What is the Recommended Humidity Level for Your Home?
Humidity becomes a larger concern during the cold winter months because you turn on the furnace to warm up. While this increases heat, the amount of moisture remains the same. Thus, relative humidity decreases, and you may notice familiar signs of lack of moisture.
Why Indoor Humidity Matters
Too much moisture in the air, and you'll feel sticky and possibly sweaty. Some people crank the air conditioning in an attempt to feel more comfortable, which leads to higher energy bills. Mold, mildew, dust mites, and bacteria thrive in wet environments. Additionally, asthma and allergies can increase when humidity levels rise, and indoor air quality decreases. High levels of humidity can cause wallpaper to blister and peel and wooden floors to buckle/cup. Too much moisture can lead to rust and potentially damage some appliances.
But when the air is too dry, you deal with dreaded static shocks and cling. This isn't just annoying; static can damage electronics. Hair and skin can become dry. Your eyes and throat may feel irritated or sore, and you may feel colder due to a lack of moisture. Dry air causes wood to crack, which can damage floors, trim, and furniture.
What's The Recommended Humidity Level?
A comfortable range of humidity indoors is between 30–50% relative humidity as recommended by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The Environmental Protection Agency extends this recommendation to a maximum of 60% humidity. As temperatures drop outside, you can decrease the humidity inside and remain comfortable and to prevent condensation on your windows. An HVAC professional can recommend appropriate levels based on your geography and specific needs.
How to Achieve Ideal Moisture Levels in the Air
If your HVAC system doesn't account for humidity level, you can use a humidifier to add moisture to the add during winter months. In summer, a humidifier can remove moisture from the air to increase comfort and indoor air quality. Consider a dehumidifier in rooms that naturally attract moisture, such as basements.
Adding a humidifier or dehumidifier to your HVAC system ensures that the air contains the right amount of moisture before it's dispersed to your home. You don't need to add or remove moisture because it's already at the recommended level. However, if this is not enough, you might consider a standalone unit to help your HVAC out.
Contact Robert Bair Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing today if you need an experienced HVAC professional to check the humidity levels of your home.