Most of us are rightfully concerned about the temperature in our homes when winter arrives. A lack of heat can be flat-out deadly when the snow falls and you want your heating system to run reliably all winter. But a good furnace or boiler is only one part of the equation when it comes to home comfort in the winter.
Dry air can be a hassle in the cold months, and most heaters are not able to resolve common dry air issues. A whole-house humidifier might be an excellent addition to your HVAC system, and eliminate the problems of dry air before they make your winter more miserable. Now is the ideal time to get one installed, or serviced if you already have one. Here’s a quick breakdown of how to add moisture to dry air in the home with a whole-house humidifier.
Dry Air Causes All Kinds of Problems
When temperatures fall, the ambient moisture in the air shifts from gaseous to liquid form and departs the atmosphere. In the spring and summer, that creates dew on the ground in the cool early hours of the morning. In the winter, it makes the air dry as a bone. Humans are most comfortable when the relative humidity levels — measuring the amount of moisture in the air — stay between 30% and 50%. When the air becomes dry, we can start to feel it with a number of unpleasant side effects:
- Dry skin: Dry air causes itching, rashes and chapped lips. It can even crack the skin in the worst cases.
- Dried mucous membranes: Dry air negatively affects the mucous membranes in our sinuses. This depletes one of our bodies’ primary means of fighting colds and illnesses. That’s one of the reasons why colds are more prevalent during the winter.
- Static electricity: Dry air may also produce static electricity in the form of painful jolts whenever you come into contact with any metal. Even without the shocks, static electricity makes grooming and other tasks more difficult.
On top of that, dry air forces your heater to work harder, since it often feels colder in your house when the air is dry. And dry air can damage wallpaper and furnishings as well, especially during extended cold fronts, which we get a lot of in our part of the world.
Insulate Your Home to Prevent Dry Air
To eliminate dry air in your home, you will need to become less dependent on your furnace. We recommend utilizing weather strips, spray foam, or caulk to eliminate air leaks throughout your home. This will prevent a loss of warm air due to leaks in areas such as windows and doors. After each of the air leaks in the house is fixed, you will be able to become less reliant on your heating system and the dry air it produces. To prevent the negative side affects that are associated with dry air, we recommend insulating your home.
Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Shower
When the temperatures drop in the Winter season, the air becomes dry throughout the home. To avoid the discomfort associated with dry skin, we recommend taking shorter showers to keep your skin healthy. The steam from the shower in conjunction with the dry air will cause dry skin ailments such as cuts and ashy elbows. When you are taking a shower, keep your water temperature on a warm setting instead of a hot setting. Also, limit the time spend in the shower to between 10 – 15 minutes to prevent dry skin.
Use Lotion & Other Moisturizers
Another excellent method to combat the health effects of dry air is to use lotion after washing our hands and taking a shower or bath. Use moisturizers such as lotion, ointments, petroleum jelly, lip balm, and salt water to keep your skin moisturized and healthy during the Winter season.
How to Add Moisture to Dry Air
You may be familiar with portable humidifiers, used to keep indoor plants moist or perhaps to aid in the recovery of someone feeling sick. Whole-house humidifiers work according to very simple principles. A wick or a pad is fed with water from a reservoir. A fan blows over the pad to release moisture add moisture to dry air: working in conjunction with your furnace to spread the moisture throughout the home. As a result, the humidity levels go up and a lot of those terrible dry air problems in the home are eliminated. Adding a humidifier to your home will also lower the strain on your furnace, heat pump, boiler, and ductless mini split system by helping the air feel warmer throughout your home. This will allow you to become less reliant on your heating system and may lower your heating bills.
Reliable HVAC Services for Homes
Our team is able to provide reliable heating and cooling services for homes in Pennsylvania such as furnace repair, mitsubishi ductless system installation, radiant heating system repair, and air conditioning installation. Give us a call by phone at (484) 206-8594 to receive assistance.
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