If an HVAC expert asked you, "What is the ideal home humidity for Ohio homes?" would you know what to say? The fact is, most homeowners don't understand the role humidity plays in home comfort and energy savings.
Ideal home humidity will help you stay comfortable so you can run your air conditioning equipment less and reduce your energy bills significantly.
Just follow these tips:
- It's a balancing act. Indoor air gets dry in the winter, which makes you feel cooler indoors and can damage your furniture and other items made from wood. When it's 40 degrees outside, the relative humidity in the air is about 45 percent, which is fine. But for every 10 degrees the temperature outside falls, the amount of moisture the air can hold will decrease by roughly 5 percent. The good news is that a whole-house humidifier will regulate the relative humidity inside your house to an idea range from 45-55 percent. Portable humidifiers can also add moisture to the air, but only in limited areas, and usually without a gauge to tell you what the humidity is.
- Different day and night settings. At night, you probably lower the temperature on your furnace or heat pump by a few degrees. At the same time, make sure you lower the setting on your humidifier to account for the change in your indoor temperature.
- Check for condensation gathering around your windows. If you're trying to balance the humidity in your indoor air, pay attention to the windows. Since that's the point where the outside and indoor air meet, it's the first spot to show signs of a humidity imbalance. The reason condensation gathers at the windows is that cold air cannot hold as much moisture as warm air, and the air touching your windows is the coldest air in your home. So, if you start to notice signs of condensation, you likely need to reduce the amount of humidity you're introducing into your indoor air.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Mid-Ohio area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about home humidity and other HVAC topics, visit our website.
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