In the HVAC business, the characteristics that describe a comfortable home are defined together as your indoor air quality. To achieve a maximum comfort level, there are three factors that must be accounted for. These factors are temperature, humidity level, and cleanliness of the air. In this two-part series, we will discuss the areas of humidity and indoor pollutants. Giving details on what each are and how they work to create your most comfortable indoor air quality.
When measuring the amount of water vapor in the air, you will be given a percentage that is called your humidity level. The percentage given is traditionally expresses as relative humidity and is a comparison of the actual water vapor in the air versus the total amount that the air can hold. As you may know from experience, warmer air has a higher capacity to hold water when compared to colder air. This is why the humidity levels are higher in the spring and summer months.
In your commercial building, there are a number of sources of water vapor. A few of these include activities like cooking and people breathing. On average, four individuals put out three gallons of water into the air each day, combined.
To keep the humidity levels at a satisfactory state within your building, you’ll need to consider the outdoor air temperature. This is important for maximum comfort, as well as to prevent condensation from causing damage to wood materials within the structure. The following chart displays recommended relative humidity levels based upon incremented outdoor air temperatures:
- 40 F………..45%
- 30 F………..40%
- 20 F………..35%
- 10 F………..30%
It is also important to remember that keeping the humidity levels above 50% can cause microbial growth such as mold. Always take this into consideration, as mold can have adverse affects on your building and on the people whom inhabit it. If you have problems with keeping any indoor area below the 50% level, the use of a dehumidifier will be required to obtain proper conditions.
Thank you for joining us for part one of this two part series today! Next time we will discuss indoor pollutants and how to create an environment without them. If you have more questions on either of these topics, feel free to contact the St. Peter’s area commercial HVAC service specialists at American Services!