Relative humidity is the percentage of moisture in the air compared to its maximum capability to hold moisture under the same conditions. 70 degree air can hold more than 12 times as much moisture as 10 degree air. Outside air at 10 degrees and 70 percent relative humidity drops to 7 percent relative humidity when heated to normal room temperature without other internal sources of moisture, such as cooking, laundry, showers, etc. Your home should have a humidity of about 30% to 35% when the weather is cold. This amount of moisture in the air will keep your home comfortable. Keep in mind that while the Sahara Desert is 25 percent humidity and Death Valley is 23 percent humidity, most homes on average are 13-16 percent humidity during the heating seasons.
That’s only a fraction of the humidity recommended for the average heated home, and it’s this desert dryness’ that makes you feel uncomfortable and takes moisture from your home, furnishings – even you and your family. Humidity is an intangible. You can’t see it or touch it. It has no color, sound or odor. Therefore, it may be the least understood aspect of the comfort conditioning. To humidify is to artificially add moisture to the air. What are the benefits of proper humidification? They are comfort, preservation and health.
COMFORT: Personal comfort is well known and understood by all of us. It encompasses warmth, thirst, skin tones, static electric shocks, stuffiness, parched throats, chapped lips and hands. Are you affected by any of these conditions during heating season? Chances are you probably haven’t considered that a humidifier can resolve these problems. Moreover, when the home is properly humidified, thermostats may be set at a lower temperature with the home still feeling comfortable, saving on heating bills. There is a distinct comfort in that! All animals are more comfortable when they live in proper humidity levels. Springtime freshness can be enjoyed all winter when moisture is added to the air.
PRESERVATION: Preservation of valuable furniture, especially antiques and musical instruments, is highly desirable. In addition, preservation of woodwork, veneers, plaster wall, tightness of windows and doors, carpets and plants are all also important. Do you notice a change in how well your wooded doors open and shut during the heating season? Also, if you have expensive wooden musical instruments (pianos and just about any acoustic string instruments) do you notice them going out of tune from season to season? Preventing the soundboards from warping or splitting can be achieved with consistent temperatures and humidity levels.
HEALTH: Doctors often times have mentioned dry air as one of the causes of nose, throat and other physical aggravations. In cases where excessive dry air has been the cause of physical aggravations, doctors have prescribed whole-house humidification. We also know that doctors recommend humidification to reduce respiratory discomfort and dry skin problems. That’s one reason why they recommend drinking so much water per day. There is research showing the relative humidity levels at which germs and bacteria are most readily picked up by humans. Typically, extremely low and extremely high rh levels are the most “germ friendly”.
Call MacGregor to learn more and/or to schedule your whole house humidifier installation. Take advantage of one of our Fall Specials, $50 OFF your Whole House Humidifier! 231-242-7528