Did you know that the humidity in the house plays an important role for indoor comfort? But what exactly is the humidity? How can you measure the humidity? What is the best humidity? And what do you notice if the humidity in the house is too low or too high?
Absolute and relative humidity
When you talk about humidity in the house, you actually mean relative humidity. This means how much water vapour the air contains in relation to how much moisture there can be in the air. This depends on temperature and air pressure, among other things. The relative humidity is expressed as a percentage and is between 40 and 60 percent in an ideal situation.
The absolute humidity is the amount of water vapour in the air, without influences such as temperature and air pressure. The absolute humidity is expressed in number of grams of water per cubic metre of air.
The recommended indoor humidity
Of course you prefer an ideal indoor humidity in. But what if the humidity is too high or too low?
The indoor humidity is too low
If the humidity in the home is too low, many people suffer from irritated respiratory tracts, lips cracks, dry eyes or sometimes even skin complaints. Also for the house itself, a low humidity is not good. The wood in the house can crack and tear, because wood shrinks due to dehydration. This applies to wooden furniture, but also to your floor and window frames, for example.
The indoor humidity is too high
A high humidity level in the house can cause fungal problems. Wooden furniture, floors and window frames absorb moisture and expand. People often feel very warm when the humidity is too high, because their heat cannot be released in the air. An ideal humidity in the house is therefore not only ideal, but also really necessary for comfortable living. In addition, you also have higher heating costs if the humidity is too high. It takes more energy to warm up moist air.
Regulating indoor humidity
The indoor humidity can be measured with a so-called hygrometer. Just as a thermometer indicates the temperature, a hygrometer is an instrument that measures humidity. If you have a weather station, it is often easy to read from it. A hygrometer indicates the relative humidity in a percentage. If the value is between 40 and 60 percent, you’re comfortable. If it’s below 40% or above 60%, you may have to humidify the air or make it less humid, depending on the situation. But how do you do that?
Air too dry? Add moisture to the house.
With values around 25 percent, the humidity in winter is often too low. To achieve the desired humidity, you must humidify the air. This can be done in various ways. One of those ways is to hang open trays with water on your radiators. The heat will cause the water to evaporate and the air to become more humid by itself. Another way to add moisture is by using an electronic humidifier. Duux offers various types of humidifiers: Tag, Sphere and Ovi. These devices automatically add moisture to the air until the ideal humidity in the house is reached.
Air too moist? Extract moisture from the house.
A lot of moisture ends up in the air during an average day in the house. For example by showering, cooking and laundry drying. Moisture can also enter the house due to leakage, rain penetration or building moisture. But people also contribute to a higher humidity, caused by sweating and breathing. Did you know that a family of four people can produce up to 12 litres of water a day? In combination with poor ventilation, this can cause a moisture problem. Is the air in your home too moist? An air conditioner or dehumidifier is often used to achieve the desired humidity.
Dehumidifier and air conditioning
You can choose a dehumidifier or an air conditioner for drying the air in the house. Both devices work according to the same principle. However, an air conditioner is designed to cool the air and has the side effect of removing moisture from the air. In contrary to air conditioners, the main function of dehumidifiers is to achieve the ideal humidity in the house. Did you know that the Duux Mistral Dehumidifier can extract up to 15 liters of moisture per day?
A moisture absorber usually consists of a plastic container filled with grains of calcium chloride. The calcium chloride attracts water in gaseous form into the air and turns it into water. In this way, a moisture abosorber can help reduce humidity.
Tips for optimal indoor humidity
- Ventilate your house every day by opening the windows;
- Do not turn off the mechanical ventilation;
- Preferably use lids on the pans during cooking;
- Switch on the cooker hood when cooking;
- Make sure that steam can be removed during showering;
- After showering, dry wet walls and glass walls with a window puller;
- Dry your laundry outside if possible.
Airing or ventilation?
Ventilation is good for health and it ensures that the humidity in the house is balanced. Important here is the distinction between airing and ventilation.
When airing, a window or door is opened so that all the air in the room is changed all at once. There is a noticeable effect on the humidity in the house, but it only lasts short time.
With ventilation, the air in the house is changed 24 hours a day. Despite the fact that Dutch people generally air a lot, there is a lack of ventilation. When homes were not so well isolated yet, the many seams and cracks caused a continuous flow of fresh air into the house. Especially in new houses, these seams and cracks are all closed, so that active ventilation is required to keep the indoor climate pleasant and healthy.
Roughly speaking, there are two types of active ventilation: natural and mechanical. In the case of natural ventilation, the air is exchanged through the various ventilation grilles throughout the home. In the case of mechanical ventilation, the exhaust is discharged via an electric fan.