People tend to focus on temperature when gauging whether they’re a space feels good. They often overlook the role humidity plays in keeping them comfortable at home and in their businesses. But humidity levels are crucial to comfort levels. Beyond that, they are also critical to keeping spaces free of mold and other pathogens and for keeping the people who inhabit those spaces healthy.
What’s the right level of humidity?
First, a quick recap of humidity levels in living spaces. Humidity refers to the amount of water vapor present in the air in a space. It’s related to temperature: warmer air can hold relatively more water vapor than cooler air does (which is why a hot day can feel so sticky). As a broad guideline, you want your indoor spaces to hover around 40-45% humidity. Anything lower than 30% humidity can feel dry and affect skin and hair. It can make breathing less comfortable. On the other end, humidity over 50% can make a room that’s at a normally comfortable temperature feel humid.
If humidity depends on the weather, what can a homeowner or a business owner do? Luckily, there are solutions for both high and low humidity. The first step involves learning what your home or business’s humidity level is. You may already have this information on hand. Many smart thermometers that newer houses come with will give you a reading for indoor humidity. If not, you can buy an inexpensive hygrometer (a fancy term for “humidity meter”) online. You may want more than one, as certain rooms can show higher humidity than others. Older basements are notorious for being humid, for example. Bathrooms are another natural culprit.
Too humid or not humid enough… what to do?
Once you’ve determined your home or business’s humidity level, you can decide your course of action. If you have a damp basement, for example, you may want to purchase a dehumidifier that covers the square footage of the area. If you find bedrooms too dry and wake up with a scratchy throat as a result, a simple humidifier for sleeping areas could make sleeping much more comfortable.
However, if you want a more system-wide solution, you may want to call in an expert. A properly trained HVAC expert can help you assess your needs and possibly offer home- or business-wide solutions that work in concert with your cooling and heating system. It’s the most sure-fire way to keep an even humidity level through your house or business.
Optimizing humidity levels at home and in your business is critical to health and comfort. What’s more, it’s an investment in your property. Homes and businesses kept at the proper level of humidity are easier to maintain and require less corrective action from damage due to the wrong level of humidity. It’s a relatively small expense that will pay dividends for years to come.