How does Humidity affect Indoor Air Quality?
Indoor environments have a significant role in our day-to-day lives. Did you know that unbalanced indoor humidity can cause health issues and even damage equipment? Humidity is a crucial contributing factor to indoor air quality. How does humidity affect air quality? Let’s have a look.
Humidity, air quality, and health
According to popular surveys and studies, human bodies are most comfortable when the relative humidity is between 20 and 60%. The relative humidity of a room is the amount of water vapor present in the air compared to how much it can hold at that particular temperature.
When the humidity levels surpass the desired limits, mold and mildew start to form inside our rooms, eventually leading to suffocating musty odor and a clammy feel. Damp air can trigger asthma attacks and make us more prone to heat-related illnesses like heat rash and heat stroke. Higher levels of humidity also make the air more saturated with noxious chemicals such as ozone and formaldehyde.
When the humidity goes below 30%, it can cause static electricity between certain types of fabric, which can damage electronic gadgets. Low humidity will make our eyes dry and irritate them. It can also cause the mucous membranes to dry, decreasing our resistance to respiratory illnesses and infections, including COVID- 19. It is, thus, important to always maintain an optimal level of indoor humidity.
How can we control humidity levels?
To ensure good air quality, we have to monitor and control humidity levels. Given below are some steps we can take to prevent extreme humid conditions.
- Do regular air monitoring tests: Test the conditions of all your rooms regularly and ensure the temperature, humidity, and airflow is at the desired levels. It is advised to check the humidity levels more than once a day as they can vary throughout the day.
- Periodic maintenance works: Regularly check for unwanted odors, leaks, and room damages in every individual space of the building. If there is standing water in humidifiers, AC units, or on roofs, remove it.
- Monitor comfort levels: The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) define acceptable air quality on the satisfaction of the people exposed to it. If any of the inmates feel uncomfortable in the indoor conditions, try to alter the factors. Humidex scale is a measure of warm temperatures and humidity. We can use them to understand how these two determinants make people feel hot.
- Use heat exchangers and humidifiers: Use dehumidifiers in the summer and humidifiers in winter to maintain a comfortable air quality throughout the year. Air-to-air heat exchangers are also available in the market. These units will ventilate and dehumidify houses during cold climates.
- Inspect and test HVAC systems: Never miss the annual check-up for the HVAC systems. Get them inspected regularly to ensure they’re working in perfect conditions suited for your surroundings. Adding central humification to the HVAC system is a step that could help with controlling humidity levels better.
- Consult HVAC professionals: Sometimes, we tend to tinkle with things beyond our expertise to save some money or for a DIY experiment. HVAC systems are one such experimental playground for us, but even the slightest mistake can cause the systems to short-circuit or be damaged completely. So, when you observe any inefficiency in the working of an HVAC unit, contact a professional asap.
It can be difficult to monitor and maintain air quality, especially when we lead busy lives that rarely give us enough time to sleep. We hope the above tips will help you prevent poor air quality and its associated issues to an extent. If you have any queries on how humidity affects air quality, or if you need assistance in HVAC maintenance, we’re here for you. 24 Seven HVAC offers all of Syracuse 24 hours a day, seven days a week service to help you with all your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning concerns. You can contact us at email@example.com or call 315-399-9962 for quick and efficient services.
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