Posted by: mteverestair | January 9, 2012

Home Humidity 101 – The Winter Edition

Wintertime is in full throttle now in the Metro St. Louis area, and baby, it’s cold outside. It’s also quite dry outside, too, …or is it wet? Either way, wet or dry, warm or cold, the humidity inside your home is bound to get out of whack sooner or later. The question is, do you know how much humidity should be inside your home?

During the wintertime, moisture is typically generated by our activities, and sometimes that can lead to too high humidity levels in the house. Unfortunately high humidity levels can cause moisture to condense on your windows, shows any and all water-staining on your walls, and can promote rust and rotting within your home. And guess what? That extra moisture lingering around the house also promotes mold growth, which is a big fat no-no.

And yes, there is such a thing as having too little moisture in house. Since cold air is so dry, it affects the indoor relative humidity when it enters our homes and usually eats up the moisture in the air.

The University of Minnesota has developed guidelines for the minimum recommended humidity levels for houses. Check out the following guidelines to help maintain the proper humidity in your home!

Outside Temperature                                   Inside Humidity

20 to 40 degree F                                         Not over 40%

10 to 20 degrees F                                        Not over 35%

0 to 10 degrees F                                          Not over 30%

-10 to 0 degrees F                                         Not over 25%

-20 to -10 degrees F                                     Not over 20%

-20 degrees F or below                                Not over 15%

The guidelines don’t guarantee that condensation won’t EVER appear on your mirrors or windows. In fact, factors like closed blinds or drapes may require you to decrease the relative humidity in your house below these guidelines, so be careful!

Typically, you really don’t need to use a humidifier during the winter because of the amount of moisture that’s generated by your daily activities (showers, kitchen usage, etc.); however, if you find out that your humidity is too low, you might have to resort to using your trusty humidifier.

Not sure if you have too little or too much humidity in your home? Here are some good tips to follow: If frost or condensation forms on your windows, the humidity is too high, so you should turn down the humidistat. If your hardwood floors start to separate, the humidity is too dry, so you should turn up the humidistat.  Also, another trick you could do to see if the humidity level in your home is adequate, put 3 ice cubes in a glass of water and allow the glass to stand still for five minutes. If the room has enough moisture in the air, then plenty of condensation should form on the outside of the glass! If you don’t see any condensation for five to fifteen minutes, then the room is too dry.

If you have any questions or concerns about the humidity levels in your home, don’t wait another minute! Pick up the phone and call us here at Mt. Everest at 1-877-552-2326 or visit us at our website at! Let us help you protect your home throughout the wintertime!


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