How Humid Should You Keep Your Home? Calgary & Edmonton Edition
If you are like most people, you probably know what the ideal temperature of your home is. Even if you do not know the number by heart, you can probably tell when someone has adjusted the thermostat.
Setting the temperature in your home should be as easy as adjusting your thermostat up or down accordingly, but have you ever considered how humidity affects your home’s temperature and your family’s comfort? Is there an ideal humidity level, or does it vary from house to house like ideal temperatures?
The short answer:
- Summer: 45% – 55%
- Winter: 25% – 35%
What is Humidity?
Humidity refers to how much water vapour is currently in the air, and the temperature at which that vapour condenses into dew (the dew point).
The Impact of Climate on Humidity
The climate plays a large role in determining how humid you should keep your home, and the air quality of your home depends, in part, on humidity levels. Warmer air is typically able to hold more water than colder air. This means that warmer temperatures cause water to evaporate more quickly and allow the air to hold more water vapour.
Central Alberta’s Climate
Central Alberta has a continental climate, which means that the summers are typically very hot and the winters are typically very cold. Since warm air holds water vapour more effectively than cold air summers in central Alberta are relatively humid, but the extreme cold means that winters are incredibly dry.
How Humidity Impacts Your Home’s Air Quality
The humidity level in your home plays a large role in your home’s air quality. A more humid environment can help reduce the spread of airborne diseases, prevent snoring, help keep your skin soft, and extend the life of your furniture.
You may want to invest in a humidifier if you or another member of your household:
- Suffer from allergies, asthma, or other breathing problems: Increased humidity can make it easier for adults and children with asthma, allergies, or other breathing problems (such as a respiratory infection) to breath without difficulty. However, you need to make sure that your humidifier is not spreading dust or other allergens. Make sure your humidifier is well maintained, and that you clean the filter regularly.
- Get frequent nosebleeds: Moist air helps moisturize your skin (including the skin inside your nose). This helps prevent cracking and bleeding, reducing nosebleeds.
- Snore: Proper humidity levels can open up your airways, reducing or even eliminating snoring.
Finding Your Home’s Ideal Humidity Level
Health Canada recommends that you aim to keep your home’s humidity levels between 30% and 55%. This ideal level of moisture will help your home feel warmer in the winter without having to turn up the thermostat. This helps improve energy efficiency and reduces wear and tear on your furnace.
If Humidity Levels Are Too Low
When the air in our homes is too dry, it can allow viruses and other airborne toxins to thrive. Individuals who live in homes without adequate humidity tend to experience more sore throats, dry skin, and illnesses. If your home’s humidity levels drop below 30%, you should use a humidifier to raise it. If you do use a humidifier, make sure that it is cleaned regularly and maintained properly.
If Humidity Levels Are Too High
Too much moisture can lead to mold and mildew problems, which can compromise the health of your family. While appropriate humidity levels can offer relief from allergies and asthma symptoms, the presence of mold can make them worse.
In central Alberta, excessive humidity levels are typically only a problem during the summer months. You can reduce the humidity level in your home using an air conditioner. Air conditioners cool ourhomes, which reduces moisture levels by dehumidifying the air.
Improve Your Home’s Air Quality
If the air quality in your home is lacking Action Furnace can help. We will assess your home and help you determine whether your home could benefit from a humidifier or an air conditioner. We also offer furnace and hot water heater installation and maintenance services. For more information about how we can help you improve your home’s air quality and comfort, please contact us today.