For a host of reasons, it is essential to maintain ideal humidity inside your home throughout the year. Suppose the humidity levels are too low or too high. In that case, residents have to deal with many problems, including some health issues. This post centers on determining and maintaining ideal humidity in the house in winter. Keep reading!
What is Humidity?
Humidity is simply the level of moisture in the air. A related and widely used term is relative humidity. It refers to the percentage of water vapour present in the air. For example, 30% relative humidity means that 30% of the air is moist. In other words, the air is capable of holding 30% moisture.
Depending on the fluctuations of temperatures, this capacity changes. For example, air can hold very little moisture during the winter months. This capacity (relative humidity) significantly increases during the summer months.
According to indoor air quality experts, ideal humidity in the house is between 30% and 50% in winter. This level of indoor humidity is considered comfortable. If this level goes beyond 60%, it may cause some health issues.
Microorganisms cannot grow in your house if the indoor humidity level is within the recommended level. By ensuring the efficient function of HVAC systems, it can also significantly reduce the usage of energy.
Ideal Humidity in House in Winter
To some extent, the ideal humidity levels depending on outdoor temperatures and the climate. Setting up a specific humidity level in a home is also a matter of personal preference.
But what is the standard level of humidity in a home? Well, during winters, the recommended humidity level is around 40%. Experts do not strictly recommend a particular percentage, but relative humidity should not be below 30% during the winter.
It is vital to maintain the correct humidity levels both in the winter and in the summer. If this level is not maintained correctly, your family members may feel discomfort and be susceptible to respiratory problems.
Apart from that, improper humidity levels can damage the inside and outside of a house. And that will add to the overall maintenance cost.
If there is excess moisture in your home, proper humidity levels can remove that moisture. For this, additional equipment may be required, such as a humidification system or a whole-home ventilation system.
Otherwise, condensation may form on the windows. Before long, the extra moisture may spread in the nook and corners and cause serious problems.
To maintain the ideal humidity in the house in winter, you have to measure humidity first. Using a hygrometer is the quickest way to measure humidity. A hygrometer can be digital or analog.
However, there are some other ways to measure the humidity levels in your house.
An nontraditional method of measuring humidity is pouring water into a glass filled with ice cubes. Then stir it and wait for about 3 minutes. If you notice moisture forming on the glass, the humidity levels in your home are normal. If there is no moisture, the air is probably too dry. We should note here that this nontraditional method is not always reliable.
If you are willing to use a sophisticated device, the Airthings Wave Plus can be a good choice. It is a smart IAQ monitor with sensors for air pressure, temperature, TVOCs, humidity, and CO2. This device is capable of providing information about not only moisture but also pollutants.
Problems Caused by Low Humidity Levels
- Viruses spread easily
- Dry skin, irritation in nose, eyes, and throat
- Aggravates the symptoms of influenza and allergies
- Higher heating costs
- Damaging effects on wooden furniture items
- Electronic devices may become less durable
- Over time, gaps may appear in hardwood flooring
Ways to Increase Humidity Level
- Adding a humidifier to the HVAC system, using exhaust fans, or a room humidifier
- Installing more energy-efficient doors and windows
- Sealing cracks in windows and doors
- Keeping doors, especially the exterior doors, closed
- Upgrading the weather-resistant barrier
- Mechanical Ventilation
Problems Caused by High Humidity Levels
- Promotes the spread of bacteria and growth of mould and mildew
- Respiratory illness due to musty odour caused by mould spores
- Aggravates the symptoms of allergy and asthma
- Moisture may have a damaging effect on the framing, roofing, and flooring
- Higher electricity bill
Ways to Reduce Humidity Levels
- Installing energy-efficient windows and doors
- Sealing the house properly
- Removing excess moisture by installing a dehumidifier
- Upgrading house wrap
- Using an air conditioner with a dry mode
Indoor home comfort, to a great extent, depends on seasonal humidity. In colder months, the air is unable to hold much moisture.
If you live in a cold region, consider adding moisture to the indoor air. As we have already stated, the ideal humidity in the house in winter is around 40%. You may prefer a lower percentage, but make sure it is not below 30%.
And if you are living in a region with warm temperatures, you will have to deal with too much moisture. It will be an issue during the summer months, even if you are not living in a hot region. Dehumidification may be necessary for dealing with this situation. The key is to ensure that the humidity level is not over 60% during the summer months.
Ideal Humidity in House in Winter – Final Thoughts
For maximum comfort and health benefits, maintaining the ideal humidity in your home is essential. The perfect humidity level is not a constant percentage; it changes throughout the year. During the winter it should be around 40%, and not below 30%.
We hope you now understand humidity levels and the necessary steps to keep the indoor humidity within the recommended levels.