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Benefits of Having a Commercial Humidifier Installed in Your Building

Updated: Feb 6

As businesses increasingly recognize the significance of maintaining optimal indoor air quality (IAQ), the role of commercial humidifiers emerges as a key solution to address various challenges associated with dry air.


hygrometer and words 'lets talk commercial humidifiers'

One of the primary functions of commercial humidifiers is to introduce and regulate moisture levels in indoor spaces, contributing to a myriad of benefits.


Attaining the ideal humidity level is no simple feat, but the task becomes more manageable with the assistance of commercial humidifiers.


Keep reading to learn more about how these moisture maestros could benefit your commercial space.


The Role of a Commercial Humidifier

Commercial humidifiers find widespread use in diverse settings such as hospitals, offices, hotels, museums, and large-scale facilities, including data centers.


Their primary function involves carefully regulating and adding an optimal level of moisture to the air.


Available in various sizes and designs, these humidifiers span from portable units to comprehensive whole-building systems.


Packed with advanced functionalities like automatic shut-off, digital controls, and antimicrobial filters, they offer a diverse range of options to suit different preferences and requirements.


In environments where heating systems are prevalent, especially during colder seasons, the air tends to become excessively dry.


This is a common issue that can lead to discomfort among occupants and give rise to a range of problems.


If you are experiencing issues in your building, or looking for ways to prevent them, then a commercial humidifier may be the solution for you.


benefits of a commercial humidifier

Benefits of a Commercial Humidifier:

  1. Improved Indoor Air Quality (IAQ): Commercial HVAC humidifiers maintain optimal humidity levels, reducing airborne pollutants and allergens, leading to enhanced IAQ.

  2. Enhanced Occupant Comfort: By preventing dry skin, eyes, and throat, humidifiers contribute to a more comfortable and pleasant indoor environment for building occupants.

  3. Material Preservation: Maintaining proper humidity levels helps prevent issues such as cracks in wooden structures and furniture, preserving the integrity of the building's materials.

  4. Health Benefits: Adequate humidity levels can prevent respiratory issues, allergies, and other health concerns related to dry air, promoting overall well-being among occupants.

  5. Reduced Static Electricity: Commercial humidifiers combat the build-up of static electricity, protecting electronic equipment from damage and ensuring smooth operation.

  6. Increased Productivity: According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), maintaining proper indoor humidity levels between 30-60% is associated with reduced respiratory infections and increased productivity in commercial spaces.

  7. Energy Efficiency: Optimized humidity levels enhance the efficiency of heating and cooling systems, potentially leading to energy cost savings and a more sustainable operation.

  8. Prevention of Mold and Mildew: Maintaining balanced humidity levels inhibits the growth of mold and mildew, safeguarding the indoor environment and preventing associated health risks.

  9. Control of Airborne Dust: Humidifiers help settle airborne dust particles, reducing the amount of dust circulating in the air and improving overall cleanliness.

  10. Extended Lifespan of HVAC Equipment: Properly humidified air reduces strain on HVAC systems, extending the lifespan of components and reducing the frequency of repairs and replacements.


Factors to Consider When Choosing a Commercial Humidifier


Selecting the right commercial humidifier for your business is a crucial decision that directly impacts the indoor air quality and overall comfort and health of its occupants.


With a plethora of options available, it's essential to consider various factors to ensure you make an informed choice.


factors to consider when choosing a commercial humidifier

Here are key considerations to keep in mind:


Size and Capacity:

Assess the size of the space you intend to humidify. Different humidifiers come with varying capacities, and choosing one that aligns with your space requirements ensures optimal performance.


Type of Humidifier:

Understand the different types of commercial humidifiers, such as centrifugal, ultrasonic, or atomizing vaporizers.


Each type has its advantages and limitations, so select the one that suits your specific needs.


Maintenance Requirements:

Consider the maintenance demands of the humidifier. Some models require more frequent cleaning and filter replacements than others.


Choose a unit that aligns with your maintenance capabilities and schedule.


