Throughout our humidifier and humidification research we have run into a number of interesting facts about humidity. Below are a few of them.
- A 10% change in the relative humidity will feel like a 1 degree Fahrenheit change in room temperature. This effect is due to the nature of the human bodies cooling system. When we are too warm, we sweat, providing moisture that can be evaporated by the air, thus cooling us down. When the humidity is too low, the dry air will pull moisture from the skin, causing you to feel cooler.
- Most people believe that bacteria grows and reproduces best in humid and warm environments. This is only partially true. Many bacteria, such as pneumococcus, staphylococcus, and streptococcus survive much better in very humid environments (above 70% relative humidity) AND in very love humidity environments (below 20% relative humidity). In fact, these bacteria die 20 times faster environments where the humidity is between 45% and 55% (normal range in a properly humidified home) than they do in locations where the humidity is about 70% or below 20%.
- A leading manufacturer of thermostats and humidistats recently surveyed 1,000 households across the United States about their indoor air quality in the fall and winter. An astounding 70% of respondents complained of air so low in humidity that is caused symptoms such as dry and flakey skin, itchiness, sore throats, and bleeding noses from cracked nasal membranes. More than 75% complained of feeling too hot or too cold even though their thermostats said the home was at a temperature that they normally found comfortable.