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Where are humidification systems used?

Here at Gibbons we carry out installation and servicing of humidification systems internationally across a diverse range of industries. Here are seven interesting places you’ll find humidification systems in use.

Offices

Keeping an office environment comfortable for staff means that it’s usually air conditioned in the summer and heated during the winter months. This also results in drying out the air, potentially leading to employees experiencing headaches, sore eyes and throats, skin complaints and lethargy. The best solution is to add water to the air by using a humidifier, which may be installed as a standalone unit or integrated into an existing HVAC system.

Schools

Improving and maintaining indoor air quality (IAQ) in schools and other education centres can have a marked effect on pupils’ health, wellbeing and performance. As well as increasing children’s ability to concentrate and learn, better quality air reduces absenteeism and the spread of germs. Therefore, humidity control is at the heart of any HVAC system serving a school, college or university.

Hospitals

A comfortable relative humidity (RH) is critical in all areas of a hospital, including wards and day rooms, as dry air can lead to headaches, nasal congestion and sore eyes. This is of particular concern in maternity wards as babies are more susceptible to dry air. However, humidification is especially vital in the operating theatre, where electrostatic shocks caused by sub-40% RH can have potentially fatal effects on surgery. There’s also the issue of moisture being drawn from exposed body tissue during operations, causing it to dry prematurely.

Data centres

Storing vast quantities of important information on rows of IT equipment, data centres must maintain a RH of 40% to prevent the build-up of static electric charges. These charges can cause sparks which may damage computers and servers, with the risk of data being permanently erased. All data centres are designed to include a humidification system which ensures an RH of 45–60%, the level recommended by CIBSE (Chartered Institute of Building Service Engineers).

Concert halls

Pipe organs in concert halls and churches are vulnerable to changes in humidity, with the standard of musical performance at risk when RH dips below 55%. This is because a low RH will see moisture sucked from the wooden organ chamber, leading to it becoming out of tune. Low humidity in the auditorium will also affect musicians’ wooden instruments, not to mention the singer’s voice as their nose and throat become dry.

Printing

Paper is highly vulnerable to changes in RH, with an optimum level of 50–60% recommended. The consequences of the RH falling below this range include static build-up and changes to the physical state of the paper such as web breaks and paper curl. In an industry where accuracy is essential, even the smallest changes in the dimensions of the paper will cause misfeeds and printing errors, especially during the cold winter months when RH can drop to 15–20%. That’s why humidification systems are essential for ensuring consistency and quality in the printing industry.

Museums

A major problem faced by museums and serious art collectors is that paintings and frames are susceptible to warping and cracking in the wrong conditions. This is especially true of older works which are often the most valuable. As paintings age, the materials become more fragile and more likely to become damaged by varying air moisture levels. RH must therefore be constantly controlled at around 45–55% depending on seasonal conditions, with fluctuations strictly limited to ±3%. This requires a responsive, well-maintained and reliable humidification system.

Gibbons supply humidification systems for multiple applications, including those listed above. To speak to an industry expert about your requirements, call Andrew Knight on 07850 204 915 or email andrew@gibbonsgroup.co.uk.

Humidification

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