Will raising the relative humidity level in my home allow me to lower the thermostat temperature and save money?

When the relative humidity level in a room is between 30% and 45%, you will feel a little warmer than in a room with the same temperature and 25% or lower relative humidity. Also, once the relative humidity rises past 50%, the room may begin to feel chilly or clammy. You may initially feel warmer in a room that is 65oF and 35% relative humidity than one that is 70oF and 20% relative humidity. After a few minutes, your body will adjust to the change in temperature and if you usually feel cold when the temperature is 65oF, increasing the humidity level will not help.

Are there any problems to having the relative humidity higher in my home?

Heating and ventilation experts recommend that when the outside temperatures drop below 0oF, you should lower the relative humidity level in your home to the 20% range to prevent excessive condensation from forming on your windows. You should also make sure the air is able to circulate well near the windows during the days when the temperature is below 0oF. Since there is a greater chance of condensation forming when the air stays near the windows like behind drapes, blinds and shades.

Are there any benefits to having the relative humidity higher in my home?

Static electricity is almost eliminated for most materials when the relative humidity level is 40% or above. Fine furniture, wood floors, and musical instruments made of wood do not dry out as much when the relative humidity is kept in the 30% to 50% range. Low relative humidity causes the glues used in the joints of furniture to loosen and save veneers to delaminate.

What are some ways to ventilate my home and control the humidity level indoors during the winter?

Here are a few fairly easy ways that can help reduce the humidity level in your home and help eliminate condensation problems: If you use a humidifier, turn it down or off when the weather gets cold. Install a vapor barrier in the crawl space under your house if there is not one there already. Use the exhaust fan over your stove when cooking and in the bathroom when taking a bath or shower. This will allow the steam to go outside instead of remaining indoors. Store firewood outside instead of in the house or basement. Make sure to ventilate the attic to the outside

Is there a way to monitor the relative humidity level in my home?

Yes. Using a hygrometer will measure the humidity level within your home. Another way is to watch for condensation forming on the windows in a bedroom or den. When this begins to occur you are reaching a level that could begin to cause your home problems.