Home & Garden

is this the right humidity inside home for the temperature

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 3rd, 2020 4:16 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 2, 2003
1262 posts
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oshawa

is this the right humidity inside home for the temperature

here is the sensor reading inside home today
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here its cold and damp outside
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and its pretty close to weathernetwork reading outside
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24 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
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Center of Universe
50%RH would be ideal.
Sr. Member
Jan 7, 2013
650 posts
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Oshawa, Ontario
I do around 45% RH in the winter.
Definitely keep above 40% if you have hardwood floors or real wood furniture. Also much lower and you'll start to get nose bleeds etc.
Deal Addict
Jun 16, 2009
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Woodbridge
Hygrometer measures the humidify in the room it’s placed. If the room is closer to kitchen or bathroom, it will have higher relative humidity.
40-45% of relative humidity is considered ideal for most homes. If you have humidifier/ humidistat installed on your return air, it can give you more precise readings for the whole house.
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Humidifier 2020 Group Buy
Sr. Member
Jun 8, 2007
818 posts
192 upvotes
Oshawa
What does your house have for humidity control?

If you have a whole home dehumidifier that is probably to humid. Mornings you will have condensation in your windows which will lead to mold and rott issues over time.

I have an HRV in my house and I am struggling a bit with humidity right now with my levels similarl to yours. The problem with an HRV is it brings in outdoor air which raises the humity inside(this time of year). With Saturday morning in the GTA it was about -5 outside but still 80% humidity. So an HRV provides no means to reduce humidity this time of year. Once the outdoor humidity levels drop you are ok.

As for actual levels. This time of year I would shoot for 50%. Once it drops bellow zero in the daytime you will need to drop down to 40-45% to keep window condensation from building up. In the idea world we would be able to dynamicly adjust our humidity in relationship to the outdoor temp. Unfortunately today's smart thermostats are not that smart.
Member
Dec 4, 2009
319 posts
199 upvotes
40% indoor humidity seems pretty low for this time of year, the outdoor air is still quite damp. Oshawa is fairly close to the lake as well...

I'd think the digital hygrometer is suspect, not sure I'd trust that. I use a few of the simple analogue types in different parts of the house to see what humidity is like. Buy a few cheap ones like this to keep in a few spots in the house.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 2, 2003
1262 posts
77 upvotes
oshawa
i got 8 of these electronic readers and placed all over the house. all of them shows reading that was close to each other by 1-2 points.
i have 1 outside the house so i can compare it regularly against weathernetwork and use it as a baseline.

my west facing room will get to 28 C degrees on a sunny day in this weather in afternoon.

i do have hardwood flooring all over the house. so humidity bettween 40-50 seems to be the right # based on the feedback above.

i do have a ventilation fan switch that i keep on all the time. i dont know what it does
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Member
Oct 19, 2020
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40%+ can result in window condensation in typical winter weather.

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People have had hardwood floors long before humidifiers were common/houses made tight - without issues.
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Nov 21, 2013
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junkone wrote: i got 8 of these electronic readers and placed all over the house. all of them shows reading that was close to each other by 1-2 points.
i have 1 outside the house so i can compare it regularly against weathernetwork and use it as a baseline.

my west facing room will get to 28 C degrees on a sunny day in this weather in afternoon.

i do have hardwood flooring all over the house. so humidity bettween 40-50 seems to be the right # based on the feedback above.

i do have a ventilation fan switch that i keep on all the time. i dont know what it does
Image
Humidity rate in a house is kind of important, but don't give it too much hype. It' s very difficult to keep an ideal humidity rate in a house, especially for those who heat with electric baseboards like me. During very cold weather, air comes very dry and I can see the hardwood floor kind of "opening" from a few mm and during humid weather some dorrs just don't close thight because they "expend". I do have an humidifier for the winter, and a dehumidifier for warmer weather, but not easy to keep an ideal rate

As long as there is no condensation on the inside of your windows, you should be fine
Last edited by DoorCrasher on Nov 1st, 2020 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Oct 16, 2008
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Maple
Just keep 35-40% inside now. When it’s cold outside (-15C or above), I try to maintain 25-30% inside.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 2, 2003
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oshawa
does that ventilation fan assist in the humidity levels at all?
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Oct 16, 2008
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junkone wrote: does that ventilation fan assist in the humidity levels at all?
No. Most likely you can turn on/off downstair, it is linked with main bathroom upstair.
Member
Oct 19, 2020
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Actually ventilation - air exchange with outside reduces humidity during the heating season.
%rh outdoor is not very useful because the air's capacity to hold moisture is greatly reduced in the colder months.
Sr. Member
Jun 8, 2007
818 posts
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Oshawa
As mentioned this switch likely controls a bathroom fan. This will work when the humidity outside it under that inside the house. The fan forces air outside and fresh air leaks back into the house through gaps, openings and other vents. You are in effect pumping out energy with this but it does drop the humidity levels.

