Humidity and Humidifier Tips

Humidity and Humidifier Tips

An important part of keeping your home comfortable in the winter is humidity. Too much or too little humidity includes a set of problems that can have minor or even major implications. Read these humidity and humidifier tips.

Relative humidity is a measure of how much moisture is in the air. It is expressed as a percentage. The ideal range for home comfort is normally anywhere from 40% to 50% relative humidity.

During the Winter we Heat Air. The Air Then Expands

Imagine that it is 0°C outside and the relative humidity outside is 40%. Inside, your furnace heats the air to 20°C. The air expands when heated, but the amount of moisture in the air is unchanged. Your heated indoor air will now have a relative humidity quite a bit lower than 40%.

Air that is too dry can lead to drier skin. In the morning,  you will likely wake up with a dry throat and nose. Dry air also leads to more static electricity. Wooden floors can develop splits along the grain or gaps between the boards. Furniture may also crack or loosen at the joints.

Recommended humidity levels can save you money on your heating bill. If your home is 20°C with 40% relative humidity, you will be quite comfortable. If the air is drier ( lower relative humidity) you will feel cooler. Someone will be reaching for the thermostat to increase the temperature.

Humidistat to control Humidity in the Home

Humidistat to control Humidity in the Home

A properly operating humidifier installed on your furnace will correct these problems. In the fall, when you shut down your air conditioner, turn your humidifier on. Set the humidistat at 40%. The humidifier will automatically work to add moisture to the air in your home. Be sure the water to the humidifier is turned on and the bypass damper is open. Depending on the type of humidifier you should install a new pad or panel. If you have the old drum style humidifier, clean the water tray.