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Your Home’s Relative Humidity: The Ideal

Posted on: January 2nd, 2013 by Jason Connell

Your Home's Relative Humidity: The IdealYour home is as sensitive to environmental conditions as you are, and when the humidity level isn’t right, you and your home can suffer. For homes in dry climates, humidity in winter can often be a problem, causing dry skin, throats, and nasal passages, as well as cracking and chipping of the wood in your furniture, casings and moldings, and wooden musical instruments. To prevent these and other low-moisture problems, calculate your home’s relative humidity.

What is Relative Humidity?

The amount of moisture in the air is called humidity, and the humidity in your home is measured relative to the saturation point of air. This saturation point is different at different temperatures, meaning that warmer air can support more moisture than colder air and still have the same relative humidity. If you decrease the temperature of the air indoors, your relative humidity will increase, while if you increase indoor air temperature, as we do in winter, your home’s relative humidity will decrease.

The ideal relative humidity of your home will change depending upon the external air temperature. For physical comfort and maintenance of your home’s woodwork, 45 percent relative humidity is ideal. However, it is difficult to maintain this perfect moisture level throughout the winter because the humidity is not evenly distributed throughout your house. Furthermore, the surfaces that tend to be made of wood are often the very ones that have differing humidity levels. Windows and doors are especially susceptible to drastic humidity differences, which can often cause excessive humidity — otherwise known as condensation — that can foster mold and peeling paint.

Establishing Ideal Relative Humidity

The best way to manage indoor humidity is to invest in a whole-house humidifier. A whole-house humidifier can be set relative to outdoor temperatures in order to maintain a stable ideal humidity level throughout the house. Some whole-house humidifying systems will even measure outdoor temperature for you and adjust automatically to keep you and your belongings safe and comfortable all winter long.

For more advice on whole-house humidifiers in the Fort Worth/Arlington area, contact AirRite Air Conditioning Company,

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Fort Worth and Arlington, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about relative humidity and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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