Perhaps you’ve heard of humidistats, but do you know what purpose they serve and how they function? We’re here to break it all down for you.
First, a humidistat is a technology capable of sensing humidity levels (aka the amount of moisture in the air) and controlling humidifiers and dehumidifiers. A dehumidifier will remove moisture from the room, while a humidifier will introduce it. And sometimes humidistats are combined with thermostats, as is the case with our very own smart commercial thermostat.
There are a number of reasons to control humidity levels, including thermal comfort, mold/mildew remediation, HVAC efficiency and indoor air quality. While there are certainly exceptions, 30 to 50% indoor humidity is considered ideal. Rooms that are too humid can feel uncomfortable to occupants because the moisture in the air prevents them from releasing moisture (sweating). Excessive humidity can also lead to mildew growth, especially in bathrooms, which is often offset with ventilation fans. Alternatively, low humidity levels can lead to dry lips, nose, throat and skin, so it’s important to find the right balance.
A smart thermostat will work in concert with the humidifier, central heating and air system and any accessories such as economizers to coordinate the most efficient means of temperature and humidity control. Whether you’re introducing outside air or running the air conditioning, there are many ways to alter the humidity level inside a building.
Getting an accurate readout of humidity and controlling the environment to optimize it can provide a lot of value. If you aren’t already taking advantage of humidifiers or dehumidifiers, ask your HVAC technician if they might make sense for your buildings. Your people, your energy bill and your central HVAC system will all benefit.