Tag Archives: humidity levels

Proper Humidity Levels and Factors for Home Comfort & Health | HVAC Health

moist and dry air problems & health

Proper Humidity Levels and Factors for Home Comfort & Health - The Contents and Make Up of Air and Humidity

Proper Levels of humidity Factors for Home Comfort and HealthProper Humidity Levels and Factors for Home - Humidity is important to our home and health and it is important to maintain the correct humidity in our homes and workplaces for our health. What is humidity? Humidity is simply little water droplets in the air. Cold air is nearly saturated with these little water droplets because the contents of cold air allow the air to hold more water droplets or humidity. As air is heated it expands and holds less humidity. When you heat the air in your home using a furnace, boiler, or heat pump this air expands and becomes drier. It is air with less humidity relatively speaking before it was heated and compared to the outside air. Air that is 30° F with 80% humidity will only be 15% humidity at 75° F. That is a big difference in humidity levels in the home after the air is heated. Granted, you are not heating air from 30° F to 75° F with your furnace. Depending on the set up of your thermostat and heating system you are most likely heating air that is 68° F to around 70° F to 75° F depending on the thermostat setting. The point is unless you have a source providing humidity to the air stream you are simply reheating dry air from inside the structure. There will be minimal infiltration humidity but the infiltration humidity will never be enough to bring the humidity levels up to healthy levels inside the structure for the inhabitants, plants, and furniture.

Proper Humidity Levels and Factors for Home Comfort & Health - The Study of Psycrometrics

Proper Humidity Levels and Factors for Home Comfort & Health

Psycrometric Chart

Yes, that is psycrometrics and it has nothing to do with psychology. It is the study of air and its properties. It is used in HVAC by HVAC technicians and HVAC engineers to determine the contents and make up of air. The HVAC industry uses Psychrometric Charts to plot the contents and make up of air. Using the Psychrometric Chart a technician or engineer can determine the relative humidity, enthalpy value, dry-bulb temperature, wet-bulb temperature, dew point and vapor pressure if they have a few of the listed values. With this data engineers and technicians can solve problems or assign values and set points. For example, an economizer system that is controlled by the building automation system can be controlled by an enthalpy value. This value associated with an And Gate will only allow the economizer to open under certain conditions that will allow the mechanical cooling systems to shut down and take in free cooling from outside the structure. The temperature, humidity, and all the contents and make up of the air will be optimum for free cooling using the economizer. By knowing the contents and make up of air one can set up HVAC systems to work better and one can also use the data provided by knowing the contents and make up of air to troubleshoot problems with HVAC and building systems. Proper Humidity Levels and Factors for Home Comfort & Health - Indoor Air Quality and Humidity It is important to maintain correct levels of humidity in the home for many reasons. Comfort is on factor, indoor air quality is another factor, and saving energy is another factor. All three are related in one way or another but each are separate factors. If you reside in the northern climate regions where the average temperatures are less than 20° F you want the indoor humidity to be relative to outside air humidity. Temperatures about 20° F the recommended relative humidity inside the home or business is 35% to 45%. The construction of the home or business will also determine the amount of humidity. If you have vapor barriers and good tight windows and doors you need a good mechanical ventilation system. Humidity levels can rise above 60% causing excessive moisture inside the structure which will lead to mold, mildew, and possible water damage. Make sure you have a good mechanical ventilation system inside your structure to avoid moisture issues. Bathroom ventilation fans, hood fans over stoves, and other type of exhaust fans inside the structure pull out excessive moisture when cooking or showering. If you have this problem it most likely shows up in the form of mold growth inside closets, kitchens, bathrooms, and ceilings. Additionally, if you have excessive moisture problems your windows will frequently fog or have a lot of moisture on the windows.

Proper Humidity Levels and Factors for Home - moist and dry air problems & healthProper Humidity Levels and Factors for Home Comfort & Health - Low Humidity

Low humidity levels cause problems also. Static electricity, dry skin, dry sinuses, and other health problems including increased flu illness can occur. Additionally, low humidity levels cause problems with wood inside the home. To test for low humidity levels in the home make a glass of ice water and set it somewhere away from the kitchen or bathroom. If after five minutes water droplets do not form on the outside of the glass then you have a problem with low humidity levels in your house and you need to get a humidifier. If your structure is suffering from low humidity levels you will also feel cooler resulting in a desire to turn the thermostat up. Therefore adding a humidifier to the HVAC system will cause you to turn the thermostat down. The correct levels of humidity in your home can increase comfort, save you money on your utility bills, and make you healthier.

Proper Humidity Levels and Factors for Home Comfort & Health - Warm Air Expands

Remember that your furnace or heat pump DOES NOT remove the moisture from the air. The furnace or heat pump simply makes the air warmer and warmer air expands making the percentage of moisture in the air less than when it was cold. Relative Humidity is the amount of water vapor percentage that is in a given amount of air at a given temperature. Air is considered to be saturated with moisture when it reaches 100% relative humidity however you can quickly change the 100% relative humidity in air by increasing its temperature. Decrease the temperature and the moisture condenses from the air or it can be considered rain. When you heat the air you increase its volume and without a humidifier adding moisture to the air you are decreasing relative humidity. Adding a whole house humidifier to your home will always help maintain higher levels of moisture in the house and that will counter all the problems associated with low humidity levels. High Performance HVAC

