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What’s the Best Humidity Level for My House? (Canada Edition)

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Dehumidifier, Home Comfort

Action Furnace provides state of the art indoor air quality solutions for Albertans, including whole-home humidifiers. Learn how to set the best humidity level for a typical house in Canada here, and how you can benefit from doing so.


Posted by Ryan | October 30, 2023

Finding the best humidity level for your house is a vital part of staying comfortable. A home that’s too humid can make you feel clammy, while a home that’s not humid enough can feel scratchy and dry. Health Canada recommends keeping your humidity between 30% and 55%—but what are the benefits of optimal humidity and how can you achieve it in Alberta’s unique climate?

Installing whole-home humidifiers throughout Calgary and Edmonton is something we’ve done for years at Action Furnace, so our team knows all about how to nail this crucial aspect of home comfort. Read on as we walk you through why humidity matters and what you can do to keep your levels correct.

Why Humidity Matters for Alberta Homes

Alberta’s climate is notoriously dry, especially in the winter. During the coldest months of the year, humidity in Calgary and Edmonton can easily drop below 30%.

The Effects of Low Humidity

When your home’s humidity is too low, you might experience:

  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Cracked lips
  • Coughing, congestion, or nosebleeds
  • Static electricity buildup on skin or clothes
  • Increased susceptibility to allergies or illnesses
  • Damage to wooden floors and furnitures

Humidity in Alberta typically rises during the summer months, but running your air conditioner can offset this by removing moisture from the air in your home. This means humidity can still be too low in your home, even when the weather is warm.

The Effects of Too Much Humidity

Too much humidity isn’t good either—so you’ll want to keep your humidity levels below 55% when the temperature spikes. Otherwise, you might experience:

  • Stuffy and clammy indoor air
  • Musty smells indoors
  • Allergies and respiratory issues
  • Pest issues (dust mites, silverfish, and roaches all thrive in humid environments)
  • Damage to your paint, wallpaper, and even the structure of your home

Humidity spikes can happen unexpectedly during Alberta summers, or if you’re adding moisture to your indoor air indiscriminately (such as with standalone humidifiers, which are harder to dial in than whole-home models). Many whole-home humidifiers can also function as dehumidifiers, reducing the humidity levels in your home if they are too high.

See Also: How to Reduce Condensation on Inside Windows

Finally, remember that Alberta’s temperatures can vary significantly during any season—which means you might be running your air conditioner or furnace outside of the regular cooling or heating seasons. All of these factors make it hard to keep your home humidity levels stable without specific equipment.

How to Improve Home Humidity in Calgary or Edmonton

The best way to ensure consistent humidity in your home is to use a whole-home humidifier. Whole-home humidifiers add moisture to the air flowing through your ductwork, ensuring consistent humidity throughout your entire home.

See Also: The 2023 Alberta Humidifier Buyer’s Guide

Whole-home humidifiers tend to be more energy-efficient and easier to regulate than standalone models, which only provide humidity in the specific rooms they’re placed in and can easily add too much or too little if you forget to adjust each individual unit. Since whole-home humidifiers are installed directly in your HVAC system, they automatically provide the right level of humidity based on your thermostat settings—making it much easier to keep the balance right, even in Alberta’s unpredictable climate.

The Benefits of Improving Your Humidity

Having the right humidity level at home provides numerous benefits—to both your health and the condition of your home. Here’s what you can expect:

Health Benefits

  • Reduced risk of respiratory infections
  • Reduced chance of developing asthma or allergies
  • Less irritation to the nose, throat and lungs
  • Relief from dry skin, cracked lips, bloody noses, sinus congestion, and itchy eyes 
  • Easier breathing during sleep

Home Benefits

  • Lower risk of hardwood floors warping, separating, and splitting
  • Prevents wood furniture from shrinking, warping, and cracking
  • Helps prevent rot, mold, and mildew
  • Extends the lifespan of furniture, carpets, and other household items
  • Reduces the risk of silver tarnishing
  • Less static electricity in the air

Installing a Whole Home Humidifier in Your HVAC System

Whole-home humidifiers are easier to use properly than standalone versions—and while they typically cost a bit more, you only have to buy one instead of purchasing a separate unit for each room. Buying a whole-home humidifier with the right capacity and features is one of the most cost-effective and convenient ways to keep your home in Healthy Canada’s recommended range throughout Alberta’s changing temperatures, dry winters, and short, hot summers.

For an accurate quote on an effective whole-home humidifier, contact Action Furnace and speak with one of our professional comfort advisors. We’ll ask you a few quick questions about your home’s requirements and help you create a plan for adding the right equipment to your HVAC system.

Frequently Asked Questions about Home Humidity

What are the disadvantages of standalone humidifiers?

Standalone humidifiers are designed to add moisture to specific rooms rather than the entire home. Given Alberta’s fluctuating climate, they may not provide consistent humidity throughout the entire house. Additionally, they require frequent manual adjustments, making them less efficient in maintaining the desired humidity levels.

How do whole-home humidifiers prevent homes from getting too humid?

Whole-home humidifiers are installed in your HVAC system and controlled via your thermostat. Modern units also have dehumidifiers built-in that can remove moisture from the air when levels start to get too high, without the need for you to run your AC. This keeps humidity levels optimal without increasing your cooling costs or changing the temperature in your home.

Are there any added costs to maintain a whole-home humidifier?

While whole-home humidifiers are more efficient, they might require periodic maintenance to ensure they run effectively. When you have us install a humidifier in your home, we’ll let you know how to maintain it between annual heating and cooling tune-ups.

How can I check to see if my home’s humidity is within the recommended range?

Most modern thermostats also include humidity readings—but if you don’t have one, you can use a hygrometer to measure your indoor humidity levels.

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Written by Ryan Tutak

Ryan is considered one of Calgary's most knowledgeable residential HVAC specialists. Working in the industry for over 12 years, he's helped thousands of homeowners with their heating and cooling systems. Outside of running Calgary's most reputable HVAC business, you can find him on the Golf course practicing his short game or traveling with his family. His main goal is to create a positive collaborative culture, one in which his employees are excited to come in and are motivated to work hard. He spends the majority of his day working directly with Home Comfort Advisors, Service and Maintenance Technicians, and Customer Service Representatives ensuring they are fully prepared to lead the Home Service Industry in Customer Service.

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