Getting the Right Humidity Levels for Your Home

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Most of us don't realize we can control the humidity levels in our homes for greater comfort. Too often, our homes are too damp in summer, or too dry in winter. Read on for ways to control home humidity.

Best Relative Humidity

The best humidity levels are usually between 35 and 55 percent. In summer it's best if the humidity is lower — around 35-40 percent — because warm air holds moisture, which can make us feel even more uncomfortable on a hot day. Relative humidity higher than 50-55 percent prevents perspiration from evaporating on our skin, so that we feel sticky and can't cool off.

In winter, it's best to keep the humidity a little closer to the 50-55 percent range so that the air retains some moisture. This helps prevent skin and respiratory tract irritations that result from too-dry air.

How to Control Humidity

To monitor humidity in the home, you will need an inexpensive humidistat.

When you want your air to be drier, do the following:

1. Install exhaust ventilation to the outdoors in wet areas such as bathroom and kitchen.

2. Make sure you change the air filter in the HVAC system, and have the evaporator coils cleaned. The HVAC won't dehumidify your home effectively with a dirty filter and coils.

3. Sequester plants to one room so they don't give off moisture throughout the home.

4. Limit shower time, as well as the boiling of water.

5. Fix plumbing and ceiling leaks.

6. Air seal your home and fix your ductwork to prevent the intrusion of moist air.

7. You may even need to install a dehumidifier if your home is excessively damp.

For more on controlling home humidity, contact Air Assurance of Broken Arrow.