Thursday, September 3, 2020

The Importance of Humidity for Healthy and Safe Indoor Air Quality

While hand washing, social distancing, and disinfecting are effective ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19, each of these measures take a concerted focus on the part of the building occupants. As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a smart idea to look for hands-off approaches to mitigate the transmission of viruses. The addition of humidification to keep the indoor relative humidity within a healthy range is not only safe, but easy and efficient because it requires no extra thought or effort.

As school districts scramble to safely reopen buildings this year, one important recommendation for reducing the spread of COVID-19 is to keep the relative humidity in classrooms between 40-60% RH. The humidity level in a school building can vary greatly depending on climate, forced-air heating, mechanical cooling, and many other factors. Indoor environments are usually between 20-30% RH, which is inadequate for protection against viruses like COVID-19.


Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, investigated how indoor humidity levels affect transmission of respiratory viruses in a classroom setting in a recent study. This study showed that rooms with commercial-sized humidifiers had:
  • A significant decrease in the percent of total air samples containing influenza A.
  • A trend toward a decreased percent of surface samples containing influenza A.
  • Samples with influenza A contained fewer “live” viruses and were therefore less infectious.
  • Fewer flu-like illnesses reported.

How do I measure the relative humidity in my building?

Do you know the RH in your building? Click here to order a free hygrometer to measure and monitor the RH levels in your school courtesy of DriSteem.

To learn more about DriSteem please visit our website