Managing Home Humidity This Winter

Achieving maximum home comfort by managing home humidity

The crisp and dry air of winter affects us inside our homes, as well as outside. Maintaining proper humidity levels inside your home is important for your own health and the care of your home. If you’re experience dry skin, irritated sinuses and throat, or itchy eyes, then the humidity is too low. If ice is forming on the inside of your windows, then the in home humidity is too high. Over-humidifying can rot wood and promote mold growth. This can lead to a health hazard and costly repairs. In this article we explore the perfect range of humidity to target and share some tips on how to get there.

The first step is to reduce the amount of outdoor air that is coming in. Outdoor air is drier than the air that is already in your home. Windows should be properly caulked and doors should be insulated. Old and/or poorly installed windows will also ice-up and glaze over more easily. An energy audit provides the most comprehensive analysis of where outdoor air is getting into your home.

Furnaces equipped with whole-home humidifiers make it easier to control the amount of moisture in the air. Pay attention to the outdoor temperature and follow these guidelines:

Outside Temperature Target Relative Humidity
20° – 40° 40%
0° – 20° 30% – 35%
-20° – 0° 20% – 25%
-20° and below 15%