You probably know that too much humidity in your home in the summer is not a good thing. It can make us feel warmer, as it interferes with perspiration evaporating on our skin, so it's always wise to keep humidity levels low -- no more than 40 percent -- in the summer. But likewise, we also need to be mindful of moisture levels in the winter. Here's why.
Wintertime Home Moisture Levels
In the winter, while we're using the heating system, moisture levels may dip below 30 percent, which is way too low. That's because cooler air holds less moisture than warm air. Plus, the furnace can dry the air out even more. Some of the ill effects of dry air:
- Static electricity, which can damage electronics
- Dried out wooden furniture and floors
- Dry mucus membranes, which can lead to respiratory problems, such as colds, flu and sore throats and coughs
- Dry skin
The best way to keep an eye on moisture levels is to buy an inexpensive hygrometer at the home improvement store.
Maintaining Proper Humidity
There are a number of ways to raise the moisture levels in your home: boiling pots of water on the stove, adding house plants to the home and taking long showers, allowing water vapor to travel through the house.
But the best way is to install a whole-house humidifier. The three basic types are.
Drum system. This type spins out a fabric or foam belt over a water reservoir, wicking moisture from the reservoir, which evaporates into the air as the HVAC system blows air over the drum.
Flow-through systems. Drips water through an aluminum or foam pad, delivering the moisture to the rest of the home
Spray mist systems. These spray a mist into the duct work as the HVAC kicks on.
Portable humidifiers can help moisturize the air, but they must be moved from room to room, and must be refilled with water by hand and periodically cleaned.
To learn more about the right levels of humidity in the heating season, contact Hartman Brothers Heating and Air Conditioning of Fort Wayne.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in New Haven, Indiana and surrounding Fort Wayne area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat and humidity and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 260-376-2961.
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