Curious what the best level of humidity house is during winter? Check this article to learn more about that.
What is Humidity
Today we’re going to talk about humidity in your home. We aim to give you a good idea of a normal humidity level in a house in Canada. To do that, we will explain a bit about how humidity levels change in the house, the effects of humidity, why it’s more important to pay attention to in the winter, and how to improve the levels.
Firstly, we need to talk about humidity. Humidity is the measurement of how much moisture (i.e. water) is in the air. If you’re trying to find the ideal humidity level in a house during winter in Canada, we can focus just on the relative house humidity level in winter.
How is it measured?
Humidity can be measured in several ways. To find the ideal humidity level in a house during winter, we’re going to focus on relative humidity. The relative humidity is expressed as a percentage. The percentage refers to how much water vapour the air can contain before it has full humidity. 50% humidity would mean that the air is half saturated.
Humidity can be measure using a tool called a hygrometer. They generally use electronic sensors to measure the air and determine how saturated the air is with water vapour. If you’re looking to measure your house’s humidity level, look for one at your local home improvement store, or online.
Most people are more focused on the Ideal humidity level in the house during winter than during summer. This is due to a couple of reasons.
Firstly, the humidity can be more drastically affected by your furnace, which will be running more in the winter. Secondly, your normal daily routine can generate humidity that can be more challenging in the winter. For example, a long, hot shower can generate a lot of humidity that won’t dissipate as quickly or easily in the winter as in the summer.
This means that your winter humidity levels will be much more concerning than your summer ones.
Effects of Condensation
The main reason someone would want to understand the ideal humidity level in the house during winter in Canada is to try and avoid condensation. In simple terms, condensation is the process by which water vapour becomes liquid again. The place you’ll most likely see it in winter is on the window. If your windows are cold on the outside and warm on the inside, the water vapour will become more attracted to the glass. Think of your bathroom mirror after a shower.
When this happens, we get condensation. Condensation can be a challenging winter problem because it can be a long-term problem that doesn’t seem bad at first. The main issue with condensation in the home is that as water gathers on windows, it will begin to drip. As it soaks into the material surrounding your window frame, it can create real problems. Mould, rot, and damage will build up over time if you don’t address it.
The worst thing is that you might not see these problems at first. Since the condensation sinks deep into your building materials, you might now know until it’s too late. Keep a close eye on your window sills and the surrounding areas if you think you’ve got a condensation problem in your home.
What is the Ideal Humidity Level?
The ideal humidity level in a house depends somewhat on other conditions. In general terms, we want to stay in the 25-40% range. The ideal humidity level in a house during winter in Canada can be even more dependant on other conditions. You should by now understand the dangers of excess condensation. Winter can only exacerbate these problems. Instead of focusing too much on a percentage point, we should be looking for signs of excess condensation in the home.
Is there a room you spend a lot of time in? Check the glass on any windows a couple of times a day to see how much condensation has built up on the windows. If it’s significant, that’s a sure sign you need to lower your humidity level.
The reason winter humidity is so much more challenging is that as the furnace runs, it tends to dry out the air. This causes dry skin, throat irritation, and more. To combat this, many Canadians turn to humidifiers, to increase the relative humidity in their home. These devices can combine with other humidity-causing situations in the home to increase the humidity beyond what we’ve identified as the danger zone.
How Can We Do Better?
Your home itself will have a lot to do with your humidity. Since windows are a key area of challenge for humidity, we’ll start there.
Windows with poor sealing can lose more heat to the outside, therefore creating more condensation on the surface of the glass. Aim to replace or repair windows that are having this problem. A home improvement who has experience with windows can help you fix these problems at the source.
Your house’s insulation can also contribute to this problem. Basically, any area where your house is poorly insulated can cause an increase in condensation. A home renovation professional can help you to understand your insulation issues.
When you shower, wash dishes or work out, you might be creating increased humidity in the home. Try to reasonably limit these activities to keep condensation levels down in the home. We understand that you still have to live your life, so if these activities are causing you problems, try some of our other tips to control condensation.
Although it might not apply as much during winter, a good dehumidifier can be helpful if your humidity levels are especially high. This is more applicable during an emergency situation, and shouldn’t be the only solution you’re looking at.
We’ve taken you through a crash course on humidity today. We’ve explained what it is, how it can hurt us, why it’s especially challenging during winter, and how we can combat it. We hope you now understand the ideal humidity level in a house during winter better. Remember, this is a long-term fight! Don’t panic if you struggle with your house’s humidity level at first. It can take some time to reach and maintain the ideal house humidity level.