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How to Deal with Humidity in Winter

In the summertime, humidity is the enemy. But, in the wintertime, when cold temperatures dry out the air and then the heater dries it out even more, humidity is a necessity. Without humidity in the home, skin dries out, throats get scratchy, and some people even get nosebleeds. Not only that, but a complete lack of humidity in winter can cause furniture or wood floors to crack. Here’s a look at why keeping a home at the right humidity level can be challenging in the colder months, and how humidifiers can help.

Why Humidity is Challenging in Winter

Since cold air cannot hold water vapor as well as warm air, the humidity level automatically drops in colder temps.  Using a humidifier is a great solution because it returns moisture to the air. But what is the right humidity level?  In the summer, the answer is simple: homes are best kept at about 60%.  BUT, if a homeowner tries to maintain the standard 60% they used in the summer, water vapor will not evaporate quickly enough. This results in built-up moisture on the windows and in unseen wall cavities. This can lead to both health and structural issues if this persists.

What is the Ideal Humidity in Winter?

The goal of indoor humidity in winter is all about BALANCE – having enough moisture in the air to prevent health issues, yet dry enough to avoid moisture buildup.  The following guidelines provide the ideal humidity level based on external temperature. . These figures were computed assuming the home has double-glazed windows and an inside temp of 70 degrees.

Outside Temperature

(in Fahrenheit)

Ideal Humidity Level

(not to exceed)

20 to 40 degrees 40%
10 to 20 degrees 35%
0 to 10 degrees 30%
-10 to 0 degrees 25%
-20 to -10 degrees 20%
Below -20 degrees


By effectively monitoring the humidity level in customers’ homes using a hygrometer, you can make sure that they keep their family healthy and comfortable without risking major damage to their home or their health. To learn more about the types of humidifiers we carry, and which one will work the best for you, contact us now. Our expert staff can review the humidifiers available and ensure you select the ideal solution for your customers’ needs.