Winter will be here soon and temperatures are dropping every day. Homeowners in the area are probably focused on keeping their heaters running effectively, and with good reason. But cold air is only one part of keeping your home healthy and comfortable this winter (though granted, it’s a big part). Low humidity levels can be a huge problem as well, especially in homes with forced-air furnaces instead of boilers or radiators.
Luckily, there’s an easy solution to the problem: whole-house humidifiers which can add moisture to your air and eliminate the problems of low humidity. Now is the perfect time to get one installed, before the temperatures drop any more. Here’s a quick breakdown on how it works.
Problems Created by Low Humidity
When we talk about humidity levels, we’re usually talking about relative humidity, listed as a simple percentage, which charts the amount of moisture in the air. 100% relative humidity is essentially rain, while 0% humidity means no moisture in the air at all (something that almost never occurs on planet Earth, save in the very dry deserts). Human beings tend to feel comfortable when the relative humidity levels sit somewhere between 30% and 50%.
When the temperature drops, however, the relative humidity usually drops below that. Ambient moisture will change from gaseous to liquid form as the temperature drops (which is one of the reasons you get dew on the ground in the early hours of the morning during warmer months). In the winter, that makes the air very dry indeed, which can create a number of potential problem for your home and anyone living in it.
- Dry, itchy skin and chapped lips.
- Dried sinuses, which leaves your body more vulnerable to colds and illnesses. (This is one of the big reasons why colds tend to spread in the winter.)
- Static electricity, delivering painful shocks when you touch anything metal.
- Air that feels colder than its actual temperature, forcing your heater to work harder to do its job.
Dehumidifiers to the Rescue
A whole-house dehumidifier is actually a very simple device: usually a wick or pad connected to a reservoir, with a fan blowing across the top. That sends moisture into the air to help restore relative humidity levels to that 30%-50% comfort zone. Whole-house humidifiers are placed at the apex to the ducts in most cases, which means the benefits can spread to the entire household. And whole-house humidifiers often have precision controls, which allow you to set the humidity levels to suit your tastes.
Indeed, most forced-air furnaces will reap the benefits along with the residents of the household. Humidifiers help the air feel warmer, which means the furnace won’t have to work quite so hard to do its job. Your monthly rates will go down, and your system won’t suffer as much wear and tear: lowering the risk of breakdowns in your heater.
If a whole-house dehumidifier sounds like a good fit for your Fort Wayne, IN home, then the friendly professionals at Collier’s Comfort are ready to help. Call us today to discuss your options!