No matter what climate you live in, having the wrong humidity levels can cause major discomfort. In some cases, it may even cause health symptoms like trouble breathing or dehydration. It can also impact your belongings and building, such as hardwood floors. Finally, humidity will also affect your home. High humidity often causes mould growth, resulting in a weakened home structure; plus, mould can make some of the previously mentioned health symptoms even worse.

Maintaining the proper humidity level in your home is obviously important, but how do you know what the proper humidity level is, and how can you identify whether you’re reaching it?

Why is Maintaining Humidity Level So Important?

In Alberta, our summers are hot and fairly humid, but our winters are notoriously dry. Although many homeowners choose to have a humidifier installed to make their homes more comfortable in the winter months, the wrong humidity level can do more harm than good.

How to Properly Maintain Humidity Levels

What Humidity Level Should Your Home Be At?

Typically, anywhere between 40-50% humidity works well for your health and comfort, but that may need adjustments. The lower the temperature, the lower your humidity needs to be set at, so be prepared to keep it turned down over the winter. At 0°C, your humidity should not exceed 40%, while it shouldn’t exceed 30% at -10°C or below.

Identifying Low Humidity

In Alberta, low humidity is far more common than its counterpart due to our cold winter months. Many of the discomforts you feel over the winter are likely an effect of low humidity, whether outside or in your home. Dry and itchy skin, frequent nosebleeds, throat irritation, and trouble breathing are all signs of low humidity. 

Watch out for low humidity if you have an old house or hardwood floors. These issues are more prominent in older homes because of lower energy efficiency (though there are plenty of ways to make your old home more energy efficient!).

Identifying High Humidity

If your humidity is too high, mould may start to grow in your home. If you notice any mould, there’s a good chance it’s due to high humidity. Overheating and sleep discomfort are also common effects of high humidity. If the air in your home feels muggy or heavy, your humidity is too high.

Using a Hygrometer

The best and most accurate way of identifying the humidity in your home is by using a hygrometer. Many humidifiers have built-in hygrometers, so there’s no need to go out and purchase one, but if your humidifier doesn’t have one, a handheld version can be bought from your local hardware store.

How Do You Fix Incorrect Humidity Levels?

So, you’ve just found out that your humidity level isn’t where it should be. What can you do about it?

If your humidity level is too low, turning up your humidifier is an easy fix. Just make sure that you maintain it by checking and cleaning the water tank to rid it of any mould or bacteria. Otherwise, they could be circulated through the air in your home.

If your humidity level is too high, you have a few options. First, turn your humidifier down or off. If that doesn’t seem to help, you might want to use a dehumidifier, which works well in the basement and during summer. Using fans or opening a window while cooking will also keep humidity down. You can also invest in an air conditioner for faster relief.

Get Support That Cares

At Max Heating & Air Conditioning, we want you to live comfortably. Whether you need to install a humidifier, maintain it, or set it to the proper humidity level, we’re here to help. Get your free quote today and see what we can do for your home!