HUMIDITY....WHAT EXACTLY IS IT?????

March 27, 2019

HUMIDITY AND ROOM TEMPERATURE

 

Room temperature and relative humidity occur in all buildings.  Simply put, room temperature is a comfortable ambient temperature;  not too hot or not too cold.  Relative humidity is a measure of how much moisture is present in the air, compared to how much moisture there could be. These factors are greatly influenced by the weather or conditions outside and are impacted further by factors like windows and doors being open. Simple factors like where are homes are located will be affected by this...think of living beside Niagara Falls vs. a home in the middle of farm land.  Room temperature and relative humidity (RH) are constantly changing due to natural weather patterns and the changing seasons however drastic fluctuations are not advisable.  Anybody that has a flood in their home can understand the negative impact of a whole lot of water in a short period of time.  

 

What is the right temperature for your home?  Only you can begin to answer that question.  The ability to answer that may not even be possible among the actual resident's of the home unless all the people living in there are 100% the same and can come to an agreement on the setting on the thermostat.  I think we can all agree when I say THAT NEVER HAPPENS.   Like Goldilocks and the three bears:  One is always too hot, one is always too cold and one is always just right.  The best temperature is the one in which you are comfortable and aren't thinking about.  

 

Did you know that a healthy relative humidity (RH) is directly related to indoor air quality.  An RH of 30 – 50% (at maximum) for most of the year promotes a healthy home and healthy occupants.  Humidity is moisture and too much moisture can promote microbial growth.  Mould growth is especially concerning due to the potential effects on the occupants in the home.   If the RH is too low, the building can be too dry and cause dry throats, skin and eyes.  Most will find a thermostat setting in the 20-22 degree range is comfortable for most people.  Seniors may need it a little higher, and pregnant women a little lower.

 

HOW CAN I CONTROL THE HUMIDITY?

 

There are many ways to control the temperature and humidity in a house using the tools we already have in the home.  Simply using the range hood when you cook and bathroom fan(s) while you are using the shower will have a noticeable impact on the moisture content in those rooms.  Using these as part of our every day routines will remove excess moisture from the home as it is produced, before it has a chance to cause damage.  Other appliances and equipment can also come in handy depending on the situation and the season.  In summer, turn on an air conditioner or fans to lower the perceived temperature and dehumidify the air.  If necessary, use a portable dehumidifier in the basement or in any room that needs it.  A humidifier will help in the event the building is too dry.  These can be portable or installed on the furnace to eliminate the guesswork.  A portable unit is especially beneficial if you are a renter in your home and don't have the ability to permanently install fixtures in the home.

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