Humidity is an oft-ignored component of indoor comfort and air quality. Air that is too moist or too dry can impact your comfort, your heating or cooling efficiency, and may permanently damage the furnishings and finishes of your home. Throughout the winter, your furnace often removes moisture from the air during the heating process; this can cause the air inside your home to feel exceedingly dry. Keep reading to learn more about dry air and its effects on your home, your skin, and your heating bills—and learn how you can manage indoor humidity to improve your comfort all winter long.
Dry Air and Your Home
Dry air can greatly diminish your comfort and your home. When the air in your home is too dry, you may experience irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and mouth. Dry air can also lead to symptoms similar to those of a sore throat, such as discomfort and coughing. If you or your family members put up with allergies or asthma, a dry indoor environment may cause respiratory discomfort as well. Air that is too dry can also damage the finishes and furnishings in your home, particularly those made from wood, causing them to shrink, warp, and crack. Low humidity could also affect paper products, such as photos, posters, and books, making them more brittle. In addition to these, really low humidity can decrease the efficiency of your home’s heating system. Air that contains more moisture can hold more heat, which means it will feel warmer. Thus, low humidity in your home means the air will feel cooler, meaning you must turn up the heat more than necessary to feel comfortable.
Adding Humidity During Heating
The key to a more energy-efficient and comfortable home during the winter is to control your indoor humidity. The best humidity range for your home and your health is 35-50%. Although you can use single-room humidifiers to improve the humidity in certain areas of your home, this approach is not efficient. Instead, think about adding a whole-home humidifier to your HVAC system. A whole-home humidifier can be joined with your current HVAC and plumbing systems and controlled via your thermostat. You can set the ambient humidity to any level you desire without worrying about turning the system on and off or remembering to fill or empty water reservoirs. When the heating season ends, your humidifier can be drained and shut down until it is needed again; the only maintenance your humidifier requires can be performed by your Service Exerts technician during your bi-annual HVAC tune-ups, so no extra appointment necessary.
If you’d like to find out more about improving your comfort and your home’s heating efficiency this winter, visit our website for a complete listing of our HVAC services. We proudly offer heating and cooling repair, replacement, and maintenance in addition to indoor air quality solutions and attic insulation. Read through our blog to find out more about the latest information and technology in the HVAC industry!