What is the best level of indoor relative humidity in the winter months? In Atlanta, the weather has been cold and the daily highs have been right around freezing. With the static electricity in the air, the indoor relative humidity points have dropped. On a positive note, the South Lights can be seen at night. These lights are made from when a microfiber blanket on the bed lights up with every moment. It is pretty neat to look at.
Some people may think this is annoying but it does look cool in the dark. Generally speaking, the indoor humidity should be between 30% to 45% .
Why is humidity low in the winter?
I have thought about this before. The cold air is dry. The lower the temperatures the less water vapor there is in the air. The amount of water vapor in the air can be called the absolute humidity or the humidity ration. The humidity levels will drop with the temperature. This is true no matter where a person lives. Depending on the climate so people may experience changes in humidity levels more than others.
Cold air means that the air is dry. The cold air enters the home with ventilation or infiltration. When this air mixed with the air already in the home it will result in a less amount of water vapor in the home. There are some activities in the home that will cause humidity levels to rise. If a person takes a bath or boils food every day the humidity levels in the home are going to be too high. This is worse it the home has become over ventilated. This may not fully solve the problem.
The thing to take away is that the cold air is dry. The colder the air is the drier the air inside the home will be. Some things are going to affect the level of humidity inside the home.
What is the best relativity humidity level in the winter?
Some factors will play a role in this.
- The climate zone has an impact
- That insulation of the building
- The moisture that is produced indoors
- The ventilation system in the home.
How much static electricity is found in the air and how much it bothers the residents? Some people may not mind it so much while others will be uncomfortable in their homes. Based on this information the colder that the climate is the drier the air indoors will be.
There will be colder surfaces indoors that will absorb any moisture in the air. That is when accidental dehumidification will happen such as condensation forming on the windows.
- There may also be frost that forms of the ceiling
- There is a general guideline for comfortable indoor humidity levels.
- The indoors want a low relative humidity level so that no statistic electricity issues are forming and that people do not suffer from dry skin.
The lower end for the humidity indoors should be around 30 to 35 percent. You can use a humidistat to measure it. That is still dry for some but not too bad. If the climate is colder the lower number may work best. If the climate is warm most of the time on the low end the humidity level should be around 40 percent. On the high end for cold climates, the humidity level should not exceed 45 percent. In the warmer areas, the humidity should be around 50 percent but be aware of changes in the weather.
If the home is energy efficient and the building has great insulation then in the cold climates it may be comfortable with the humidity levels around 40 percent or maybe a little higher. The good thing is that the home is not so much affected by the changes in temperature outside.
What to do if the humidity levels are too low or too high?
If the home is on the dry side people often install a humidifier. If the home is well insulated and seals off against the cold this may not be needed. The humidifier intends to keep the indoor temperature moist. And If the home is not so well insulated and the air is dry the home should be air sealed. If there are leaks in the home the cold and dry air from the outdoors is going to get inside and lower the humidity levels. Seal up the home and see if there is a change before doing anything else. A humidifier will not fix the problem in a home that may have air leaks. This is an issue that needs to be fixed.
If the humidity levels are too high during the winter months that installing a dehumidifier may help. There are some other things to look at before making this purchase. Take a look at where water vapor is being produced indoors. When using the shower or bath it may help to turn on the fan. It may also help to turn on the fan on the hood range when cooking. Cold air is dry air and this is something that needs to be remembered. If the indoor humidity levels are too high some additional ventilation can be used to help reduce the dry air.
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