Best Humidifier Settings for Colder Months

Best Humidifier Settings for Colder Months

The comfort you expect from your indoor air doesn’t depend solely on its temperature. While heating or cooling your home turns out to be the priority, it’s easy to overlook the level of moisture. However, when you start experiencing dry skin or irritation in your eyes with the onset of winter, you start wondering about the right humidifier settings.

As a part of your HVAC equipment, the humidifier goes a long way in enhancing indoor air quality. While low humidity levels in the colder months can irritate your skin, excessive moisture fosters mould growth. So, how should you go about configuring your humidifier? Experienced HVAC professionals like Hurliman Heating can help you set your humidifier accurately for the winter months. Click here to reach out to the experts.

Why Is Dry Air Bad For Your Health?

HVAC experts recommend setting the humidifier properly in winter since dry air can have several adverse health effects such as.

  • You would be more susceptible to sickness with your respiratory issues intensifying.
  • Wooden musical instruments, walls, and even electronic goods might sustain damage.
  • Dry air makes you feel cold, and you turn the heat on. This can lead to even drier interiors. Eventually, you would end up shelling out higher energy bills.
  • You might experience sore throats, bleeding nose, asthma, allergies, dry skin, and itchy eyes.

By maintaining the right level of humidity indoors, you can mitigate these issues significantly.

How To Determine The Ideal Humidity Level In Winter?

Several factors determine the humidity level at your home. This includes the external humidity, temperature, and the overall area of the property, along with the indoor air temperature. If you want to be too specific with your indoor humidity level, you can use an online humidity calculator.

  • At times, it becomes a bit challenging to maintain the optimal humidity level.
  • As a rule of thumb, adjust the humidifier to the 30% setting.
  • After a while, you might find condensed drops on your windows.
  • Now, gradually lower the setting and stop when you don’t find any moisture accumulating on the windows.

This would be the ideal setting for your indoor humidity level and ensure you’re comfortable. Thus, it would be logical to get a whole house humidifier to restore optimal comfort levels.

What Humidity Level Would Be Comfortable In Winter?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the level of indoor humidity should be in the 30% to 60% range. However, humidity exceeding 50% would be too uncomfortable in the winter months. You need to juggle these figures round the year. The external humidity would also naturally affect the indoor environment.

Besides, when the outdoor temperature seems to be freezing, high humidity inside your home can lead to the buildup of ice on window panes. In severe conditions, you would find mould growing along the walls. So, it’s imperative to determine indoor humidity.

To give you a general idea, keep lowering the humidity level as the external temperature drops. In most HVAC appliances, you would find a measure of your indoor humidity. Get a hygrometer to obtain a more precise reading. Here’s a general set of instructions to set your indoor humidity levels based on the external temperatures.

External temperature


Indoor humidity level
20-40 degrees Not more than 40%
10-20 degrees Not more than 30%
0-10 degrees Slightly lower than 30%
-10 and 0 degrees Not more than 25%
-10-to-20 Below 20%


Ideal Humidifier Setting In Winter

Ideally, set the humidity level between 20% and 30% during winter. When the temperature ranges between -18 and -12 degrees Celsius (0 degrees and 10 degrees Fahrenheit), you should decrease the indoor humidity to 20%.

In winter, the external air remains cold, leading to a drop in humidity levels. This is because there would be less water vapour in cold air. The impact of dry air is more adverse compared to humid air. Some of these negative impacts include

  • Sinus reactions
  • Bleeding nose
  • Chapped lips
  • Damage to wooden floors and furniture
  • Itchy skin and eyes
  • Dryness on the skin

So, the primary function of your humidifier in your home should be to compensate for the loss of water vapour in winter. In case you have an HVAC unit featuring a humidifier, you need to ensure the right setting on the thermostat. You might also consider installing a portable humidifier to increase indoor moisture. In addition to the humidifier, try to get some indoor plants. This will help you increase the indoor moisture level to a certain extent.

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Tips For Humidifying Your Indoors In Winter

Here are some hacks you can use to increase indoor humidity:

  • Dry wet clothes inside your home so that you can increase the amount of humidity in the air. This can also help you save energy bills.
  • When you are not using your bathroom, keep the shower door open.
  • Houseplants can introduce moisture indoors during transpiration. So, try to get some more of them in winter.
  • Get some indoor fountains and fish tanks. They can add moisture to the indoor air during evaporation.
  • While cooking, use open pots and utensils so that they contribute to moisture through evaporation.


Whole-home humidification holds the secret to maintaining the right indoor humidity level during the colder months. Professional HVAC experts can install it directly into the central air unit of your home. This mechanism ensures that the entire house will have the ideal humidity level in winter. You need not install multiple portable humidifiers in each room.

With expert assistance, you can get an absorbent pad installed into the airflow of your HVAC system directly. This system can supply indoor air with the desired level of moisture and the main water line of your home should supply this mechanism with water. So, there’s no hassle of draining or refilling it repeatedly. With one of the advanced systems, you need not turn it off or on. The smart system deploys an inbuilt humidity reader to find the right humidity level and do the needful.