Humidity is an oft-ignored component of indoor comfort and air quality. Air that is too moist or too dry can affect your comfort, your heating or cooling efficiency, and potentially harm the furnishings and finishes of your home. Throughout the winter, your furnace often strips the air of moisture during the heating process; this may make the air inside your home feel very dry. Keep reading to discover the effects of dry air on your home, your skin, and your heating bills—and learn how you can control indoor humidity to improve your comfort all winter long.
Dry Air and Your Home
Dry air can wreak havoc on your comfort and your home. When the air in your home is too dry, you could experience irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and mouth. Dry air may also lead to symptoms like those of a sore throat, such as discomfort and coughing. If you or your family members suffer from allergies or asthma, a dry indoor environment could cause respiratory discomfort as well. Air that is too dry can also harm 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, very low humidity can decrease the efficiency of your home’s heating system. Air that captures more moisture can hold more heat, which means it will feel warmer. In turn, low humidity in your home means the air will feel cooler, meaning you’ll need to turn up the heat more than necessary to feel comfortable.
Adding Humidity During Heating
The best way to have a more energy-efficient and comfortable home during the winter is to control your indoor humidity. The ideal humidity range for your home and your health is 35-50%. Although you can implement single-room humidifiers to improve the humidity in specified areas of your home, this method is not efficient. Instead, consider adding a whole-home humidifier to your HVAC system. A whole-home humidifier can be integrated into 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 will need can be completed by your Service Exerts technician during your bi-annual HVAC tune-ups, so no extra appointment necessary.
If you’d like to learn more about increasing 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!