With winter quickly approaching, many people want to know the best humidity level for their home during the winter months. This can be a tricky question because the level of humidity in a home may also affect your personal comfort.
What is Humidity?
Humidity is the amount of moisture that is in the air. During the winter months, many people have to adjust the humidity setting on their thermostat because heating a home often dries out the air.
Dry air can lead to respiratory discomfort and drier skin. However, too much humidity in the air can lead to respiratory discomfort, aggravation of allergies, and condensation on your walls and windows.
Is Condensation a Problem?
Condensation happens when warm air and cold surfaces meet. During the winter, this is most often on the windows but can happen on walls if there is not enough insulation present. Condensation increases when there is excessive humidity in the air.
The problem with condensation is that it drips down the windows and soaks into the frames. It can get behind the walls, into the baseboards, and into wooden window sills. This can lead to mold or mildew growth and wood and drywall rot. Over time, the condensation can lead to expensive repairs to the window and surrounding wall area.
So What Is A Good Humidity Level In Winter?
The ideal humidity level is usually between 30 and 40 percent. This humidity level keeps the air moist enough to allow easy breathing but does not oversaturate the air.
If you are running a smart thermostat, you can adjust humidity levels automatically on many HVAC units. These devices will run the fan only in your home to circulate the air and dry it out until it registers a certain level.
You must take into account that many newer homes are built to be air-tight. This means that the humidity cannot escape unless you open a door or window. Humidity will enter the home when you wash dishes in the sink, cook using water, and take showers each day. You may not have to use a humidifier as much as you think to be at a good level.
If you have any questions about the humidity levels in your home, installing a humidifier, installing a HVAC unit, or a smart thermostat, contact Always Ready Repair. We have been providing HVAC services to the Chicagoland area for over 80 years.