The ideal humidity for an office is a relative humidity of between 40-50%. Should the relative humidity drop below 30% then the health and comfort of the personnel will be compromised. Research by a British water installation company found that 20% of work places were as dry as the Sahara desert with a relative humidity of only 25% and that 10% were even as dry as Death Valley with a RH of 23%. In many of the remaining buildings with a higher RH the correct humidity was still not reached.
Humidification is a vital part of the production process within the graphics industry. The perfect conditions would be a temperature of 21 degrees Celsius and a relative humidity 55%. Problems can arise because paper is hygroscopic; that is to say it is very sensitive to changes in relative humidity. In the winter especially, the ventilation system draws in dry air from outside, which then in combination with the warmth given off by the presses lowers the humidity. This in turn disrupts the printing process as the static electricity that builds up causes the sheets of paper to stick to one another and to clog the paper feed. The paper can also shrink and distort causing sizing differences.
It is essential that a cleanroom is kept at the right humidity and that this is accurately controlled. It is also vitally important that no dust or particles are introduced during the humidification process so that the atmosphere conforms fully with the cleanroom regulations on dust levels, and so that there is no risk of damage to the production process.
Wood dries out when the humidity is too low and this can have a number of consequences. The wood itself may warp or split, or shrink away weakening joints. Further, paint and lacquer dry more evenly and to a better finish when the humidity is constant. Fine dust will also be suppressed as the water in the air binds to the particles making them heavier so that they fall to the ground.
When the humidity is too low threads dry out and the elasticity of the textiles is reduced. This reduced elasticity means that the threads break more easily, which in turn causes stops in production and results in a lower output.
A low humidity also allows for the build up of static electricity whereby the charged fibres repel one another, negatively affecting the production process.
Humidification in bakeries is extremely important as the relative humidity affects the quality of the finished product. Cumulus® humidification systems can provide a carefully controlled climate for each individual work space, ensuring the correct relative humidity at every step.
When working with tobacco, the right relative humidity is of the utmost importance. Tobacco leaves are hydroscopic, meaning that they lose moisture to the air if the ambient air is too dry. A relative humidity of 65% is necessary for the ideal working and storing of tobacco.
Museums house and display precious works of art and other items of value. It is of utmost importance that these irreplaceable objects are treated with great care and that any risks of damage are minimised. Controlling the humidity and the temperature play an important part in preserving these precious items.
Ultra low oxygen storage units are used extensively in the food sector for the storage and preservation of fresh foodstuffs. However, an effect of the cooling is that moisture is drawn out of the produce. This affects not only the quality but also the profits as many foodstuffs are sold by weight, which is then reduced.
The relative humidity plays an important role in many processes at a shipyard. Both wood and varnish need to be worked at the correct, constant humidity. This should be a relative humidity of 55%, with a temperature of 21 degrees Celsius.
When growing mushrooms it is very important to keep the air and compost moist. The mushrooms themselves are best stored at a relative humidity of 95%. Brown spots appear on the mushrooms when the relative humidity is too low, making them unattractive to consumers and unsaleable.
Many production processes in many different industries create dust. Localised humidification can contain the dust at source. The moisture in the air binds with the dust molecules making them heavier so that they fall to the ground. They can then be easily removed and the risk of employees inhaling dust particles is greatly reduced. It is further important that the products themselves do not get wet as this could cause them to rot, or to absorb water, which could affect the quality or cause them to gain weight thereby increasing transport costs. This will not be a problem when the humidification is suitably fine.
It is important that the humidity in a hospital is kept stable and at the correct level. When the humidity is too low the body’s immune system is compromised and further, certain bacteria can spread more quickly and easy in the drier air. Hospital patients will frequently already have a weakened immune system making it vital to maintain the correct humidity. Further, providing the correct relative humidity will prevent the build up of static electricity, which can be damaging to electronic equipment, because this will remain above the electrostatic boundary of 40%.
When working with plastics it is extremely important to ensure that the relative humidity is at the correct level. This is to prevent the build up of static electricity, which then releases as static discharge. When working with plastics this can be so severe that sparks literally fly across the work floor. This is an extremely dangerous situation that can cause injuries to employees and start fires so there will be no alternative except to stop production.
We want our senior citizens to live in comfort and so society in The Netherlands has as a group invested in high quality buildings especially designed and adapted to suit the needs of the elderly. The elderly are frequently vulnerable people with a lowered immunity, requiring extra care. This care applies not only to nursing care, but also to their living environment. Extra attention is paid to the internal climate, where room temperatures will be warmer than in the average home. Humidification is therefore necessary to maintain a comfortable relative humidity and to avoid the air drying out.