December 19, 2021
Controlling the humidity levels of your building keeps employees healthier and more comfortable as well as extending the life of your building.
What is humidity?
Humidity is, simply, moisture in the air – typically in the form of water vapor. Humidity is always present in our air, and while we usually associate it with outdoor weather, humidity indoors plays an important role in overall comfort.
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends indoor humidity levels of between 30 – 50% to protect health, comfort, and the integrity of the building.
High humidity can cause mold and dust mites
Dust mites, mold, and other fungi thrive in high humidity. An increase in these pollutants can cause allergy and asthma attacks. The presence of mold can also cause illness and respiratory infections. Exposure to indoor moisture and building-related illnesses impacts productivity and job performance while creating an unpleasant work environment.
Low humidity can increase illness
Low humidity tends to irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory system. Small particles – including dust and viruses – stay airborne longer in low humidity increasing the chance of allergies and viral transmission.
Moisture damages buildings
The health of the occupants is not the only concern when it comes to the humidity in buildings – there is also the health of the building. Low humidity can result in the incursion of water into the building, damaging materials through corrosion and allowing microbial growth. While high humidity can warp wood, cause metal corrosion, and create condensation issues.
Respond to changes in your building’s humidity
The best way to have healthy humidity in your office or school is by understanding its exact levels. Manage your relative humidity levels – to Awair’s recommended range of 40~50% – with continuous monitoring and alerts.
In offices and schools, irritating noise can come from all kinds of sources: air conditioning, ringing phones, traffic, nearby construction and – most especially – from other people’s conversations. Ambient noise can make it hard for employees and school children to concentrate and get things done. Productivity can plummet Noise can affect the health and productivity of your workspace. Based on a study by Cornell University, increased illness and lower job satisfaction are associated with the negative impact of noise. Although background noise can drown out distractions, too much noise can cause stress and undermine short term memory, reading comprehension, and willingness to help or engage with others.
The smells we associate with newness and cleanliness — a fresh coat of paint, a new carpet, lemon-scented disinfectant — are not as harmless as they may seem. These odors are caused by the release of gases called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in many common building materials and household products.
Ever noticed a yellow smog or wildfire haze? That dirty, smoky air is made of particle pollution. Overwhelming evidence shows that particle pollution – especially the smallest particles – can increase the risk of heart disease, lung cancer, and asthma attacks and can interfere with the growth and work of the lungs.