Why Do Indoor Spaces Need Proper Humidity Control?

Why Do Indoor Spaces Need Proper Humidity Control?
Published On:December 23, 2022 Revised On:July 1, 2023

Controlling the humidity level in an enclosed environment such as a warehouse or office is vital to maintaining healthy indoor air quality. Too much or too little humidity in the environment may degrade air quality, causing damage to both goods and health.

Controlling humidity in an enclosed environment with a humidifier or dehumidifier helps to regulate humidity levels for better indoor air quality.

How does humidity affect indoor comfort?

Compared to cold air, warm air may hold more moisture. Therefore, the relative humidity level will fluctuate if the temperature changes, but the air’s moisture remains constant.

So, what does this mean for indoor spaces? A high Relative Humidity Level (RHL) can generally intensify warm temperatures. Assume, however, that the humidity level is suitable. In that case, feeling colder and more at ease inside may be possible without adjusting the thermostat on the air conditioner.

This article lets us share the effects and reasons indoor spaces need proper humidity control.

Airborne Infection Control

Indoor air contains micro-sized aerosols, and in drier air conditions, these aerosols can transport dangerous bacterial and viral infections from one location to another when combined with salt and water. When the humidity is managed correctly, between 40 and 60% RH, aerosols travel less and settle more quickly. This is a critical step in preventing the spread of airborne illnesses.

To prevent viral and infectious epidemics, hospitals, long-term care homes, and other healthcare use data loggers to monitor temperature and humidity levels and maintaining ideal indoor air quality, which is vital for enhancing patient, employee, and visitor health and safety.

Irritant Prevention

Extremely dry conditions may cause a variety of irritants that might harm the eyes, skin, nasal passages, respiratory tract, and immune system. When there is insufficient humidity, dry air absorbs moisture from nearby sources. Water evaporating from the eyes, skin, and nasal passages can cause eye dryness, skin itchiness, itchy skin, and sinus headaches. Dehydration has a more significant impact on our respiratory and immune systems. When the mucous membranes in our nose and respiratory tract begin to dry, our immune system’s built-in protection mechanism against airborne contaminants is hampered, making us more susceptible to illnesses and germs like the flu and the common cold. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how to maintain humidity in a room to prevent these issues.

More Productive, Effective Employees

Employees are more attentive and cautious when working indoors in optimal conditions, resulting in increased focus, output, effectiveness, safety prevention, coordination, and cost management.

Cleaner Spaces

Maintaining ideal relative humidity levels prevents dust accumulation and spread over time. In dry conditions, dust formation is more likely. Dust can clog ventilation systems and equipment exhausts, irritate our eyes, noses, and throats, and cause allergic reactions. With proper humidity control, allergies like dander and airborne particulates distributed by machines like paint flakes and particles can be reduced, making cleanup easier.

Minimised Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) Risk

In excessively dry conditions, electrostatic energy can build up on conductive surfaces and transfer to other comparable materials. Electrostatic shocks may also cause unpleasant and minor effects. The risk of ESD also extends to equipment, and potential hazards include electrical short-outs, data corruption, component and device damage, and even fires. The pent-up energy on these conductive surfaces will stay within the permissible limits if the relative humidity stays between 40 and 60% RH.

Longer Lasting Equipment

Keeping suitable interior conditions with effective humidity control can help reduce maintenance costs and extend the equipment’s lifespan. Dust suppression and proper relative humidity allow components to function as intended, maintenance requirements to be reduced, and systems to operate at peak performance for extended periods and may also help avoid problems like computer thermal throttling and overheating the equipment on the assembly line by having appropriate indoor conditions.

Energy Efficiency

Understanding how to regulate humidity will allow a business to use lesser heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in a specific room or throughout your facility. Companies will need to adjust the thermostat less frequently, resulting in lower energy costs in the long run. Furthermore,  adiabatic cooling can be used in some situations, which can save costs in the future.

Ensuring the ideal humidity level

Opening a window is a simple and economical method to help maintain a comfortable humidity level without increasing energy use.

Automated windows with air quality sensors can help regulate humidity and fresh air in indoor spaces. They will open and close depending on the natural conditions to help maintain the interior space’s humidity, temperature, and carbon dioxide levels.

Recommended Indoor Humidity Level

The suggested range is 30 to 50%, which can be monitored with a hygrometer or thermometer. Not only is it essential for comfort, but keeping the humidity within the specified range also benefits health. Too-dry air can aggravate allergies, asthma, and other medical conditions, while too-humid air can promote mildew and mould growth.