Winter brings freezing air to the Denver area, and most homeowners are rightfully focused on keeping their space warm and comfortable during the colder months. But there’s more to comfort than just reliable heat. Winter air can be exceedingly dry, and dry air can cause you all kinds of problems that you may not have even considered. A whole-house humidifier makes a fast and easy solution to the problem of dry air, and now is an ideal time to have one installed in your HVAC system.
Why Is Dry Air an Issue?
We measure humidity in terms of relative humidity: a percentage covering how much ambient moisture is in the air. At 100% relative humidity, you basically have rain. At 0% relative humidity, you have no moisture in the air at all: something that rarely happens on planet Earth. As human beings, we’re most comfortable when the relative humidity level sits between 30% and 50%.
Unfortunately, that number usually falls drastically during the winter. As the air temperature lowers the moisture vapor in the air shifts to liquid form and coalesces into droplets: leaving the air in the process. That means that winter air is unusually dry, and when it drops below that 30% relative humidity mark, it can cause big problems in your home.
What Kind of Problems?
Problems associated with low humidity levels can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Dry Skin. That means red, itchy skin, and even cracked skin in some cases, as well as chapped lips.
- Increased Risk of Illness. Dry air can dry out the mucous membrane in your sinuses, which is one of your body’s big defenses against viruses and flu bugs. (That’s a big reason why we see a big increase in illnesses in the winter.)
- Static Electricity. Dry air increases static electricity, leading to those horrible, painful shocks when you touch metal objects. In extreme cases, static electricity can even damage electronic items in your home.
- Higher Heating Bills. Dry air feels cooler than it actually is, which in turn forces your heating system to work harder than it should to keep your home warm. If you have a furnace, this can actually increase the humidity problem, since air blowing through your home can dry it out even more.
Humidifiers to the Rescue
You’ve likely seen or used portable humidifiers in your home before. Small models can help keep exotic plants healthy or help sick people breathe more easily. A whole-house humidifier simply translates that concept to the entire home. A wick or pad is connected to a reservoir of water, which keeps it moist at all times. A fan then blows across the surface of the pad in conjunction with your furnace: adding moisture to the air and circulating it through your home. Relative humidity levels go up, your home stays comfortable, and the problems mentioned above are severely curtailed or eliminated entirely.
If a whole-house humidifier sounds like a good fit for your Denver, CO home, call on Bell Home Solutions today!