Once Fall is in full swing, homeowners start to notice a change in their comfort level in the home. Whether it be the outdoor temperatures are colder and making the house feel chilly or even just certain rooms are less comfortable, it is that time of year – the furnace gets turned on and we start to experience drier air. So what do we do? We turn on the humidifier to keep the indoor air more comfortable. But what is the right humidity level for your home?Too little humidity also makes for a less comfortable home. Too much humidity can cause condensation on the windows, and in worse cases, mold, mildew, and rot can begin to appear in the home.
Keeping in mind that every home is different, humidity levels can be affected by many factors. The number of people living in the home, the number of showers taken, the amount of laundry done and even a wood burning fireplace contributes to humidity levels if you keep firewood inside to dry out. The number of times a day an exterior door is opened and even cooking all affect your comfort level.
The most common range for humidity in the winter is between 40 and 60%. Finding the best number for your home inside of this range, you will tend to be less itchy, experience fewer nose bleeds and less static electricity. As well, your hardwood floors will be less likely to dry out. The best way to monitor the humidity is with a portable humidistat. This device helps you better understand the humidity level in the various areas of the home and adjust the humidifier setting accordingly. Keeping an eye on the amount of condensation on your windows is another great way to gauge your house humidity level.
And remember, the colder it becomes outside, the easier it becomes for moisture to appear on your windows. Warm air is drawn to cold air. The colder it is outside, the easier the warm air will migrate to a cold surface like your windows, and form condensation. So you most likely will have to turn the humidity level down. Monitoring the amount of condensation on your windows is as good a way as any to gauge and adjust the humidity level in your home.