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What is the Best Home Humidity Level During Winter?

December 23, 2020

What is the Best Home Humidity Level During Winter?

In our homes, the expectation for indoor air quality is to achieve a level of humidity that is not so low as to cause nosebleeds yet not so high that it wrinkles the pages of your magazines. This was precisely the reason Willis Carrier designed a system in 1902 for the purpose of controlling humidity using cooling coils. His patented “Apparatus for Treating Air” has evolved into the modern-day HVAC systems that will either humidify through heating or dehumidify by cooling. 

Dialling in on the Situation

A-Plus Quality, HVAC services in the Greater Toronto Area, can help you immensely with sorting out the ups and downs, in humidity that is, and how it affects your system. In the meantime, here is a short summation of the situation:

When relative humidity is high, the actual amount of water vapour in the air drops as the temperature goes down. This absolute humidity, or humidity ratio, is best gauged using a hygrometer. This is a tool designed specifically to gauge the water vapour content of the air in the home. 

Water Vapour Occurs Naturally and With Your Help

HVAC units use outdoor air via ventilation; that is the “V” part in HVAC. When it gets colder outside, the drier outdoor air naturally reduces the humidity inside the home. In other words, it reduces the overall water vapour content of the indoor air. However, you must also take into account the humidity-generating activities in the home such as cooking and bathing. In Toronto, the climate tends to be modified by its location on the shores of Lake Ontario. As residents know, this geolocation is what contributes to the humid summers that most people find uncomfortable. It is also what makes the Toronto winters warmer. 

The Best Humidity Levels During Winter

While A-Plus Quality, HVAC services in the Greater Toronto Area, advise that the average estimated humidity level range should be between 30-40 percent, there are other factors to consider besides ventilation and humidifier settings, such as:

- Toronto’s climate
- Your home’s insulation
- Your daily routine‚Ä®

The lower the outdoor temperature is, the lower your indoor humidity should be. At A-Plus Quality, HVAC services in the Greater Toronto Area, we recommend that as the temperature drops beginning in October and continuing into May, consider a graduating humidity adjustment based on the following:

- For the months of October to December, and again from March to May – humidity indoors should not exceed 40 percent.
- For the months of January and February – humidity indoors should not exceed 35 percent.

With each drop of 10 degrees, you can expect to adjust the humidity by 5 percent. This assumes a home with double-glazed windows and an indoor temperature of 20 degrees celsius.

Our experts at A-Plus Quality, HVAC services in the Greater Toronto Area, will help you identify if your house is “leaky” and ways to improve this. While people may have particular comfort levels, your house does too. You may find you go through a period of adjusting temperatures along with your humidifier until you reach the best setting, but when you have reached it, you will certainly know it’s right. If you are in need of a humidifier this season, A-Plus Quality, HVAC services in the Greater Toronto Area, can help you find the right one for your home. Contact us today to speak with a specialist! 

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FAQ

  • What is a heat pump?

    Heat pumps use electricity to move heat from a cool space to a warm space, making the cool space cooler and the warm space warmer. During the heating season, heat pumps move heat from the cool outdoors into your warm house and during the cooling season, heat pumps move heat from your cool house into the warm outdoors. Because they move heat rather than generate heat, heat pumps can provide equivalent space conditioning at as little as one quarter of the cost of operating conventional heating or cooling appliances.

  • What are mini-split advantages?

    Just as the name implies, a “mini-split” system is a “split system” however available in smaller capacities, for single room to whole house conditioning. Mini-split systems may range from as small as 9,000 BTUh per hour, comparable to say, a small window AC unit, for individual room use, up to 4 and 5 ton capacities for “Room By Room” (also known as “Zoning”) and whole house conditioning. With near universal design, mini-splits are “heat pumps” which provide both heating and cooling for a home. Here are key advantages when compared to traditional split systems:

    Efficiency- Mini-splits are highly engineered systems which offer attractive operating efficiencies, in many instances, eligible for utility company rebates.
    Heat Pump- Most mini-split systems are heat pumps, providing year-round comfort.
    Solar friendly- Due to very low power requirements, mini-splits are an ideal complement to “Net Zero Energy” homes, or any home using renewable power.
    Carbon footprint- Mini-splits are 100% electric, with zero operating emissions of any type.
    Zoning- Most mini-split manufacturers offer systems capable of room-by-room “zoning”, to account for peak demands of a room based upon construction type, exposure orientation and usage.
    Variable capacity- Mini-splits are typically DC inverter driven. That is, a variable speed compressor which modulates in proportion to instantaneous demand. Most conventional split systems, by comparison, operate with an ON-OFF strategy. (Would you use an ON-OFF switch as the accelerator in your vehicle?)
    Location, Location, Location!- Mini-split outdoor units are compact; they can be located far away from noise-sensitive areas, such as bedrooms and home offices. Mini-split indoor units have the ability to be installed where conventional systems cannot.
    They’re perfect for additions and remodels where access to current HVAC system is difficult to access.
    Modern mini-split systems are remarkably quiet; in fact, many times their operation is unnoticed by the end user.

  • Most common Boiler Issues

    - Boiler fails to ignite
    - Low pressure
    - Strange Noises
    - Boiler is not responding to the thermostat
    - Cold Radiators
    - Boiler leaking or dripping
    - Boiler cycling very fast
    - Available Hot water but No Heat

  • Why is there ice building up on the copper pipes?

    There can be many reasons why the refrigerant pipes are freezing up but the most common issue is low refrigerant levels. If your AC unit has ice buildup turn off the unit for at least 4 hours and call us at 416-410-0337

  • Furnace is blowing cold air in Winter?

    This can be due to Ignition lockout, sometimes could be resolved by resetting the power  and if this does not resolve the issue you should contact a certified gas technician from A-Plus Quality to get this problem resolved!

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