When cold months kick in, it means that the air around you will turn extra dry.
So, what is a good humidity level inside during winter? Based on research, an indoor humidity level of 30% to 50% is ideal for better health and comfort.
However, keeping the air in the house this moist throughout the winter season can lead to water and ice forming on your windows.
Moisture will gather along the cavities and wall of your attic and it can then lead to some serious problems.
The perfect solution here is to look for a happy medium between humidity levels inside your house that will not cause moisture concerns or nosebleeds on the contrary.
Homeowners with a humidifier should adjust this at the start of the winter to a level that won’t over humidify the living area.
A hygrometer can be used for accurately measuring the relative humidity level indoors. Lower temperatures outdoors will require a lower humidity level inside the home.
Humidity Levels That Can be Considered as Comfortable and Healthy
However, as mentioned earlier, keeping the levels during the season will require some juggling. The air outdoors will naturally affect the humidity inside your windows every time your windows or doors are opened.
A traditional forced-air heating system also contributes to low humidity as it replaces interior air with drier air from outdoors.
However, humidity in the house if the outdoor temperature freezes or below can result to build up of ice and water on the windows, and worse, mold along walls.
That is why it is a must to reach the ideal levels that will not harm you or your house.
The good rule of thumb you can follow is that when the outside temperature is lower, the humidity should also be lower.
Many modern HVAC thermostats let you set your home’s humidity level. A hygrometer that you can find in home improvement stores can also provide an accurate measurement.
To get the best results, the humidity level inside your house should be adjusted based on the outside temperature.
Below is a quick tip for a house that has been set at a temperature of 70 degrees.
- Temperature outdoors is 20 to 40 degrees – The humidity level inside should not go beyond 40 percent.
- Temperature outdoors is 10 to 20 degrees – The humidity level inside should not go beyond 30 percent. Take note that a level below 30 percent can lead to common dryness symptoms and discomfort. A humidifier comes in handy in this case.
- Temperature outdoors is 0 to 10 degrees – The humidity level inside should remain at 30 percent or slightly lower.
- Temperature outdoors is between -10 and 0 degrees – The humidity level must not go beyond 25 percent.
- If you are unlucky to live in a place where outdoor temperatures reach 10 to 20 degrees below, the humidity inside your house should not exceed 20 percent. A humidifier, in this case, is important to keep you healthy and comfortable.
Dry Air and Its Negative Effects
Dry air has several notable negative effects, which include the following:
- The possibility of damage to the house such as walls, floors, electronics, and wood furniture.
- Increased risks of getting sick and aggravating or developing respiratory problems.
- Increases utility costs since dry air can feel colder that will prompt you to turn the heat up, making the air much drier.
- Increased risks of static shocks, bloody noses, allergies, asthma, sore throats, and itchy or dry eyes, skin, and throat.
The dry air is responsible for most health issues related to cold weather during flu and cold season. It is the reason why you have to be extra mindful of the humidity level in your house.
Maintaining the humidity at a comfortable and healthy level will help control most of these symptoms.
Tips for Humidification for Dry Air During Winter Season
- Air dry all your clothes to save on energy costs and introduce humidity.
- Houseplants can help improve the quality of indoor air and release some moisture to the air by way of transpiration.
- Open the bathroom door when bathing or showering.
- Indoor fountains, standing water, and fish tanks all add to the air moisture through evaporation.
- Your home’s heating system can contribute to dry air inside so lower your thermostat whenever you can. This will even let you save on your utility bills.
- Cook more often on your stovetop to introduce the much-needed moisture.
- Insulate and seal your house to keep out the cold and dry winter air.
If you notice condensation on the windows, chances are the humidity level is already too high. Again, a hygrometer can be used for measuring the humidity levels of your home.
Aside from personal wellbeing, once the levels of humidity are within the recommended range of EPA, a home will be able to heat more efficiently as well.
These levels will allow a lower setting in the thermostat that can help lessen the time to run your HVAC system, lowering your electricity bill as a result.
Whole-home humidification is a wonderful solution to maintain healthy levels of humidity. This can be directly installed into the central air unit of your home.
This works for your entire house instead of just one room, unlike portable humidifiers.
A perforated panel or absorbent pad is directly installed into the airflow of your system to introduce the much-needed moisture to the air.
As it gets water from the main water line, you don’t have to drain or refill it.
There is also no need to turn this off and on because this uses the integrated humidity reader to identify when to dehumidify or humidify your house.
The winter season is time to be extra mindful of your home’s humidity levels to enjoy a healthier and happier winter.