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How Humid Should You Keep Your Home?
- 1.0 What Role Does Humidity Play in your home?
- 1.1 What is humidity?
- 1.2 What is Calgary’s Humidity like?
- 1.3 How Does Your Home’s Humidity affect the human body?
- 1.4 What happens with too much or to little humidity?
- 1.5 What Humidity Level Should you have in Your Home?
- 1.6 What you can do to control temperature and humidity in your home?
What Role Does Humidity Play in your home?
Having the proper humidity in your home solves a wide variety of issues that can arise. Home air quality and more importantly, healthy air quality, is highly dependant on the humidity levels. It can affect how dry your skin is, how easy it is to breathe which helps alleviate respiratory issues like asthma, and can reduce mould and other harmful airborne particles.
What is humidity?
There are actually two different ways to measure humidity. One is known as absolute humidity and the other is called relative humidity. In your home we refer to humidity as relative humidity RH but we will explain how both work.
What is Absolute humidity?
According to how stuff works Absolute humidity…
“is the mass of water vapor divided by the mass of dry air in a volume of air at a given temperature.
As you can see humidity is affected by temperature. The warmer the air is the more water it can contain.
What is Relative Humidity?
Relative humidity is the ratio of the current absolute humidity to the highest possible absolute humidity. What this is, is a general measurement for how much water there is in the air relative to how much more water the air can hold. 100% humidity means the air cannot hold any more water.
What is Calgary’s Humidity like?
Now if you live in Southern Alberta you’ll know that winters are extremely dry. This is because it stays very cold here making it hard for water to stay in the air.
If you have ever traveled to a warm destination like Mexico during a Calgary winter you will know the feeling of humidity and the difference it makes on your breathing. It feels like you’re breathing in a bucket of water… because in a sense you kind of are.
If you haven’t, let’s explain….
How Does Your Home’s Humidity Affect The Human Body?
When your body gets hot it starts to sweat. That sweat evaporates which makes you feel cooler. The quicker your sweat can evaporate the cooler you will feel. If the air in your home is 100% humidity or just in general a high humidity you will feel much warmer as your body will have a harder time getting rid of sweat.
Hopefully this starts to make sense why having a humidifier in you Calgary home is so important. If the humidity is higher you won’t need to turn up your home’s temperature as high to feel warmer. Which in turn can save you on your energy bills from your furnace working so much harder.
For example, if the air temperature is 24 degrees Celsius and the relative humidity is zero percent, the air temperature feels like 21 C to our bodies. If the air temperature is 24 C and the relative humidity is 100 percent, we feel like it’s 27 C out.
In Calgary, Winters are extremely dry because the temperature is that much colder. That makes it difficult to maintain water and overall make its difficult for you to feel warm in your home.
Usually locations around the equator have a high humidity as they have a higher temperature and as a result you feel much hotter.
What happens With Too Much Or Too little Humidity?
What are the problems with too much humidity in your home?
Too much humidity is not a great thing either. Calgary has a more humid summer.
- Too much moisture increases the growth rate and spread of mold, mildew, fungi, bacteria, and viruses.
- With increased air contaminants, your family’s air quality quickly decreases, causing illness, and potentially damage to your home.
- When indoor humidity levels are too high, these air borne illnesses increase symptoms of asthma and allergies.
- Too High humidity will causes your home to feel muggy and makes you feel like you’re always sweating.
- Sometime you can notice visible condensation on windows and walls. When you take a hot shower you notice it on the mirror as the amount of water in the air is highly increased.
- In the summer as humidity is higher most people will crank up their air conditioning systems but in reality you can usually decrease the feeling of your air temperature by decreasing your home’s humidity, which can save you thousands on your energy bills.
What are the problems with having not enough humidity in your home?
- When the relative humidity in your home is low and the air is too dry, asthma and allergy symptoms can worsen.
- Your Skin becomes extremely dry
- Chapped Lips
- Dry Airways and harder to breathe.
- Low humidity levels like those here in Southern Alberta will actually causes your body to feel colder, despite a warm indoor temperature. As the dry air steals away moisture from your skin, most turn to the thermostat to increase the home’s temperature.. Therefore, more energy is expended to heat the home, when a boost in humidity could have kept you comfortable for less.
- If you have hardwood floors, wood instruments or other types of wood in your home low humidity can cause significant damage. Cracking your floors, and other wood furniture throughout your home.
- Nose bleeds…. If you or your family suffers consistent nosebleeds you can blame Calgary’s dry weather.
What Humidity Level Should you have in Your Home?
What Should Your House Humidity Be In Calgary?
In Calgary, Humidity levels change throughout the year. In the summer the humidity is much higher, and in the winter humidity is almost non existent causing significantly dryer climate. So you may want to adjust your humidifier throughout the year according to the climate conditions of the season.
What should humidity be in my house in the summer?
In the summer you can be more conservative about your home’s humidity due to the natural humidity in the air. We recommend keeping your home around 35-45%.
What should humidity be in house in the winter?
In the winter we recommend for you to keep your relative humidity levels around 40-50%. This gives the perfect balance for you to feel the warmest without having to turn up your Furnace temperature.
What humidity should I keep my basement?
As mold and mildew develop at a higher rate with humidity levels over 80% you should keep your basements humidity level below 50% throughout the year.
What you can do to control temperature and humidity in your home?
Depending on the time of year, your climate, and your day to day lifestyle, your humidity could range in your home.
In the summer with higher humidity levels you can use bathroom fans and oven hood fans to keep the air flow in your home and draw out moisture.
You could also invest in a dehumidifier if your home consistently exceeds recommended humidity levels.
In Calgary this is rarely the case. Most times humidity is low even in the summer months. As you may have heard before with it being a “dry heat.”
We recommend investing in a whole home humidifier to consistent maintain your home’s humidity throughout all rooms. This is better for your health, breathing and many wood products throughout your home such as your hardwood floors and furniture.
Home humidity is imperative to you and your family’s health and lifestyle. Maintaining the proper humidity can improve and reduce symptoms of asthma, sore throat, nose bleeds, dry skin, it can also reduce mould and mildew in your air and the chances of airborne illnesses.
Maintaining somewhere between 35%-50% is usually a good rule of thumb to follow when it comes to the ideal humidity in your home in Calgary.
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