The Importance of Humidification

With the cold, dry months of winter looming, it is important to have an appropriately sized, well-maintained humidification system in place. Maintaining the correct relative humidity level (RH), the amount of moisture in the air at a given temperature, provides numerous benefits to occupants and productivity. An RH level of 35-40 percent is ideal for occupant comfort and static control in most environments. Pharmaceuticals, healthcare, data centers, and clean rooms require specific RH that must be precisely targeted and controlled. Certain types of manufacturing, such as paper, textiles, and woodworking, may require RH as high as 55%.

Properly humidified air is healthier and more comfortable than dry heated air, which dries out skin and mucous membranes in the throat, nose and sinuses and increases susceptibility to viruses and bacterial infections. Also, humidified air is absorbed into

the bloodstream more readily, reducing fatigue and headaches that can be common in winter.

Maintaining proper RH allows lower thermostat settings. When heated air is properly humidified, the rate of moisture evaporation on the skin is reduced, making us feel warmer and more comfortable at lower temperatures. Heated 68-degree air kept at the proper RH level feels the same as non-humidified 71-degree air, even on the coldest days, resulting in significant energy savings. Dry air also causes excessive static electricity, which can interfere with office and manufacturing equipment and cause shocks. Humidification reduces static electricity, lowers dust levels, and helps prevent dryness and cracking of furniture, fixtures, and flooring.

There are various types of humidification systems on the market suited for different environments and applications, with most derived from either steam (boiler steam, clean steam, canister steam, etc.) or cold water (centrifugal, ultrasonic, atomized, fogging, etc.). System selection depends on the application in which it will be used, as each type has unique benefits and disadvantages, maintenance considerations, and variations in energy efficiency.

PJM can provide expert guidance in humidification system selection, as well as expert installation, preventative maintenance, and repairs for all types of systems. Please contact us for more information.

About PJM

PJM Mechanical Contractors, Inc. is a multi-faceted mechanical contractor providing construction and installation, service and maintenance, and design/build services in a comprehensive range of mechanical disciplines that include HVAC, plumbing, controls, refrigeration, custom metal fabrication, piping, fire protection, and backflow preventer testing. PJM primarily serves clients in pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, healthcare, institutional, and other various commercial and industrial sectors.

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