If you are struggling with humidity that is higher than recommended (and most people in the UK are) then it is worth investing in a good quality dehumidifier.
During the winter months the running cost of a domestic dehumidifier will normally be more than offset by the reduction in the cost of your heating bill and the health benefits are significant.
In addition, your property, decoration and belongings will not be affected by mould, mildew and condensation; and dehumidifiers are the secret alternative to tumble dryers for drying laundry quickly and very cheaply in comparison - and they don't damage your laundry in the process.
Features & Benefits
Extensive studies, including a detailed report in 2014 by the Department for Public Health England, have proven that the best temperature and therefore the recommended temperature for people to reside in either at home or at work is 21.5 degrees Celsius or 70.7 degrees Fahrenheit; with the upper range being 24 degrees Celsius and the lower range being 18 degrees Celsius. Above 24 degrees is uncomfortable and our ability to concentrate drops rapidly. At the other end of the scale, there is an association between raised blood pressure and risk of blood clotting, with exposure to indoor temperatures of 18 degrees Celsius or colder in the general adult population. Further still, ongoing exposure to temperatures below 16 degrees Celsius results in resistance to respiratory diseases being weakened. These findings are more likely to be applicable to older people. Therefore the recommended minimum threshold is 18 degrees Celsius.
There are also significant benefits to monitoring and regulating humidity to below 60% RH (Relative Humidity). Mould spores cannot grow in a Relative Humidity of less than 60%; and over 99% of allergens cannot grow in a Relative Humidity of 50% or less. Equally, once the Relative Humidity drops to less than 40% it starts to become too dry and can cause dry throats, coughing, itchy eyes and dry skin. Therefore the optimal percentage to achieve is 50% Relative Humidity.
Dry air warms up more quickly than damp air, so it is easier for your central heating, independent heater or fire to warm up air with humidity around 50% RH, than it is to warm up damper air. As a result it is cheaper to warm up a property or a room that is maintained at the correct humidity, than one that is too damp.