Frequently Asked HVAC Questions

What Is The Recommended Humidity For My Home?

Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to what indoor humidity level is most comfortable. In general, a relative humidity level between 35 to 50 percent is ideal for comfort and to prevent microorganism growth.

 

Ideal Indoor Relative Humidity Levels by Outdoor Temperature

The most comfortable indoor humidity level will vary from one household to the next, depending on personal preferences. In general, this temperature guide will show you where to keep your indoor relative humidity levels to ensure comfort.

  • Outdoor temperature over 50˚F, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 50%
  • Outdoor temperature over 20˚F, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 40%
  • Outdoor temperature between 10˚F and 20˚F, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 35%
  • Outdoor temperature between 0˚F and 10˚F, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 30%
  • Outdoor temperature between -10˚F and 0˚F, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 25%
  • Outdoor temperature between -20˚F and -10˚F, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 20%
  • Outdoor temperature at -20˚F or lower, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 15%

 

Maintaining Ideal Relative Humidity Levels in the Home

The best tools to keeping relative humidity at ideal levels in your home year-round are whole-home humidifiers and dehumidifiers. These systems automatically work with your home’s heating and cooling systems to add or remove moisture from the air. Utilize a humidifier in winter months 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. This not only causes discomfort, but can 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 can also cause damage to your home.
  • When indoor humidity levels are too high, asthma and allergy sufferers may experience worse or more frequent symptoms.
  • High humidity indoors causes the home to feel muggy. You may notice visible condensation on windows and walls. Mugginess can leave you feeling hot and uncomfortable, turning up the air conditioning and expending more energy when just an adjustment in humidity levels are required. This causes more energy to be consumed unnecessarily, increasing your energy bills.

 

Problems Caused by Low Humidity Indoors

Low relative humidity levels indoors cause a host of issues for people and households.

  • When indoor air is too dry, 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 your body to feel colder, despite a warm indoor temperature. The dry air pulls moisture from your skin, leaving you colder and forcing you to turn up the temperature to stay comfortable. Therefore, more energy is expended to heat the home, when a boost in humidity could have kept you comfortable for less.
  • 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.

 

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