Find Your Perfect Balance: Humidity Levels for Your Home

Home humidity is more than a number. It impacts everything from household comfort and a healthy indoor environment to monthly operating costs and even the structural integrity of the house. One thing’s for certain: Indoor humidity cannot be left to the natural fluctuations of outdoor humidity. In a climate with four distinct seasons like here in Terre Haute, keeping home humidity constant throughout seasonal changes can be a challenge.

A Question Of Balance

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, relative humidity inside a house should ideally average about 40%.  The acceptable range should never drop below 30%, nor should it rise above 60%. Here are some reasons those numbers matter:

    • In dry conditions, viruses including colds and flu thrive and are more likely to be transmitted. Low humidity also exacerbates respiratory allergies as well as annoyances like dry skin. A chronically dry house ages faster as wood dries, flooring shrinks and structural air leakage increases.  
    • As relative humidity exceeds 50%, humid air holds more heat and air conditioner cooling function is compromised. Monthly energy costs rise. The moist indoor environment triggers toxic mold growth and feeds bacteria and mildew.  Warpage of wooden structure and floors increases as humidity rises.  

Things You Can Do

    • Purchase a hygrometer, an inexpensive digital device that displays indoor humidity for accurate indoor monitoring.
    • In dry conditions individual room humidifiers add water vapor to limited spaces. A whole-house humidifier installed in the HVAC ductwork keeps humidity at optimum levels throughout the entire home.
    • Dry outdoor winter air infiltrating the house sucks moisture content out of indoor air. Replace worn weatherstripping around doors and windows; seal cracks and gaps with silicone caulk or spray foam. 
    • For high humidity conditions during summer, a whole-house dehumidifier continuously extracts water vapor and maintains a programmable relative humidity setting.
    • Exhaust fans lower kitchen and bathroom humidity.
    • Sealing cracks and gaps eliminates infiltration of humid summer air.
    • Schedule annual A/C and furnace maintenance.

With 97 years’ experience keeping home humidity in balance, the experts at Paitson Bros. are ready with workable solutions to help keep your home comfortable and healthy, year-round.

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    By Jeff Paitson
  • About Jeff

    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

    Jeff’s belief is that the business belongs to Jesus Christ; therefore 10 percent of the company’s profits go toward the Maryland Community Church.

    Jeff is a Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce member and in his spare time, he enjoys photography.
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  • About Ethan


    Ethan Ethan Rayburn is a lifelong resident of Terre Haute and a 2005 graduate of Purdue University.

    An Eagle Scout, Ethan spent four years as a non-profit executive with the Boy Scouts of America before joining Paitson Bros. as a comfort advisor and later General Manager. In that role, Ethan has brought a renewed enthusiasm for customer care, integrity, value, and service to Paitson Bros. Heating & Air Conditioning.

    Ethan enjoys singing and was a member of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club. He also enjoys playing and coaching soccer, spending time with his family and two young boys, and volunteering his time and resources with his church, Terre Haute First Baptist Church, which he has attended from a very young age.
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