The humidity level in your home is just as important as temperature when it comes to staying comfortable throughout the year. While we typically have abundant humidity in Birmingham, AL over the summer months, however, achieving ideal indoor humidity winter levels can be difficult for homeowners. Douglas Cooling & Heating shares how to tell if your air is too dry and explains the right indoor humidity levels for winter temperatures as well as how to achieve them.
Ideal Indoor Humidity Winter Levels
Keeping indoor relative humidity levels balanced between 30 to 50 percent is the usual recommendation for most of the year, but the winter months can require some adjustments. When outdoor temperatures are colder, maintaining 50 percent relative humidity inside your home could cause excess moisture which can lead to problems such as condensation on surfaces, like your windows and walls. This time of year, lower ideal indoor humidity winter levels are recommended to prevent damage and mold growth.
The American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) provides the ideal indoor humidity winter levels according to outdoor temperatures:
- When outdoor temperatures are at or below -10 degrees Fahrenheit, the ideal relative indoor humidity level is 20 percent.
- For outdoor temperatures around 0 degrees Fahrenheit, keep indoor relative humidity levels at 25 percent.
- At outdoor temperatures of 10 degrees Fahrenheit, the ideal indoor humidity winter level is 30 percent.
- If outdoor temperatures are at 20 degrees, maintain indoor relative humidity levels at 35 percent.
- When the outdoor temperature is 30 degrees or higher, the ideal indoor humidity winter level is 40 percent.
Is Your Home Too Dry?
It’s normal in the winter months to experience dry indoor air more so than it is at other times of the year. Cold, dry air holds less moisture, which creates low humidity in your home. However, when the air contains too little moisture, this can lead to symptoms affecting you, your loved ones, and your home.
If you experience any of the following signs or symptoms, it’s a sign that you have dry air in your home and that your humidity levels need to be adjusted:
- Dry skin
- Itchy skin
- Cracked lips
- Sore throat
- Respiratory and sinus problems
- Increased allergy or asthma symptoms
- Increased static electricity
- Creaky wood flooring
- Wood doors that are difficult to open and close
- Gaps between walls and the ceiling
How to Maintain Ideal Indoor Humidity Winter Levels
Your home may need some assistance maintaining ideal indoor humidity winter levels due to the cold air outside. Add moisture to your home’s air and keep relative humidity levels balanced this season using appropriate tools and tips.
One great way to provide the added moisture your indoor air needs is to utilize a whole-home humidifier. A whole-home humidifier is installed alongside your HVAC equipment and adds moisture to air circulating through the system. There are a few different types of whole-home humidifiers: bypass and fan-powered units move circulating air through a water panel to add moisture. Steam humidifiers boil water to generate steam which is added inside the home’s ductwork. Whole-home humidifiers provide much greater coverage than portable units and require little maintenance to use, helping you gain the moisture you need for ideal indoor humidity winter levels throughout the house!
Help your home retain airborne moisture by eliminating air leaks. Install weather-stripping for a tight barrier around windows and doors. Seal cracks and gaps in exterior walls, the crawlspace, and in other areas where warm, indoor air can be lost.
Increase circulation to spread heat and humidity throughout the house. Keep doors open so air can circulate between rooms. Rearrange furniture so that items are not up against walls and air can circulate all around these pieces. Use fans to keep air moving throughout your living spaces.
Get Help with Winter Humidity Problems in Birmingham, AL
If you have trouble maintaining ideal indoor humidity winter levels inside your Birmingham, AL area home, Douglas Cooling & Heating can help. Contact us today to learn more about ways to increase moisture inside your house, such as installing a whole-home humidifier.