Humidity is not really something you may think about until you notice it change. Stepping off a plane in, say, the Dominican Republic is going to feel far more humid than stepping off a plane in Calgary.
But humidity can mean so much more than how the air “feels”. In fact, humidity can play a huge factor in how comfortable you are at home. So, what is humidity? How can it affect your home? And finally, what can you do to control it?
Ace Plumbing & Heating is determined to provide Calgarians with the home comfort they deserve, which is why we’ve put together this home humidity guide to help you find that sweet spot for your home’s humidity levels. Let’s dive in!
What is Humidity?
Humidity refers to the amount of water vapour in the air, and there are a couple of different ways that it’s measured.
The 2 most common measurements of humidity are absolute humidity and relative humidity:
- Absolute humidity refers to the amount of water vapour in the air at a given temperature. As the air gets hotter, it can hold more water vapour.
- Relative humidity is the ratio of current absolute humidity to the highest possible humidity the air can have at that given air temperature. Relative humidity is what you will measure to determine the right levels for your home.
With higher relative humidity levels, it can make it harder for sweat on your body to evaporate, leading to a feeling of stickiness and mugginess. But humidity can affect far more than how you feel.
How Can Humidity Affect My Home Comfort?
Too Much Humidity
When your home has too much humidity, you may experience:
- Mould and mildew growth
- Dust mites
- Excess condensation on glass and windows
- Wet stains on the ceiling, walls, and floor
- Heatstroke due to sweat not evaporating from your body
- Structural rot
Too Little Humidity
When your home has too little humidity, you may experience:
- Wood panels, like floors, walls, and ceilings, can warp and distort
- Dry skin
- Bloody noses
- Respiratory issues
- A cold feeling in the air even though the temperature is high
How Humid Should My Home Be?
Summer vs. Winter
The season you’re in can also affect how humid your home is. In fact, your home can become much drier in the winter than during the summer simply because there’s not enough heat to hold water vapour in the air.
Because of this, it’s recommended to adjust your humidity levels according to the season:
- During the summer, it’s recommended that Calgarians keep their home humidity levels around 50% to 60%.
- During the winter, Calgarians are recommended to have home humidity levels between 30% and 40%.
How Can I Measure Humidity?
You can easily monitor your home humidity with a hygrometer. These devices are widely available and easy to use. If you don’t have one, one of our technicians will also be able to measure your humidity and provide recommendations to manage it effectively.
How Can I Control My Home Humidity?
Now that we know what humidity is and how to monitor it properly, it’s time to look at what you can do to control it.
One of the ways you can help manage humidity is by keeping up with routine house maintenance. Simple things like leaks in the foundation, plumbing, or roof can increase your home’s humidity, sometimes resulting in damage.
Condensation can also develop in corners and out of the way areas. By cleaning these areas regularly, you can mitigate the development of mould and dust mites.
Finally, make sure your home has great air circulation. By keeping windows open as much as possible, setting your living room arrangement to not block registers, and keeping doors open around the house, you can prevent the build-up of condensation and reduce the risk of mould and dust mites developing.
Everything you need to know about humidifiers is right there in the name: they humidify your home. Humidifiers can help dry areas in your home feel more comfortable and warm, making them extremely useful to have during the dry winter months.
Humidifiers come in many different formats, some being so small you can set them right on your desk. However, Ace Plumbing & Heating also offers humidifiers that will match your home and your needs.
If a humidifier adds humidity to your home, you can probably guess what a dehumidifier does. Some may wonder why they would need a dehumidifier, especially in Calgary’s climate, but they can help reduce the growth of mould, dust mites, and wet spots in more humid areas of your home like the kitchen or bathroom.
If you’re interested in a dehumidifier in your home, please speak to our team and we can match you with one to fit your needs!