Heating and air conditioner repair technicians sometimes get questions from customers about humidifier use and its effects on their indoor environment. One of the most common questions is about recommended indoor humidity levels for the winter season. The guide below is useful in answering this question:
- Outdoor temperature: 20-40 degrees above 0; indoor humidity =/<40%
- Outdoor temperature: 10-20 degrees above 0; indoor humidity =/<35%
- Outdoor temperature: 0-10 degrees above 0; indoor humidity =/<30%
- Outdoor temperature: 10 degrees below 0 to 0; indoor humidity =/<25%
- Outdoor temperature: 20-10 degrees below 0; indoor humidity =/<20%
- Outdoor temperature: lower than 20 degrees below 0; indoor humidity =/<15%
Why You Need a Humidifier in the Winter
Many people need a humidifier to control indoor humidity levels during the winter. This is because when the air is too cold, it’s often also very dry. Cold air is incapable of carrying much moisture. To combat the ill effects of cold and dry air, a humidifier has to produce optimal indoor humidity levels.
When the Air Is Too Dry
Without a humidifier, winter air can be a problem. You may have problems sleeping because the cold, dry air makes your home uncomfortable. You might also have problems with irritation, including nosebleeds and dry, itchy skin. Dry air also makes it harder for your HVAC system to make your rooms warm and comfortable. When there are problems like this with air quality, HVAC technicians are sometimes called in because the homeowner thinks there’s an issue with the heating system.
When There’s Too Much Humidity
However, if you constantly use a humidifier, this might lead to problems with condensation. This problem is typically due to a lack of attic insulation and ventilation, so when warm, moist indoor air rises into the attic, it can’t escape. This happens when temperatures rise after a deep freeze. When the warm, moist air hits the underside of the roof, which is cold, condensation forms. If there’s another cold snap, that condensation freezes and gets thicker. Another rise in temperatures will then melt it until you think your roof is leaking.
By following the guidelines above, you can prevent dry, uncomfortable air, and as well as excess humidity in your home. Make sure to have your attic inspected for adequate insulation and ventilation, also.