Environmental Health and Safety
Air Temperature and Humidity
Improper temperature and humidity can cause comfort and health concerns. Warm humid environments encourage the growth of molds and fungi which can lead to allergic reactions. Dry environments can irritate sinus linings causing sinus irritation which can lead to a sinus infection.
Temperature and humidity problems are generally caused by the ventilating, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Problems can result if the system is not functioning properly or if the system was poorly designed. Not all buildings on campus have a humidification or dehumidification system. Contact Facilities Services for information on your building. If your building does not have a humidity control system, purchase a cool mist humidifier to raise the humidity level and a dehumidifier to lower the humidity. Make sure to empty and clean humidifiers often according to manufacturer’s recommendations, and remove stagnant water from unused humidifiers.
Temperature and Humidity Control
Acquire a digital temperature and humidity monitor and record the levels around your office. The temperature and humidity levels should be in the ranges detailed below to be comfortable for most building occupants.
Acceptable Ranges of Temperature and Relative Humidity
During Summer and Winter
(in degrees Fahrenheit)
68.5 - 76.0
74.0 - 80.0
|68.5 - 75.5|
73.5 - 79.5
68.5 - 74.5
73.0 - 79.0
68.0 - 74.0
72.5 - 78.0
Adapted from ASHRAE Standard, 1992.
- The humidity level should be maintained below 70% to reduce microbiological problems.
- The humidity level should be maintained above 30% to prevent irritation of sinus linings which can lead to sinus problems.
- If temperature and humidity ranges are outside the recommended ranges, contact Facilities Services for maintenance.
- Reduce heat from sunlight by closing curtains or drawing the shades.