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What is the best humidity range to have in the home over the winter?

Dear Tom,

What is the best humidity range to have in the home over the winter?

Mike Michalides
Elgin

Dear Mike,

A good rule of thumb is to keep the indoor relative humidity in winter at about half the indoor temperature. If you heat your home to 70, then try to keep the humidity level around 35 percent. When cold air is warmed without adding moisture, the air becomes “desert dry” with the relative humidity dropping to less than 10 percent. Static electricity flourishes, and people experience dry skin and respiratory discomfort. Wood will dry out and may crack. Too high an indoor humidity in winter can also be a problem with moisture condensing on windows and inside exterior walls. Maintaining the proper indoor humidity becomes more difficult with a lower outside temperature, as more moisture will be needed to maintain the proper indoor level.

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