Why Is My Office So Humid?
Excessive humidity is always uncomfortable. But when you’re in a humid office environment or commercial building, you’re dealing with moisture for hours. High humidity can adversely affect the workplace. So, how do people end up with such a humid office?
When the Maryland summer starts, heat and humidity should be at the forefront of a building manager’s mind. Managers will often consider the heat but underestimate the humidity. Even without high temperatures, moisture-rich air can negatively affect the workplace. Humidity can cause workers to feel tired and make it hard to breathe, quickly weakening morale.
Additionally, a report from the National Institutes of Health suggests high humidity can affect employees with allergies and asthma. Humidity can also damage your building by causing the wood in offices to warp and electronics to malfunction. Low humidity can also be a problem in offices, so finding a balance for your building is essential.
What Causes Humidity?
Condensation is likely the most significant reason for office humidity. But air conditioning, moisture, windows, and air temperature can all contribute to the problem. Here’s what facility managers should look for to prevent too much humidity.
Spills or Leaks
Spilled water or other liquids can create more humidity in a building. They can also lead to other issues like bacteria, mold, or mildew growth. This growth can affect employees as much as the humidity. The higher levels of mites and fungi can lead to worsening allergies and respiratory problems. You should aim to clean up spills quickly as part of your building maintenance plan.
Air conditioners do more than cool off a space. They can also remove moisture from the air, reducing the humidity. However, if the building A/C hasn’t had maintenance from a professional HVAC company, you could start noticing more humid offices. Routine maintenance is an effective way to improve the function and efficiency of your air conditioning. Schedule these maintenance visits before the humidity starts to climb in the summer months.
If your air conditioner happens to be working too well, that could lead to a humid office. An AC that produces too much cold air will also create condensation, leading to more humidity. Facility managers should make sure to set room temperatures to a comfortable but not too high degree. These levels will help you determine the ideal humidity for your office building.
If you have vents that point toward your windows, this can increase condensation buildup and make a humid office environment. It also leads to a loss in energy and causes your electricity bills to increase. Instead, ensure vents are pointed away from the windows and at the center of the room. This positioning allows air to move freely and makes for a more comfortable office overall.
While not all offices have one, kitchens can be a source of humidity. Any steam from cooking food or running a dishwasher will contribute to a more humid office. Building managers should ventilate kitchens appropriately through fans or open windows.
Lack of Dehumidifying Options
Installing a dehumidifier is an excellent option for offices that can’t shake extra humidity. Of course, you could use a freestanding dehumidifier for a fast solution, but a professional installation will yield long-term results.
Commercial HVAC Support
Maryland commercial building operators who have trouble with their office humidity can rely on The Severn Group. Our HVAC experts have the answer to your humidity and cooling issues in your commercial space or business. Call us today to schedule your service appointment.