How to Change Indoor Humidity Level
Explore the quick and easy ways you can optimize humidity levels in your home.
Many elements of your home, like the temperature or indoor air quality, can help create a pleasant, welcoming environment. The indoor humidity level can also drastically affect how comfortable your space is. In addition, it can affect your indoor air quality and the condition of your home and furniture.
What affects indoor humidity level?
Relative humidity refers to the amount of moisture, or water vapor, present in the air. If you live in a tropical or coastal climate, the outdoor humidity can make summer temperatures feel much hotter. The same is true for your home. The feeling of heavy stickiness or heat can turn your home into an uncomfortable, damp space.
A number of factors can affect the indoor humidity level in your home, including:
- Seasonal weather changes
- Presence of storm doors
- Age and energy-efficiency of windows
- Properly sized heating and cooling system for the home
- Appropriate ventilation throughout the home
Other lifestyle factors, like the use of a dehumidifier or humidifier, number of houseplants, and the use of some heating appliances may cause the humidity in the house to fluctuate.
Ideal indoor humidity level
For maximum comfort and the best care for your home and belongings, your ideal indoor humidity level sits between 30-50 percent. The optimal level changes with the seasons.
In the summer, your family may feel most comfortable indoors with a humidity level hovering at 30-40 percent. When the environment reaches 50 percent or higher, you’ll notice the air begins to feel sticky.
During the winter, however, the desired level can be adjusted to 40-50 percent. The cooler air that fills winter days is often dry, so a higher humidity level in your home can help you avoid seasonal challenges like dry and itchy skin.
Signs of poor indoor humidity
The right balance of moisture in the air in your home will make your space more relaxing and enjoyable. When the humidity level begins to increase or decrease outside the recommended range, you may notice personal and environmental changes. Indicators of poor indoor humidity include:
- Skin irritation
- Throat or nasal irritation
- Bothersome allergies 
- Restless sleep
- Cracked wood floors
- Chipped paint
- Electronic parts become brittle and break
- Asthma complications 
- Congestion, sneezy, runny nose 
- Restless sleep
- Mold growth
- Increase in dust mites
- Warped wood floors
- Rot or mold on wood furniture
If you notice these humidity-imbalance red flags within your home, use the tips below to create a more comfortable environment.
Improve indoor humidity
For a hands-off approach to managing your indoor humidity level, rely on a thermostat designed with sensors that monitor it for you. The Trane ComfortLink® II XL1050 constantly optimizes the temperature and humidity in your house by adjusting compressor and fan speeds as needed.
In order to improve the low humidity levels in your home, try simple practices like using radiant heating devices in the winter, steaming clothes rather than ironing, and adding a humidifier to your heating and cooling system.
For high humidity levels, be sure to use the bathroom and kitchen fans to eliminate moist air from the space. It's also important to regularly change your HVAC and home air filters, cover pots and pans while cooking on the stovetop, and temporarily place houseplants outside or secluded in one space. You may also consider a whole home dehumidifier for improved indoor humidity year-round.
Trane humidity solutions
When you select a Trane Comfort Specialist® to install or replace your HVAC system, you get more than the high-quality heating and cooling system that’s become synonymous with the Trane brand. Our highly trained professionals know what size of unit is best for your home.
If your HVAC system is too small, it continuously runs, increasing your energy bill and never reaching a comfortable temperature or regulated humidity level. When an HVAC unit is too large for a home, the system doesn’t run long enough to properly dehumidify the air, leaving your home with high levels of moisture that will feel uncomfortable.
If the humidity level in your home is constantly fluctuating, contact a Trane dealer to identify the root of the problem and offer an energy-efficient solution that fits within your budget.