How to Find the Right Humidity Level in Your Home

Indoor humidity is something that is often overlooked when considering the climate inside your home, but humidity levels that are skewed can create major issues. It is important to understand how to measure your home’s humidity levels, so you know when to call a heating and cooling repair service nearby Chicago, IL. Below are some information and tips on how to make sure your indoor humidity is at an appropriate level for every season.

How to Measure the Relative Indoor Humidity Level

The easiest way to measure your indoor humidity level is by using a hygrometer. A hygrometer is a device that serves as an indoor thermometer and humidity monitor. If you don’t have a hygrometer and are concerned about your humidity levels, here are some ways to do it without the device.

  • The Ice Cube Method
    The ice cube method is simple and will give you a basic idea of your indoor humidity levels. For this method all you need is a glass of water and a few ice cubes. You will fill the glass with water, place two to three ice cubes in it, and wait for about four minutes. After four minutes, go back and check the glass. If the glass has condensation forming or dripping on the outside, your humidity levels may be too high. On the other hand, if there is no condensation forming at all, then your humidity levels may be too low.

    Make sure that the glass is not placed in your kitchen because the vapors that result from cooking can taint the results. The results may also be altered by movement in the room, so it is best to leave the glass in an unoccupied space.

  • Difference Between Wet and Dry Bulb Thermometer Temperatures
    This method needs a few more materials than the ice cube method but gives you a better measure of your indoor humidity levels. To test the difference between the wet and dry bulb thermometers you will first need two regular glass thermometers.

    To perform the humidity test you will leave one thermometer as is, that will be the dry bulb. For the second thermometer, you will wrap a moistened cotton ball around the bottom of the thermometer, also known as the bulb, and fasten it with a rubber band, this will serve as the wet bulb. For the wet bulb thermometer, be sure to use room-temperature water to moisten the cotton ball. You will then place both thermometers on a piece of cardboard side-by-side.

    After about five to six minutes, go back and check the temperatures on both and record the results. Next, you have to subtract the wet-bulb temperature from the dry bulb to find the depression value. Finally, you will take all the results you have found and compare them to a relative humidity chart that can be easily found online.

If you realize that your humidity levels may be too high or too low in your home, don’t hesitate to call Deljo Heating & Cooling to schedule an appointment with our heating and cooling repair service nearby Chicago, IL.

What is a Comfortable Indoor Humidity Level?

Appropriate humidity levels vary by season especially with the drastic weather changes in Chicago summers and winters. Here is a general idea of what percentage your home humidity should be to keep your home as comfortable as it can be.

  • Summer
    For your home humidity to be within an appropriate range during the Summer, it should be from 40-50%. If your humidity goes above 60%, it will cause your house to become moist and muggy.
  • Winter
    For your home humidity to be within an appropriate range during the Winter months, it should be from 30-40%. Having a humidity lower than 40% in the Winter will keep condensation from forming on your windows and creating excessive moisture.

In general, year-round your indoor humidity should be around the 45-55% range and slightly lower in winter months. If you notice that your house is out of the humidity ranges presented or it’s beginning to feel dry or muggy, consider calling a heating and cooling repair service nearby Chicago, IL.

Managing Indoor Humidity

Whether you use a hygrometer or an at home method to test your humidity levels, it is important to keep them monitored and managed all months of the year. While it is important to monitor humidity levels year-round, they are likely to change most dramatically in summer and winter months. Here are a few ways to keep your humidity at an appropriate percent.

  • How to Decrease Your Indoor Humidity Level
    • Turn on your exhaust fans to keep excess moisture at bay.
    • Invest in a dehumidifier.
    • Add houseplants to your decor. Plants are a natural humidity absorber!
    • Avoid boiling water on the stove. Boiling water adds more moisture to the already humid air, which could make the humidity worse.
    • Shorten your showers or take showers with colder water.
    • Avoid using your dryer to dry clothes. Dryers add moisture into the air, to avoid fueling the humidity try hanging your clothes to air dry.
    • Keep your air conditioning filters clean.
  • How to Increase Your Indoor Humidity Level
    • Use a large room humidifier to release extra moisture into the air.
    • Hang your clothes on an indoor clothing rack to dry. As they dry, the moisture will be released into the air helping increase the humidity.
    • Get some houseplants! Plants transpire, which releases new moisture into the dry air.
    • Shower with the bathroom door open to release steam into the air.
    • Place open containers of water near the vents.
    • Do more stove cooking, especially cooking that involves boiling water.
    • Use a spray bottle of water to increase moisture in the air.

The Importance of Controlling Indoor Humidity Levels

Controlling your indoor humidity is more important than most might think. Having humidity that is too low could result in something as mild as dry skin to something as major as an increased susceptibility to infections and illnesses. Low humidity levels can also cause wood floors and furniture to become damaged. In contrast, high humidity levels can cause mold to grow rapidly and even warp wooden features in the home. High humidity can also cause discomfort and create muggy and sticky indoor conditions.

If you feel that you might need an adjustment in your humidity levels or need some advice on how to make your indoor climate more comfortable, call Deljo Heating and Cooling to get in touch with our heating and cooling repair services near Chicago, IL at (773) 888-4229.