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What's the Best Humidity Level for Your Home?

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What’s the ideal humidity level for your house? And how can you maintain this humidity level throughout the year? We have the answers in this video.

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Fire & Ice Heating and Air Conditioning proudly serves Columbus, Ohio and the surrounding areas. Our service area includes Bexley, Blacklick, Canal Winchester, Columbus, Delaware, Dublin, Gahanna, Galena, Galloway, Grandview, Grove City, Hilliard, Lewis Center, New Albany, Obetz, Pataskala, Pickerington, Powell, Reynoldsburg, Sunbury, Upper Arlington, Westerville, Whitehall, and Worthington.

Further reading: Indoor Air Quality: HVAC Humidity Problems & Solutions

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Video Transcription

What’s the ideal humidity level for your house? And how can you maintain this humidity level throughout the year? We have the answers starting right now.

Hi my name’s Bryan with Fire & Ice. When you hear about humidity, you might imagine a hot sweltering day in the middle of July. Especially if you live here in Columbus, Ohio. However, there’s a lot more to humidity than you think and the humidity levels inside your home play a large part in your overall comfort. In this video, we’ll go over why humidity levels matter, what level they should be at, and how to measure and manage levels inside your home. By the end of this video you’ll know if humidity levels inside your home are contributing to your discomfort and how you can fix it.

Why Humidity levels matter in HVAC?

In the country’s more humid climates, all you need to do is spend 10 minutes outside in the middle of July to know just how uncomfortable it can be. In fact, humidity has a proportional relationship to the temperature we feel. Every 5% relative humidity in the air equals one degree in temperature. Generally speaking, in the summer humidity levels are higher and lower in the winter. That’s why 72° in the summer can be uncomfortably hot but too cold in the winter. The reason is too much or too little humidity.

Humidity doesn’t just affect the temperature we feel. It can also pose other problems as well. If humidity levels are too high you can see a higher prevalence of dust mites, mold and mildew which can result in health issues, allergies, hot upper floors, and trouble sleeping.

When humidity levels are too low, it can result in dry cracking wood, a higher chance of getting sick due to nasal passages drying out, dry cracked skin and scratchy throats, and cold spots in your home.

Needless to say, controlling the humidity levels in your home is one of the easiest ways to become more comfortable in your home.

What’s the best humidity level for your home?

Okay, so we know why humidity levels are important in our homes. But what should the humidity level be inside our homes? Experts recommend that humidity levels in your home be between 40 and 60%. To meet in the middle of those numbers, we recommend homeowners keep their house as close to 50% as possible through the year. Anything below or above that threshold is where those problems start to present themselves.

 How to manage humidity levels in your home?

So we’ve gone over why humidity levels matter and what the ranges can be, but how do we manage it? First let’s talk about lowering high humidity. Believe it or not your air conditioner does a lot of dehumidification during the summer. You can also increase the frequency your blower motor runs, even without your air conditioner running, to help remove excess moisture. 

However, if you experience a lot of humidity, investing in a whole-home dehumidifier may be worth considering. It works by removing excess moisture in the air. For example, the Aprilaire E100 dehumidifier is capable of removing over 100 gallons of water per day. Not only can it help keep humidity levels down, but your air conditioner also won’t have to work as hard, which saves you money in the long run.

Humidity levels in the winter are the polar opposite. It’s not uncommon to have humidity levels in the teens during the winter and the air to be dry. For comparison, that’s more dry than the average humidity of the Sahara Desert!

If this is a problem for you, a whole-home humidifier is recommended. There are a number of options to choose from, but they all work similarly by adding moisture to your home, usually via the ductwork. Remember, every 5% increase in relative humidity equals a degree on your thermostat. Think of the cost savings you can achieve during the winter by allowing you to not have to run the furnace as much and still maintain the same level of comfort. Not to mention the health benefits associated with optimal humidity levels. 

How can I track the humidity in my home?

By now you may be asking, “how do you know what humidity levels are in your house?” The easiest way is through a thermostat. Most modern thermostats have displays for humidity levels and can actively help manage the level. 

Another way of determining humidity levels is with a humidistat that is used to monitor humidity levels in an area. Most are digital and can be picked up from your local hardware store. And if you do choose a humidifier or dehumidifier, most come equipped with sensors that monitor humidity levels.

Take control of your comfort

I hope by now you have a better understanding of humidity and how to control it. If you’d like more information on humidity controlling solutions or are looking to take control of the comfort in your home give us a call or schedule a free in-home estimate by clicking the link at the top of the screen. Thank you for watching and we look forward to making your day better.

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