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What is the Best Home Humidity Level During Winter?

December 23, 2020

What is the Best Home Humidity Level During Winter?

In our homes, the expectation for indoor air quality is to achieve a level of humidity that is not so low as to cause nosebleeds yet not so high that it wrinkles the pages of your magazines. This was precisely the reason Willis Carrier designed a system in 1902 for the purpose of controlling humidity using cooling coils. His patented “Apparatus for Treating Air” has evolved into the modern-day HVAC systems that will either humidify through heating or dehumidify by cooling. 

Dialling in on the Situation

A-Plus Quality, HVAC services in the Greater Toronto Area, can help you immensely with sorting out the ups and downs, in humidity that is, and how it affects your system. In the meantime, here is a short summation of the situation:

When relative humidity is high, the actual amount of water vapour in the air drops as the temperature goes down. This absolute humidity, or humidity ratio, is best gauged using a hygrometer. This is a tool designed specifically to gauge the water vapour content of the air in the home. 

Water Vapour Occurs Naturally and With Your Help

HVAC units use outdoor air via ventilation; that is the “V” part in HVAC. When it gets colder outside, the drier outdoor air naturally reduces the humidity inside the home. In other words, it reduces the overall water vapour content of the indoor air. However, you must also take into account the humidity-generating activities in the home such as cooking and bathing. In Toronto, the climate tends to be modified by its location on the shores of Lake Ontario. As residents know, this geolocation is what contributes to the humid summers that most people find uncomfortable. It is also what makes the Toronto winters warmer. 

The Best Humidity Levels During Winter

While A-Plus Quality, HVAC services in the Greater Toronto Area, advise that the average estimated humidity level range should be between 30-40 percent, there are other factors to consider besides ventilation and humidifier settings, such as:

- Toronto’s climate
- Your home’s insulation
- Your daily routine


The lower the outdoor temperature is, the lower your indoor humidity should be. At A-Plus Quality, HVAC services in the Greater Toronto Area, we recommend that as the temperature drops beginning in October and continuing into May, consider a graduating humidity adjustment based on the following:

- For the months of October to December, and again from March to May – humidity indoors should not exceed 40 percent.
- For the months of January and February – humidity indoors should not exceed 35 percent.

With each drop of 10 degrees, you can expect to adjust the humidity by 5 percent. This assumes a home with double-glazed windows and an indoor temperature of 20 degrees celsius.

Our experts at A-Plus Quality, HVAC services in the Greater Toronto Area, will help you identify if your house is “leaky” and ways to improve this. While people may have particular comfort levels, your house does too. You may find you go through a period of adjusting temperatures along with your humidifier until you reach the best setting, but when you have reached it, you will certainly know it’s right. If you are in need of a humidifier this season, A-Plus Quality, HVAC services in the Greater Toronto Area, can help you find the right one for your home. Contact us today to speak with a specialist! 

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FAQ

  • What is a heat pump?

    Heat pumps use electricity to move heat from a cool space to a warm space, making the cool space cooler and the warm space warmer. During the heating season, heat pumps move heat from the cool outdoors into your warm house and during the cooling season, heat pumps move heat from your cool house into the warm outdoors. Because they move heat rather than generate heat, heat pumps can provide equivalent space conditioning at as little as one quarter of the cost of operating conventional heating or cooling appliances.

  • What is a mini-split?

    By definition, and simply put, a “Split System” is a heating and air conditioning system which has two main components, the indoor unit and outdoor unit. In short, the indoor unit absorbs heat energy in the cooling mode, and the outdoor unit rejects the very heat absorbed by the indoor unit. And the cycle is repeated until the set temperature is met. Although the indoor and outdoor units are located in physically different, hence “split” locations, they are connected and operate as, one system; continuously circulating refrigerant liquid and vapor by means of interconnecting, dehydrated copper refrigerant lines, commonly referred to as a “Line Set”.

  • Furnace is blowing cold air in Winter?

    This can be due to Ignition lockout, sometimes could be resolved by resetting the power  and if this does not resolve the issue you should contact a certified gas technician from A-Plus Quality to get this problem resolved!

  • Why should I maintain my Furnace or AC?

    An annual maintenance will extend the lifetime of your heating and cooling unit. The technician will diagnose and repair any problem with the unit before it fails, so you won't need to worry about any problems when the weather gets very hot in the summer or extremely cold in the winter.

  • Water is Leaking on my Furnace

    Water falling on to the furnace can harm your heating unit by affecting the control boards and other components enclosed in the furnace. There can be many causes to the water overflow, but the most common cases in the summer is the ice build up inside the evaporator coil due to low refrigerant level. Water build up can also be due to the evaporator coil having a crack on the base, if this is the case contact us by booking an appointment or call us today to have a technician come have a look at your unit and repair this issue before it causes excessive damage.  

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