Mar 18 2017

Managing Office Humidity

Whether you work from home or manage an office building, you need to understand the role that humidity plays in productivity. Many offices in Howard County, Maryland, suffer from low humidity, which can negatively impact employee health and your bottom line, but there are things you can do to make your space more comfortable.

What’s the Ideal Humidity Level?

Although specific recommendations vary, it’s best to keep relative humidity somewhere between 30 and 60 percent. When relative humidity drops too low, you’ll notice health complications; when it gets too high, you run the risk of mold and mildew growth.

Why Is Maintaining a Constant Humidity Important?

Minor fluctuations in humidity are fine, but when the air gets too dry or too humid, it can cause problems. We already mentioned in general terms what can happen when relative humidity is too high or too low, but here are some specifics.

Low relative humidity can make cold and flu season worse by causing the following issues:

  • Irritation in the nose, throat, and mouth

  • Increased sensitivity to indoor air pollutants

  • Congestion, nosebleeds, and sinusitis

  • Dry skin

  • Asthma and allergy attacks

  • Slower recovery from sickness

These symptoms lead to more sick days and lower productivity, but increasing humidity too much can cause a new set of problems. After all, mold and mildew grow best in damp conditions, and exposure to them can make employees ill.

What Are Some Solutions to Low/High Humidity?

Fortunately, both high and low humidity can be easily addressed with HVAC add-ons such as whole-home humidifiers and dehumidifiers. You may also want to consider installing an air purifier or ventilator. These solutions can be applied both to dedicated office buildings and to home office spaces. If you don’t have the power to enact changes for the entire building, you can use portable units to control the humidity in your personal space.

To discuss your office’s HVAC needs — including indoor air quality solutions — call Coastal Heating & Air Conditioning today at 410-919-0110.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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