What is the right level of humidity? This is a question asked at home, and very often also at work. Unlike many industrial processes and materials, which are visibly impaired and damaged by excessively dry air, the impact of insufficient humidity on health is often not clearly discernible and little known. In addition, the debate as to whether a lower limit for humidity in buildings should be governed by binding provisions is informed by contradictory guidelines and controversial points of view. On these pages, you will learn about the evidence in favour of a minimum humidity level of 40 to 60 percent and the health benefits that result from it.
Good health in the workplace is one of the most important prerequisites for having motivated and productive staff. Humidity has a major influence on this: air that is too dry and below 40 percent relative humidity is not only perceived as unpleasant, it also makes itself felt in the form of physical discomfort and illness.
Respiratory infections, dry mucous membranes, weakened immune defences, hoarseness or dysphonia and eye complaints are among the consequences of air that is too dry. All too often, the direct correlation here to the indoor climate is not recognised.
Buildings were originally constructed to protect us against a hostile environment. However, the goal of energy and cost reduction means that the opposite is now true: high-tech insulation materials, optimisation of the use of floor space and a high user density result in falling costs. Until now, however, little attention has been given to the consequences this has for health. From ventilation and the ideal air humidity through to filters, light and the right choice of materials, this section identifies effective measures to make buildings healthier. It also identifies the possibilities available for an in-house risk assessment. For complaints and symptoms caused by dry air, systematic communication within companies can be the prelude to initiating solutions to improve the indoor climate.
Diseases of the respiratory system are among the most common causes of unfitness for work, and as such have a major monetary leverage effect for employers. The example of a cost-benefit calculation presented here shows that investment in an additional air humidification system can pay for itself in as little as two to three years. Moreover, an investment in the indoor climate also pays off in terms of productivity: Study shows that an optimum indoor climate can enhance the performance, speed and accuracy of staff. In the absence of complaints about dry air, employees are more satisfied and their work is more motivated and productive.
How can additional air humidification be implemented in new or existing buildings and what is the experiences of building users with it? You will find answers to these questions in this section, where you can learn about the routes to direct room humidification and the goals that can be achieved in terms of prevention, health and employee satisfaction. The best practice examples report from a range of different perspectives: read here about how company management, facility management, occupational health and safety, company doctors and employees think about the issue of air humidification. Our best practices show various possibilities in many different areas of application, from open-plan offices to laboratories and industry.
The practical questions concerning the issue of humidification are many and varied: to help you get your bearings quickly, we have compiled a summary of the most frequently asked questions. From the issue of health and guidelines on occupational health and safety to technology, physics and questions about cost and effort, you will find brief answers to your questions here. Links to other content on this website provide you with further information. Please note that this section will be expanded continuously. Please feel free to get in touch with our regional expert advisors for a non-binding, free consultation.