Energy Efficiency:

Opt for an energy-efficient model to minimize operational costs. Look for features like programmable settings, automatic shut-off, and energy star ratings to ensure your humidifier operates efficiently.


Noise Level:

Evaluate the noise level produced by the humidifier. In settings where noise is a concern, such as offices or quiet spaces, selecting a model with low decibel levels ensures a comfortable and distraction-free environment.


Humidity Control Features:

Look for humidifiers with precise humidity control features. Units with adjustable settings allow you to maintain the desired humidity levels, contributing to the comfort and well-being of occupants.


Installation Requirements:

Consider the installation requirements of the humidifier. Choose a unit that aligns with your installation preferences and capabilities.


Integration with HVAC Systems:

If you have existing HVAC systems, consider whether the humidifier can integrate seamlessly.


Compatibility with your current infrastructure can simplify installation and ensure efficient operation.


Budget Considerations:

Establish a budget for your humidification system. While it's essential to invest in quality, there are various models available at different price points.


Finding a balance between features and cost is key to making a cost-effective choice.


Brand Reputation and Reviews:

Research the reputation of different brands and read user reviews.


Feedback from other businesses and customers can provide valuable insights into the performance, reliability, and customer satisfaction of specific humidifier models.


Considering these factors ensures that you make an informed decision when purchasing a commercial humidifier, tailored to the unique needs and constraints of your commercial space.


Now that we have discussed the benefits of commercial humidifiers, lets explore humidity some more and the negative impacts it can have on your building, health, and environment.


water vapor with words 'what is humidity'

What is Humidity?

Humidity is a measure of how much water vapor is in the air. Simply put, it is the amount of moisture or dampness you feel in the air.


When we say it's a humid day, it means there's a lot of water vapor making the air feel wet. On the other hand, low humidity means the air is dry.


If humidity levels get above 50% then the indoor air quality can become jeopardized.


Imbalance in Humidity Can Lead To:

  1. Mold and Mildew Growth: Excess humidity creates favorable conditions for mold and mildew.

  2. Dust Mite Proliferation: High humidity contributes to the proliferation of dust mites, triggering allergies and respiratory issues.

  3. Bacterial Growth: Elevated humidity levels provide a breeding ground for bacteria, increasing the risk of infections.

  4. Increased Allergen Levels: High humidity can elevate allergen levels and exacerbating allergy symptoms.

  5. Unpleasant Odors: Humid conditions intensify odors, resulting in unpleasant and musty smells in indoor spaces.

  6. Wood Damage and Decay: Prolonged exposure to high humidity can lead to wood damage, decay, and structural issues.

  7. Paint and Wallpaper Damage: Humidity can cause paint to peel and wallpaper to warp, compromising interior aesthetics.

  8. Electronic Equipment Malfunctions: Excessive humidity increases the risk of electronic equipment malfunctions and corrosion.

  9. Reduced Indoor Comfort: High humidity can create discomfort by making the air feel warmer and sticky.

  10. Condensation on Windows: Condensation on windows is a visible sign of high humidity, potentially leading to water damage and mold growth.

  11. Increased Energy Costs: Humid air feels warmer and requires your air conditioner to work harder to remove the extra moisture, leading to increased energy usage.

  12. Poor Indoor Air Circulation: Humidity can impede proper air circulation, contributing to stagnant and less breathable indoor air.

  13. Respiratory Discomfort: Individuals may experience respiratory discomfort, especially those with asthma or respiratory conditions.

  14. Deterioration of Books and Documents: High humidity can damage books, documents, and other paper-based materials.

  15. Insect Infestations: Certain insects thrive in humid environments, leading to potential infestations.

  16. Metal Corrosion: High humidity contributes to metal corrosion, affecting appliances, tools, and other metal components.

  17. Unstable Indoor Plants: Excessive humidity may negatively impact indoor plants, leading to issues such as root rot and mold growth.

  18. Compromised Food Quality: High humidity can contribute to faster food spoilage and degradation, affecting the overall quality of stored food items.

  19. Increased Risk of Asthma Attacks: Individuals with asthma may experience an increased risk of asthma attacks in environments with elevated humidity levels.

