When it comes to indoor humidity levels, everyone has their own preference for what feels most comfortable. Generally, a relative humidity level from 35-50% is optimal for comfort — not to mention preventing the growth of microorganisms.
Ideal Indoor Humidity Levels by Outdoor Temperature
Depending on personal preferences, the most comfortable indoor humidity level will vary from one household to the next. The following temperatures will give you a general idea of where to keep your indoor relative humidity levels:
• For outdoor temperatures over 50 degrees Fahrenheit, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 50 percent.
• For outdoor temperatures over 20 degrees, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 40 percent.
• For outdoor temperatures between 10-20 degrees, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 35 percent.
• For outdoor temperatures between 0-10 degrees, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 30 percent.
• For outdoor temperatures between -10-0 degrees, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 25 percent.
Maintaining Ideal Relative Humidity Levels in the Home
Whole-home humidifiers and dehumidifiers — like the Honeywell Steam Humidification System pictured above — are the best tools for keeping relative humidity at an ideal level in your home.
These systems automatically work with your home’s heating and cooling systems to add or remove moisture from the air. Use a humidifier during the winter when air is naturally drier, and a dehumidifier in the summer when air naturally carries more moisture.
Problems with High Humidity Indoors
When humidity levels are high in the home, there is too much moisture. Not only is excess humidity just generally uncomfortable, it can also be damaging to your home.
• Excess moisture promotes the growth and spread of mold, mildew, fungi, bacteria and viruses. These contaminants diminish indoor air quality, causing illness — and damage your home.
• Asthma and allergy sufferers may experience worse or more frequent symptoms.
• Your home will feel muggy. You may notice visible condensation on windows and walls. Mugginess can leave you feeling hot and uncomfortable — and prompt you to turn up the air conditioning, thus, using more energy when just an adjustment in humidity level is required. This causes more energy to be consumed unnecessarily, increasing your energy bills.
Problems Caused by Low Humidity Indoors
A low relative humidity level indoors can cause a whole bunch of issues, as well.
• Asthma and allergy symptoms can worsen. Cold and flu viruses may spread more rapidly, and you may be more prone to sinus infections. You may suffer dry skin, chapped lips and dry air passageways.
• Dry air causes pulls moisture from your skin, which makes your body to feel colder, despite a warm indoor temperature. Naturally, you’ll want to turn up the heat, expending more energy when all that was needed was a humidity boost.
• Dry air is damaging to homes. Wood and other building materials, as well as furniture, are robbed of moisture when air is dry. Cracks and damage can occur to flooring, trim, and even framing around windows and doors.
For more information about whole-house humidifiers, call Air-Dynamics at (479) 750-9939. Keeping our customers comfortable is our specialty.