What is the Ideal Level of Humidity for Your Family?

Posted On: January 11, 2022

As HVAC professionals, we spend a lot of time talking about how to best heat and cool your home. Especially when we’re in the thick of the winter or summer months in Richmond.  What is not discussed quite as often is the level of humidity in our homes.  What is the ideal humidity for you and your family, and what are ways to control or improve this?  Controlling the humidity in your home can be a crucial aspect to maintaining a comfortable and safe living environment.

Humidity and Feeling Comfortable 

Have you ever thought why we as humans are so uncomfortable in humid climates?  When humidity levels are close to 100%, our bodies cannot absorb the extra moisture in the air.  Our skin uses the air around it to rid moisture of the body, or what we call, sweat.

Sweat is your body’s thermostat and air conditioner. When you sweat, it is your body’s attempt to maintain its own ideal temperature. When you are in the process of ridding that extra moisture to cool yourself, and the sweat has nowhere to go in a humid environment, it leaves us feeling hot, sticky and uncomfortable.

Finding the Optimal Humidity Level for Your Family 

So now that we’ve covered the ‘what and why’ on humidity and comfort levels, let’s discuss how it’s relevant to the level in your home.  Every family will have a different preference on what this level should be, and it will highly depend on the time of year, body temperature nature and lifestyle.

Research shows that the ideal relative humidity level for your home is between 40%-60%. However, to discourage the growth and spread of mold, Short Pump Heating and air recommends levels should be kept below 50%. This will vary across family and home, and will also be impacted by the outdoor humidity. You can control the levels by taking measures such as caulking and sealing leaky windows and doors letting in excess air and humidity, or installing a dehumidifier in your home.

To conclude, here are some quick benchmarks for ideal humidity levels vs. outdoor temperatures as a point of reference:

  • Outdoor temperature between -10˚F and 0˚F, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 25%
  • For an outdoor temperature between 0˚F and 10˚F, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 30%
  • Outdoor temperature between 10˚F and 20˚F, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 35%
  • With an outdoor temperature over 20˚F, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 40%
  • For an outdoor temperature over 50˚F, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 50%

If any of your humidity levels seem off, call Short Pump Heating & Air at 804-364-9040 today to have one of our expert technicians come and asses the issue so you and your family can get back to comfortable levels!

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