Maintaining the Humidity Levels in Your Home
February 9, 2021
As a homeowner, it’s important to adjust your indoor humidity levels throughout the year. Maintaining a recommended relative humidity level can greatly impact the heating and cooling efficiencies of your home.
What is Relative Humidity?
Relative humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. It’s usually referred to as a percentage of the amount needed for saturation at the same temperature. As temperatures fluctuate, the amount of water in the air will also change. This is important in both the summer and winter months, especially.
In the winter months, you may need lower than 40% relative humidity. This can help to avoid condensation on your windows, and in some cases, freezing on the seals of your windows and doors.
Your home’s air conditioning system can help to remove unwanted moisture, however if there is too much moisture, damage may occur to both the inside and outside areas of your home. This is why it’s important to maintain healthy humidity levels depending on your home’s needs, as well as your family’s comfort and safety.
Recommended Humidity Levels
The ideal humidity level of your home can depend on several factors, including personal preferences, clothing, level of physical activity, and outdoor temperatures. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) suggests a range of 45% – 55% humidity.
Comfortable: 30% – 60%
Recommended: 45% – 55%
High: 55% – 80%
Maintaining a consistent level can not only keep you and your family comfortable, but also safe from possible health risks, including bacteria, viruses, respiratory infections, and asthma, to name a few.
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Recognizing the differences in humidity can help to keep levels more in tune with what’s needed.
If humidity levels are too low, you may be susceptible to some or all of the following:
- Dry, itchy skin and hair
- Static electricity
- Paint chipping
- Damage to wood floors and/or furniture
- Damage to electronics
- Increased risk to colds and respiratory illness
If humidity levels are too high, you may be susceptible to some or all of the following:
- Sleep discomfort
- Muggy conditions
- Rot on woodwork
- Wet insulation
- Mold growth
Using a Humidification System in your Home
Adding a humidifier to your home’s air conditioning system can have a great impact on the health of your home and your family. There are several health benefits to owning and using a humidifier, including improved breathing, reduced risk of infections, viruses, and bacteria, softer, moisturized skin, snoring relief, and improved sleep, among others.
Using a humidifier could also help in improving or preventing the possibility for electric shocks due to dryness in the air, cracked wood furnishings from lack of moisture, discoloration or warping of artwork, photos, and paper collections, and more.
Adversely, a dehumidifier can help with moisture control by removing excess humidity and managing the overall air quality in your home. Regular maintenance of our HVAC filters can also be significant in your system’s efficiency.
In the winter, the air is unable to hold moisture and can feel very dry. It’s important to use your humidifier to add moisture to the air. An indoor humidity level of 30% – 40% is recommended in winter months and colder climates.
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In the summer, the air can be quite humid, or muggy. This is when dehumidification becomes a priority. You’ll need to remove excess moisture by using a dehumidifier or by keeping your humidity levels below 60%.
Your relative humidity level settings can depend significantly on the climate and personal preferences, however is important to maintain a recommended level to ensure the health and safety of your family and home.