The problem this time of year the outdoor humidity is still in the 60-80% range. So running this fan you are pumping out warm air and pulling in cold humid air. Without an active dehumidifier you really have no way to control the humidity this time of year. In another few weeks/month when the average temp starts dropping so will the outdoor humidity and you can now use your fan.

For reference sake an HRV operates the same way as your fan except, it pulls the cold air past the warm, prewarming the cold air coming in. This saves energy as the air coming in does not need to be warmed as much.
Deal Addict
Oct 29, 2004
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GTA
Bedpan wrote: this time of year the outdoor humidity is still in the 60-80% range
Keep in mind the outside RH% is inflated because of the colder temperature of the air. You cannot directly compare RH% between air with significantly different temperatures.
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Sep 13, 2016
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Mississauga
slim_shady wrote: Keep in mind the outside RH% is inflated because of the colder temperature of the air. You cannot directly compare RH% between air with significantly different temperatures.
This is correct. Outside RH readings can be compared to inside only if they are within the same temperature range. loosely speaking, 100% saturated air at around 0 degrees will cause rain and snowfall, but it is still way too dry for living spaces indoors.
Also, running bathroom and kitchen exhaust for longer will only compound the problem. This is why when RH levels start to go below 40% in my home, I usually stop turning on the bathroom fan after shower, and will keep the bathroom door open so that the humidity can disperse a little around the house.
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Nov 28, 2016
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IndyBeak wrote: This is correct. Outside RH readings can be compared to inside only if they are within the same temperature range. loosely speaking, 100% saturated air at around 0 degrees will cause rain and snowfall, but it is still way too dry for living spaces indoors.
Also, running bathroom and kitchen exhaust for longer will only compound the problem. This is why when RH levels start to go below 40% in my home, I usually stop turning on the bathroom fan after shower, and will keep the bathroom door open so that the humidity can disperse a little around the house.
40% for what temperature outside though. 40% at -35 is a window condensation nightmare, even with triple pane

Theres people on her that posted anything above 15% in the winter can destroy your home and cause mildew in your walls. Well good luck keeping your house at 15% or less humidity in the winter. Even with wood heat the lowest I have ever got my house was 19%, and that was by accident.

Theres a catch 22 with humidity in the winter. To much, window condensation and potential damage. To little, dry as hell, static everywhere, itchy skin and nose bleeds. Wood furniture cracks and hard wood floors shrink and crack.

Also the lower the humidity, the cooler it is, so you crank the heat more. Its a toss up on whats the best humidity for winter. Ive been in houses in the winter where they are 70%, water is literally running down the walls from the window sills. But the wife thinks its to dry in there.

When its -25 or lower, I turn my humidifer right off. Others wont. Most sites say if you can keep your house between 30-50% in the winter, that is kind of the sweet spot, but at what temp outside?
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Sep 13, 2016
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WikkiWikki wrote: 40% for what temperature outside though. 40% at -35 is a window condensation nightmare, even with triple pane

Theres people on her that posted anything above 15% in the winter can destroy your home and cause mildew in your walls. Well good luck keeping your house at 15% or less humidity in the winter. Even with wood heat the lowest I have ever got my house was 19%, and that was by accident.

Theres a catch 22 with humidity in the winter. To much, window condensation and potential damage. To little, dry as hell, static everywhere, itchy skin and nose bleeds. Wood furniture cracks and hard wood floors shrink and crack.

Also the lower the humidity, the cooler it is, so you crank the heat more. Its a toss up on whats the best humidity for winter. Ive been in houses in the winter where they are 70%, water is literally running down the walls from the window sills. But the wife thinks its to dry in there.

When its -25 or lower, I turn my humidifer right off. Others wont. Most sites say if you can keep your house between 30-50% in the winter, that is kind of the sweet spot, but at what temp outside?
Again, that is not exactly relevant. If it is -35 outside, then you are going to get condensation. There is not even a question. Individual preference also comes into picture. If you let the humidity drop too much, you will generally feel dry throat, nose, dry skin, static current, and at worse nosebleeds. My approach is to keep the RH indoor around 45% and wipe windows when they condense.
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Nov 28, 2016
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IndyBeak wrote: Again, that is not exactly relevant. If it is -35 outside, then you are going to get condensation. There is not even a question. Individual preference also comes into picture. If you let the humidity drop too much, you will generally feel dry throat, nose, dry skin, static current, and at worse nosebleeds. My approach is to keep the RH indoor around 45% and wipe windows when they condense.
My post already said what you just said. Condensation will happen, how much happens depends on your inside humidity

45% is to high for -35 and beyond, according to a ton of energy sites

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