.

If the humidity is lower than 25%, you will start to experience the symptoms of dry air in your home.

What Is An Uncomfortable Level Of Humidity? FAQ

Humidity is much more complicated than just what you feel on the skin. Thus, you need to measure it with a hygrometer to know how it will affect you. To help you further on this, we have prepared several frequently asked questions and their answers.

What should a humidifier be set at in winter?

Set it between 25 and 40 percent. Other sources say 50 percent, but really, the humidity range recommended for indoors is 30 to 50%. Thus, even if you set it at 50, you are still within range. To prevent condensation on the surfaces, keep it a bit lower.

What is an uncomfortable humidity percentage?

30 to 50% humidity level is good. Lower than 25% is too dry and higher than 55% is too sticky. If the indoor humidity level is 60% or higher, mold and mildew will grow in the hidden spaces.

Is 80% humidity uncomfortable?

70 percent humidity is too high outside. 80 percent is super uncomfortable because it is close to dew point. In such humidity levels, you will feel sluggish, find it harder to breathe, and your skin will feel sticky.

How uncomfortable is 60% humidity?

Above 55%, the humidity starts to feel really uncomfortable on the skin. At 60%, mold starts to grow in your indoor spaces. Higher humidity levels make it hard to inhale, and it can affect your skin and hair.

What does 100% humidity feel like?

The air feels hotter than it really is because at 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it feels as if you are at 133 degrees Fahrenheit. This means you will be very uncomfortable in such humidity. You will sweat excessively but the sweat will not evaporate. Breathing will be hard and you feel really sluggish.

Can humans survive in 100% humidity?

The heat feels much higher than it really is and this sends the body into overdrive to cool. It loses too much water, the heart rate decreases drastically too. Most people would just die if exposed to 100 percent humidity too long.

Final Thoughts

If the level of humidity goes above 50%, it will start to feel uncomfortable for your body. Mostly, you will experience difficulty breathing and your body will overheat.

To keep the required humidity level in your house, use a humidifier with an auto on and off function. That way, when the humidity gets to the required level, it will stop producing mist.

If the humidity dips below the set range, it will automatically switch on to start pumping mist.

Also read:

How do I stop humidifier white dust?

Why is my dehumidifier blowing cold air?

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