  20. Skin Irritations: Humidity can contribute to skin issues such as rashes and eczema.

  21. Heat-Related Illnesses: High humidity can contribute to heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

  22. Poor Sleep Quality: Uncomfortable and sticky conditions due to high humidity can result in poor sleep quality.

  23. Dehydration: High humidity can hinder the body's ability to cool itself through sweat evaporation, potentially leading to dehydration.

  24. Exacerbation of Cardiovascular Conditions: Individuals with cardiovascular conditions may experience increased stress on the heart in humid conditions.

  25. Worsening of Chronic Respiratory Diseases: Conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can worsen in environments with high humidity.

  26. Fatigue and Discomfort: The combination of elevated temperatures and humidity can lead to feelings of fatigue and overall discomfort.


It's important to note that individual susceptibility to health issues related to humidity can vary, and these effects may be influenced by factors such as pre-existing conditions, age, and overall health status.


Maintaining indoor humidity levels within the recommended range (30-60%) is generally advised to mitigate these potential health issues.


relative humidity effect chart

How to Calculate Relative Humidity

Relative Humidity (RH) is a measure of the amount of moisture or water vapor present in the air compared to the maximum amount the air could hold at a specific temperature.


It is expressed as a percentage and provides insight into the current moisture content in the air relative to its saturation point.


The concept of relative humidity is crucial in understanding the comfort levels and potential for precipitation in a given environment. Warmer air can hold more moisture than cooler air, so relative humidity is highly dependent on temperature.


When the air reaches 100% relative humidity at a specific temperature, it is saturated, and any further increase in moisture may lead to condensation, dew, or precipitation.


Here's how you can calculate it:


Determine the Current Air Temperature:

Use a thermometer to measure the current temperature in degrees Celsius (°C) or Fahrenheit (°F). This value will be denoted as "T" in the calculation.


Find the Dew Point Temperature:

If you have the dew point temperature (the temperature at which air becomes saturated), use this value in the calculation. If not, you can use a psychrometric chart or an online calculator to estimate dew point.


Subtract Dew Point from Current Temperature:

Subtract the dew point temperature from the current air temperature (T - TD). This result represents the temperature difference.


Find Saturation Vapor Pressure:

Using the temperature in degrees Celsius, find the saturation vapor pressure (e) from tables or equations specific to your unit of temperature.


Find Vapor Pressure:

Use the temperature difference (T - TD) to find the vapor pressure (e - ea). The National Weather Service has a calculator to determine vapor pressure.


Calculate Relative Humidity:

Apply the formula: Relative Humidity (RH) = (e - ea) / (e) * 100


Example:


  • Current temperature (T): 25°C

  • Dew point temperature (TD): 15°C

  • Temperature difference (T - TD): 10°C

  • Saturation vapor pressure at 25°C (e): 23.361 hPa

  • Vapor pressure at 25°C - 15°C (e - ea): 13.233 hPa

  • Relative Humidity (RH) = (13.233 / 23.361) * 100 ≈ 56.6%


This calculation gives you the relative humidity as a percentage, indicating how close the air is to saturation at the given temperature.


Condair has a document by Nortec on their website with a wonderful resource on Humidification Load Calculation, explaining in great detail what humidity is, the affects of relative humidity, how to calculate relative humidity, the requirements to calculate humidifier load, and load calculations.


Conclusion

Commercial humidifiers stand as indispensable allies in creating and maintaining optimal indoor environments across various settings.


From fostering health and well-being to safeguarding structural integrity, these devices play a multifaceted role that extends beyond mere moisture regulation.


By addressing factors such as respiratory comfort, material preservation, and electronic equipment protection, commercial humidifiers contribute significantly to the overall quality of indoor spaces.


The careful consideration of factors like size, type, and maintenance requirements ensures that businesses can make informed choices, tailoring humidification solutions to their specific needs.


If your business is in need of commercial humidifier maintenance, installation, or just need to know more about your options, then contact ETS for all the answers.


If you just want to learn more about indoor air quality, then stick around and check out other articles on the ETS blog.



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