Air conditioning in museums and galleries.
Museums and galleries often house invaluable items which require a regulated or consistent indoor climate due to their age or properties. Air humidification is vital in order to avoid irreparable damage to exhibits.
Exhibits in museums and gallery largely consist of wood, canvas, paint, fabric or paper. All of these materials have hygroscopic properties, causing a reaction to the slightest change in air humidity. A reduction in air humidity quickly leads to materials drying out. Wood, for example, becomes chipped and brittle, whereas paint can lose its adhesive properties and flake off.
A constant of above 50% relative humidity reduces the chance of exhibits and surfaces becoming electrostatically charged. In their “uncharged” state, they attract less dust and other particles. For sensitive exhibition items, this means less unnecessary cleaning.
Visitors and employees feel more comfortable in adequately humidified rooms. If the air is too dry, people emit moisture from the body’s water balance into the atmosphere. This causes the skin, lips and eyes to dry out which can negatively impact a person’s general well-being. Dry air can also affect the function of the mucous membrane in the respiratory channels and make it less capable of protecting the human body against bacteria and viruses.
Here is an overview of the advantages of air humidification in museums and galleries:
- Protects valuable and irreplaceable exhibits
- Creates a healthy and user-friendly environment
- Less cleaning is required due to lower dust pollution
- Protects against electrostatic discharge
- Highly energy efficient when air conditioning the rooms