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My room is in the basement and for some reason my nose gets really stuffy when I stay in my room for long periods of time.

I have a dehumidifier: what would be a good humidity level to keep the room? Some days it is really hot down here and some days it's nice and cool depending on the weather.

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    Sounds like a mold allergy, and nothing I know of will completely get rid of mold below grade... Drier will be better, but will also be more expensive. – keshlam Sep 11 '15 at 3:23
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    Humidity likely isn't the direct cause of the stuffiness. As kehlam states, it's likely mold or mildew. High humidity is actually what mold and mildew prefer, so lowering the humidity would likely help...but there could be a bigger problem here. – DA01 Sep 11 '15 at 6:15
  • Even sometimes the dust that is innate to concrete (unless it's sealed, painted, etc) can make many people stuff. – BrownRedHawk Sep 11 '15 at 11:38
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There is no one appropriate humidity level. In the dry, cold north household humidity must be below 20% during certain weather to prevent massive condensation on windows, which can result in damage. Here's a chart showing approximate levels for different outside temperatures:

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I agree with the comments above indicating that you likely have an allergen issue. Moisture alone doesn't typically result in respiratory distress. Lack of moisture can certainly be irritating, however.

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To help prevent mold I would keep the humidity level below 60%. enter link description here As for your runny nose, as people have commented that it could be a mold allergy. I would suggest getting your basement tested for mold. I've seen test kits at home improvement stores, but I've not used them before so I can't attest to their effectiveness. Another thing you might want to do is clean out your dehumidifier. They tend to get pretty nasty over time and might a source of your mold. Generally, they need to be cleaned out once a year and in some case more often.

Another trick that worked for me to reduce humidity in my basement is to put plastic over the basement windows. In the Northern part of the USA, during winter time it's common to find these plastic window kits. The plastic sheets go over your windows with double sided taped. Once attached, you tighten them up with a hair dryer. The idea is to prevent drafts that get past poorly sealed windows. In the basement I've left them on all year round, and I've noticed a 10% reduction in humidity. That might save you some energy from having the dehumidifier as much.

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    Just be careful to not make your basement too airtight if you have combustion appliances located there (gas furnaces/water heaters). – DA01 Sep 11 '15 at 16:58
  • Sealing up a basement so tight to cause problems with combustion is quite hard to do. In theory, it can happen, but I wouldn't worry about. You would only seal the basement from the outside air and not from the rest of the inside of the house. You're just trying to keep the outside humidity from coming inside. For example, sealing the door from 1st floor to the basement wouldn't be helpful. Also, you should have a carbon monoxide detector near those appliances anyway. Even better if they can detect explosive gases as well. – Harry Glinos Sep 13 '15 at 1:55

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