Proper Humidity Levels and Factors for Home Comfort and Health

Humidifiers and Comfort – HVAC Health

Humidifiers and Comfort Humidifiers and Comfort  - It's winter time, and your skin and sinus's are dry. Did you know that this condition not only extends to yourself and your health but also to your home? The furniture, doors, and other wood products in your home are all affected by the level of humidity. Ever notice in the winter time the doors don't close just right inside your home? Ever get static-shock when you touch something or someone? This is caused by dry air. The solution is a humidifier. There are many types of humidifiers from portable to fixed. The prices for these humidifiers also vary. Naturally the fixed will cost more and you will most likely have to hire a contractor to install it, but the humidifier will definitely make a big difference not only for your health, but also for your home.Proper Humidity Levels

Humidifiers and Comfort  - Summer Humidity

In the summer, a lot of the energy consumed by your air conditioner is used to de-humidify the air. In most geographical locations in the U.S. and Canada there is an abundance of moisture in the air. The process of heating your home in the winter time, especially for heat pumps, dries the air out in your home. It then becomes necessary to humidify the air (unless you choose to ignore it) to keep a comfortable level of moisture in the air. Ideally, you want the humidity level in your home to be around 30 to 50 percent. In the summer this is not a problem. In the winter it is a problem. This level of humidity will also help you feel more comfortable. If the humidity level in your home is high in the summer you will not feel cool. If the humidity level is low in the winter you will not feel warm when the thermostat is set at an average temperature. This will result in turning the thermostat up to compensate and you will use more energy to stay warm. A properly designed and installed system will keep the proper levels of humidity in your home.

Humidifiers and Comfort  - Dust, Dust Mites, Pollen, Viruses, Bacteria, and Humidity

Aside from the comfort factors of having the proper humidity levels in our homes, there is another aspect of having proper levels of humidity in the home. Humidity affects what is in our air also and this is why a humidifier is an integral part of a system that maintains optimum indoor air quality standards. Too much humidity promotes the growth of molds and mildews. Low humidity levels promote bacteria, viruses, and other organic and non-organic things that can be hazardous to our health. Below is a chart that will help you see that keeping the proper humidity levels in your home will also keep out things that can affect our health and our home. Those people who have forced air systems I usually recommend having the whole house duct mount humidifiers installed. These are generally maintenance free except for a water panel that needs to be replaced on an annual basis. It will require the installation of a humidistat so that the proper amount of humidity is maintained in the dwelling. This system is automatic with no worries about manually filling up a pan or moving a large appliance like you have with the portable humidifiers. All you have to do is set the humidistat and change the water panel annually (or have a service technician do it when you have preventive maintenance done). Remember, humidity in your living and work space is important for your health. The are many different brands to choose from when selecting a whole house humidifier. Generally, Honeywell Whole house Humidifiers and Aprilaire Whole House Humidifier are good brands to choose from but there are others. Check with your HVAC Contractor for what they recommend for humidifiers.

Humidifier Conclusion

Whether you have a Honeywell humidifier, Aprilaire humidifier, or other brand, remember there is required annual maintenance to your humidifier. Typically, humidifiers have water panels inside of them that some people refer to as humidifier filters. These humidifier filters as they are referred to treat the water that is channeled into the humidifier. This humidifier water filter needs to be changed at least annually to have the proper effect. Your HVAC contractor can arrange a maintenance agreement with you to maintain the humidifier and change the water filter so you do not have to worry about it.

Humidifiers and Comfort

Whole House Humidifier Video

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Home Humidity Problems Maintaining Proper Humidity | HVAC Health

Home Humidity Problems - Is 60% Humidity in the Home Too High?

HIGH HUMIDITY 60 % +. Within the last month, I moved into a new house. It has dry walls and not plaster walls. The furnace and hot water tank were installed a week or so before we moved in to the house. Last week we determined that there is a humidity issue when the windows were sweating. We are trying to determine the source of the humidity. The contractor feels it may be the high efficiency furnace. I have a Lennox g61mp. The combustion air is pulled from within the un finished basement. Should the air be pulled from the outside? The gases are vented via PVC pipe which slopes back to the furnace. Could the furnace be causing the humidity problem? If yes, what could be causing the humidity problem? The installer said it is not the furnace. Home Humidity Problems Answer....... Maintaining the proper humidity levels in the home is important not only for health (as indicated on High Performance HVAC Humidifiers Page) but also for the wood products in the home including doors and windows. The quick answer to your question about the furnace causing the humidity problems is no. Gas furnaces and other heating appliances tend to dehumidify the air and do not create any more humidification. I wonder where your supply vents are located and are they directed to blow hot air towards the windows? Condensation is created when the temperature of air is colder than the dew point. A prime place for this to occur is windows and doors. This is part of the reason why many supply vents for forced air systems, and radiators for hot water systems, are placed near windows and doors. It keeps the windows warmer and above the dew point and also makes the air warm from your heat loss near these locations.

Home Humidity Problems - Lennox G61MP Gas Furnace

The furnace you describe, the Lennox G61MP, is a condensing furnace and having the combustion air intake in the basement actually contributes to removing humidity from the basement. It sucks the air from the basement for use in the combustion process and the humidity in this air is condensed during the combustion process in the heat exchanger. This condensation is gotten rid of down a condensation drain near the furnace or blown out the exhaust where the combustion gases are expelled. If your supply vents are located near the doors and windows and you still have this problem then it may be time for new doors and windows as you have too much heat loss at these places and all the humidity is being condensed around the windows in your home.

Home Humidity Problems - Proper Humidity Levels

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Home Humidity Problems Maintaining Proper Home Humidity