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Humidity and Electronics

By MartinJK
Oct 25, 2007
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  1. Hello fellow Tech-Heads.
    Has anyone done any research on the optimal conditions of electronics and humidity levels? I was reading some articles related to this and it got me thinking.
    What is the optimal humitidy level for electronics?

  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    The optimal level is the one specified by the device manufacturer :)
    You have to understand that every single component has different characteristics and reactions to different environmental factors. And, in every specific circuit the tolerance of these is different. Compare a ultra-high precision instrument to a simple light bulb for example.

    Consumer electronics are manufactured to operate in some sensible range mentioned in the specifications (sth like 10-90 percent noncondensing for example) and are guaranteed to work in that range.

    Usually you set your target environment somewhere in the middle of the operating ranges so that a swing in either direction would not go over the limit. Of course, if you know your environment better, you may adjust the target a bit. For example, if you are in a humid climate and you know that it is never going to be too dry, it may be better to keep the device at very low tolerated humidity so that when your climate control fails, you have a lot of headroom going up.
  3. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    Most enterprise-class datacenters will work hard to achieve sealed rooms with little to no humidity. Mission-critical datacenters will keep absolute humidity below 2% at all times. All things being equal, lower humidity is better.

    Keep in mind, though, that unless you live in an area in which you are actually having a problem with humidity, such as condensation on components, there's rarely ever a need to care or worry about what the relative or absolute humidity is in a particular environment.

    I control the humidity in my house - but for health reasons, not for my machines' sake.

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