Ventilation and Relative Humidity in Swedish Buildings


An important factor for comfort ratio in the indoor environment and affecting human health and well-being is the relative humidity. Studies have shown that about 70% of the staff at Swedish offices, schools and kindergartens experiences that the air is too dry during the winter season. Studies show that the relative humidity in indoor environments influences the incidence of respiratory infections and allergies. Important factors for the air environment indoors is to limit the number of airborne particles, since these are conveyors of both bacteria and viruses, and to keep the humidity at a level above 40% and below 70%, making the survival of viruses and bacteria minimized. Measurement results show that there is significant difference in the relative humidity during the winter season between the mechanically ventilated buildings with relative humidity levels below 10% than in buildings with natural ventilation. An important issue is how human health is affected by during longer periods and during much of the day live in environments with low relative humidity. Several researchers have noted that the incidence of respiratory infections increase during the winter when people are exposed to long periods of low humidity indoors. This means that the consequences of low humidity in the indoor environment should be considered and evaluated in a completely different way than is done today.

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Alsmo, T. and Alsmo, C. (2014) Ventilation and Relative Humidity in Swedish Buildings. Journal of Environmental Protection, 5, 1022-1036. doi: 10.4236/jep.2014.511102.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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