Humidifiers are a great way to increase moisture in the air during the winter months, but can humidifiers damage your books collection?
This is a question that many people have asked themselves.
In short, the humidifier can be damaging to a book, but not if it is set at the proper humidity level. In fact, a humidifier may be able to protect your book from dry air.
We will talk about this more in this blog post below.
So if you are interested in knowing more about whether your humidifier damages your book or how humidity will affect your books, you will love this post.
Without further ado, let’s find out!
Do Humidifiers Damage Books?
A humidifier has the potential to be both helpful or harmful depending on where you live.
If you live in a dry environment, it can help keep dust from settling into your books while adding moisture to often dry air.
This helps your book from getting dried out.
When your books are stored in a dry environment, they’re usually stiff and rigid.
You can’t bend them or flip through the pages as you might with normal books – it’s so frustrating!
You may be noticing that your books are starting to look a little dusty, and the dry air has an adverse effect on their pages.
Adding moisture to the environment is good for you and will give them some relief from being dried out!
However, if you already live in an overly humid area- like the deep south – a humidifier will do more harm than good to your books.
A humidifier can cause your books to get moldy, which is never a fun look for any reader!
High levels of moisture can cause all types of damage, especially with those old books we keep on our shelves.
If you keep your books in a moist and warm environment, they will be at risk for mold or mildew.
Also read: Can A Humidifier Cause Mold on Walls?
The best way to feel confident about preserving these items is by knowing how much relative humidity they’re exposed to at any given time.
And it’s not something you want too high (or low).
Humidify when there isn’t a lot of humidity and turn it off during periods of cold weather (or anywhere that is too humid) so they don’t get moldy- which would ruin their pages!
Keep an eye on things by monitoring with a hygrometer. You can find one for under $20 on Amazon or Target.
A hygrometer is a humidity gauge that can help you monitor your home’s relative humidity with ease, and it’s easy to install.
It will tell you at which point humidifiers are suitable for keeping things from drying out too much- but not so moist as to cause mold or mildew.
So if you’re using a humidifier, set it manually to the right humidity level.
Humidifiers are an excellent way to keep your books from drying out when there is too little moisture in the air.
However, make sure your humidifier is at the correct relative humidity and not left on constantly or during periods where high humidity levels exist because this can damage them as well!
Does Humidity Affect Books?
Yes, humidity will affect your book collection significantly.
According to the National Library of Scotland, Temperature and humidity have a significant impact on how well we can preserve our beloved books.
They also mention that both excessive levels can cause harm to your collections by growing mold or mildew onto their pages.
For those who love history like me and want to make sure that it is around into the future (especially with climate change), this tip by the NLS is very accurate.
However, we also know that a book’s appearance and quality of the paper can be negatively impacted by too little humidity.
Too much dry air will cause books to become stiff, hardcover or paperback alike; they’ll crack at the bindings, and pages may fall out from being so brittle.
Reading this type of book is uncomfortable and detrimental for their condition in general – as well as our own!
Can you imagine the torture of reading a book that is stiff and hard to turn?
Imagine all those pages cracking, spilling their secrets onto your lap.
Muffled noises coming from its spine as if it had been trying to tell us something but was just silenced by our stubbornness in not listening and taking care of them properly
This is why it’s essential to use a humidifier in the drier winter months.
The humidifier can be damaging if misused or set at incorrect levels, but if you find that your home has an excessively high level and needs more moisture, then this might be something worth looking into!
How to Protect Your Books from Humidity?
Now let’s talk about how you can protect and preserve your book collection from humidity.
Step #01: Keep your books away from humid places.
If you live in a humid city, try to keep the library as dry and airy as possible by opening windows for at least an hour or two every day.
Place dehumidifiers near any area where there is high humidity (e.g., near a window).
Keep areas with lots of moisture (like kitchens) clean and free from spills because this can increase the number of mold spores present in the home, which will then end up inside your precious book collection!
Step #02: Use a humidifier if you live in a dry place.
Consider a humidifier if you live in a dry place.
If you do, make sure to get one that has an automatic shutoff function and doesn’t produce a lot of humidity at once.
Step #03: Keep your books in a place with a constant temperature and relative humidity.
Ensure you keep your books in a room where the temperature and humidity do not change too much.
Keep your books in a place with constant temperature and relative humidity.
According to the University of Chicago Library, fluctuations in these two factors can cause severe damage to materials like paper or leather-bound covers on hardcover books.
You want to make sure your room always has a humidity level between 30% to 50%.
Step #04: Keep your books out of sunlight.
Make sure you don’t keep your books in places where they are exposed to direct sunlight, as this can cause the paper inside them to yellow and become brittle.
The sun’s UV rays can also fade colors on book covers, so make sure to avoid keeping them near windows or other sources that expose the collection to those harmful rays too often.
So you want to keep your books away from the sunlight.
Conclusion: So Can a Humidifier Damage Books?
So will your humidifier damage your book collection?
The answer to this question is not as straightforward as you might think.
It all depends on the environment where you store your book collection.
If you keep your books in an environment that’s humid, then yes.
With a humidifier, you can encourage the growth of mold and other nasty stuff into your book.
On the other hand, if you store your books in a dry room with little humidity, you might want to buy a humidifier.
This will help to add a little bit of moisture into the air so your book collection will not be dried out.
So there you have it!
I hope this discussion about humidifiers and books has been helpful to you.
If it is not, feel free to contact me anytime!
Or, if you have more tips on how to protect books from humidity, let me know!
Until next time!