Whether you're a seasoned data center professional or new to the industry, you probably know that humidifying your data center plays a vital role in the longevity of your space. Today's data center environments require meticulous control of humidity to eliminate static electricity, ensure quality manufacturing processes, preserve precious documents and works of art, and provide comfort while adhering to Indoor Air Quality standards. The specific reasons to use humidifiers to add moisture are as numerous as the applications, but the purpose is common across the board: to eliminate problems that can damage products, ruin buildings, or jeopardize health.
When RH reaches levels below 35%, static electricity may develop on surfaces and materials. Static electricity is not only annoying; it can wreak havoc on computers by burning microchips, and wiping out memory cards. Elimination of static electricity also greatly reduces the risk of solvent fires in the printing industry - commercial presses develop extraordinary amounts of electricity at the roller and ignite solvents in the ink wells. And if you ever wiped your finger across your television screen you know that static electricity attracts dust, a real problem in the plastics and films manufacturing process where dust can ruin a product or in the health care industry where dust can kill. Indoor Air Quality affects man and machine and both operate best at optimum environmental conditions. IAQ and IEC standards are forcing manufacturers and building owners to adjust their management of air quality control. If a building's main HVAC system does not have the capacity to maintain RH levels within a comfort zone of 50% to 60%, then proper humidification can help reduce adverse effects of occupant discomfort, bacteria growth, viruses, fungi, mites, allergic reactions, respiratory infections, chemical interactions and ozone production.
Another thing to keep in mind is the importance of the proper humidification process and how this can affect your space. Understand the difference between adiabatic/evaporative and isothermal/steam humidification is an important piece of the humidification puzzle and I've included links to explore the differences below.