Regarding weather, humidity is something that we can either love or hate. In the summers, humidity can make the extreme heat worse, while it can mean dry skin in winter. Thus it makes us wonder how to adjust our furnace humidifier accordingly to a comfortable level. If you're wondering what you should set the furnace humidifier at in the winters and summers, let's find out what others have to say!
The humidity setting that will be comfortable for your home depends on the weather. In general, fall, spring, and summer will have mild temperatures where a range between 30% and 50% indoor humidity will do well. Winters are when you need to reconsider the setting. A setting of 50% indoor humidity will increase the chances of damages from condensation. A more reasonable range will be between 30% and 40%.
Now that you know the ideal range for the winter and summer seasons, you might want to know what happens if you don't adjust accordingly. Condensation might not seem like a big deal. But, too much of it can hurt your pockets before you realize it. Additionally, how can we check humidity levels to ensure we're staying at a suitable range? We'll cover these questions and more further ahead.
The Importance of Humidity
Before we go into detail regarding humidity settings, it's essential to know why it matters. Aside from potential damages to your home, humidity can have an impact on your health too. From what you've seen in the answer, there isn't a drastic drop in humidity settings between summer and winters.
Summers will do well with a range between 30% and 50% humidity. On the other hand, winters will do well between 30% and 40%. There isn't a steep drop from what you can see.
That is because you don't want your indoor humidity to go too low. It has a crucial role in indoor air quality. There are nasty ailments that can occur inside. Conditions like dry skin, nose bleeding, dry sinuses, and dry lips are usually attributed to pollen and dust. However, these health problems can also develop in areas with low humidity.
So, it's crucial to maintain a good humidity level to ensure you avoid aggravating pre-existing conditions like asthma or bronchitis. Of course, it's not that simple. You need a way to check if you need more or less humidity. Let's go over some signs that you can identify quickly.
Signs of Low Humidity
While it's easy to pinpoint high humidity, many usually brush off indications of low humidity. They'll attribute it to allergens or a lack of cleanliness. As mentioned, some of the common signs are dry and cracked skin, nose bleeds, and dry sinuses. Since other factors can cause these ailments, here are more indicators of low humidity:
- Cracking wood and furniture
- Excess static electricity
- Cold and flu symptoms
- Difficulties using appliances that require moisture
As you can see, it's not an ideal situation. If you own books, you might also have trouble keeping them in good condition. The reason is that low humidity dries them out.
Signs of High Humidity
High humidity is a problem that is easy to identify. But, there are other issues it can cause in a home without you knowing. The most common sign is condensation that is typically noticeable on your windows.
However, there are others areas you can check for high humidity levels. Condensation may be present near mirrors, toilet bases, pipes, and even your basement. Another sign is paint and wallpaper peeling.
The more alarming sign is the smell of mildew. For some, it might not be noticeable. And, that might be because you've become accustomed to it. To ensure there is a problem, you will have to spend some time away from your home. If you notice a musty smell upon returning, you might have been living with unnoticed mold growth.
Now that we've covered the importance of humidity in your home - let's go over what you need to prepare for the summers and winters.
What Is a Good Humidity Level for a House in Winter?
A good humidity level in the winters is between 30% and 40%. To some, this range is not a good enough answer because you might have to play a guessing game to become comfortable. In general, it will depend on your preference. But, it should never dip below 30% - and it shouldn't be higher than 45%. Some would suggest the ideal level is 45%.
45% can be a safe bet. Regardless, you'll have to play a guessing game because everyone's situation is different. The main thing you want to avoid is condensation. If you see condensation at 45% humidity, lower it until it's no longer a problem.
What Is a Good Humidity Level for a House in Summer?
The summer season is a different case. You're more likely going to fight against the outdoor humidity. That's because - no matter how much you try to stop it - the outside humidity will always impact the level indoor.
So, the answer to a good humidity level in your home will depend on your environmental conditions. In some cases, you might be better off leaving the humidifier off heading into the summer season. This way, your AC will have less trouble cooling and dehumidifying your home.
Thus, you might not have to mess with the settings of your humidifier. But, if you have to use it for the summers, the recommended and comfortable range is between 45% and 55%.
How Do You Set a Furnace Humidifier?
Setting a furnace humidifier will depend on your model. Some will have a temperature sensor that will change the humidity setting according to the temperature outside. Others will work more like a thermostat. The controls are commonly known as a humidistat.
You might get a hint that it works just like a thermostat. And, it does! You turn the knob to the desired humidity level. Once it reaches that humidity, it will turn the water supply off.
What Is an Uncomfortable Humidity Level?
After careful consideration, we know the comfortable levels of humidity inside the home. But, you might be curious to find out what's an uncomfortable humidity level. The answer will depend on the temperature outside.
In general, relative humidity of 50% or more will cause discomfort. It becomes more uncomfortable with higher temperatures. As some suggest, relative humidity of 65% or more at an atmospheric temperature of 93 degrees Fahrenheit is uncomfortable. Past the 65% level, you will experience profuse sweating, a sticky feeling, and more.
How Can I Check My Humidity Without a Hygrometer?
A hygrometer is a weather tool that measures humidity in the air or other areas. Though, it's not often that you have one lying around. And, if you want to measure humidity, you might find yourself out of luck.
Dry and Wet Bulb Method
Luckily, you can measure humidity without this tool. You can use a method known as the wet and dry bulb test. It will require using two mercury thermometers, a cotton ball, and room temperature water.
To start, you will have to dampen a cotton ball with room temperature water. However, make sure not to get it dripping wet. Wrap it around one thermometer - it will be known as the wet bulb. The dry thermometer is the dry bulb.
Once the thermometers are ready, move them into the area that you want to measure humidity in. It should have adequate airflow. Let the thermometers be for five minutes. Afterward, check the temperature difference between the two.
Record your findings. With the temperatures written down, subtract the wet-bulb temperature with the dry-bulb one. The answer should give you the humidity percentage.
Let's go over a quick example. If your dry-bulb measures 80 degrees and the wet-bulb measures 50, your humidity level is about 30%.
This method is the most accurate measure of humidity. The other alternatives - namely the ice cube and hair-made hygrometer - are other methods you can try. But, they won't give you an accurate answer.
Is There An App To Check the Humidity in a Room?
While the dry and wet bulb method can be an accurate test for humidity, you might want something that gives you results right away. In that regard, you might look at your phone as an alternative. Can they measure humidity in a room?
It will disappoint you to know that there are no apps to measure humidity in a room. A phone would need a built-in hygrometer to give you an accurate reading. At most, it will show the outside humidity through a weather app. For specific measurements, like in a room, you'll need to perform a dry and wet-bulb test or purchase a hygrometer.
Humidity plays an essential role in the air quality inside your home. So, you need to adjust it accordingly to ensure there aren't any damages to you or your home. In the summers, you might need to turn the furnace humidifiers off. For winters, it's best to set it at 35-45% for a comfortable home. We hope you found the information above helpful!
Before you go, are you curious to find out the best temperature for a living room? We've covered humidity. Now we can go over the ideal temperature range in a home! To learn more, check out our post - What Temperature Should A Living Room Be?
Are you considering replacing your furnace humidifier? You might want to know how much it would cost! If you'd like to know more, check out our post - How Much Does It Cost To Add A Humidifier To Your Furnace?