Winter is almost here, and maintaining the proper relative humidity (RH) levels at home and in work environments is very important during these cold, dry months. A properly sized, well-maintained humidification provides numerous health, productivity, and economical benefits.
Relative humidity, or the amount of moisture within the air at a given temperature, is a key component of environmental comfort. An RH level of 35% to 40% is ideal for occupant comfort and static control, but certain environments, such as healthcare facilities and certain types of manufacturing, may require higher RH levels up to 55%.
Properly humidified air is healthier and more comfortable than dry air. Heating systems rob indoor air of humidity, causing mucous membranes in the skin, throat, nasal passages, and sinuses to dry out and providing the ideal breeding ground for viruses and bacterial infections. Humidification eases the discomfort from dryness and significantly decreases occupant susceptibility to infection and illness. Also, moist air allows oxygen to be more easily absorbed in our blood system, reducing the fatigue, headaches and lethargy that decrease productivity.
Because humid air feels warmer than dry air, maintaining proper RH levels helps reduce heating costs. When air is at the proper relative humidity, the rate of moisture evaporation on the skin is reduced, and we feel warmer and more comfortable. Humidified air that is 68 degrees feels more like a comfortable 71, even on the coldest days, enabling you to lower the thermostat and save energy. Other benefits of humidification include: dissipation of static electricity, which causes shocks, interference with computers and office equipment, and problems with static-prone materials; reduction of dust levels; and the prevention of drying and cracking of wood furniture, fixtures and flooring.
There are various types of humidification systems available for different environments and applications. Most are derived from either steam (boiler steam, clean steam, canister steam, etc.) or cold water (centrifugal, ultrasonic, atomized, fogging, etc.). Each has unique advantages, drawbacks, and maintenance considerations, and they vary in energy efficiency. MSC can provide expert selection guidance, installation, preventive maintenance, troubleshooting and repairs for all types of humidification systems.
Please contact MSC at (973) 884-5000 for more information or to assist you with any of your indoor humidification needs.