When it comes to indoor air quality, you may think that the measurement for this is how hot or cool it is in your home. Your HVAC systems certainly play an important role in your overall indoor air quality, but they’re certainly not the only component. In fact, your HVAC system can actually contribute to lower indoor air quality just by their nature.
One of the common ways in which our indoor air quality suffers as we get closer to the winter months is with low humidity. The ideal relative humidity level in any home is between 30%-50%. Anything above this range means there’s too much moisture in the air—a common summertime problem—while anything below this range means it’s too dry. And dry air can be as bad in your home as humid air!
Read on to learn more.
The Problems Caused by Low Humidity
When temperatures drop and we start using our heating systems more and more, the ambient moisture in the air shift from gaseous to liquid form, and departs the atmosphere. In the summertime, we know this as excess humidity, but in the winter it makes our air very dry. Dry air is uncomfortable, for starters, but it actually causes some other problems, as well.
- Dry Skin: This leads to itching, rashes, and chapped lips. It’s particularly annoying for household members that already suffer from any skin conditions such as allergy dermatitis or eczema.
- Dried Mucous Membranes: We’re talking about in your sinuses. Unfortunately, when this is dried out, it depletes one of your body’s primary means for fighting off colds and illnesses. This is actually one of the reasons cold are more prevalent during the winter.
- Static Electricity: This causes those painful jolts you may be familiar with when you come into contact with any metal. Even without the shocks, static electricity can make grooming and other tasks more difficult.
Dry air also forces your heater to work harder. We alluded to this above, but since it usually feels cooler in your home when the air is dry, you’ll likely be tempted to turn up your heater. So, the components will run longer and wear out faster. Therefore, your heater will wear down faster.
The Whole-House Humidifier Solution
A solution to this problem is a professionally installed whole-house humidifier. Sure, you could buy portable humidifiers, but they simply do not have the power and the effectiveness to rid your home of poor indoor air quality as a whole-house system does.
The whole-house humidifier is installed directly into your HVAC system ductwork. A wick or pad in the humidifier is fed with water from a reservoir, and a fan blows over the pay to release moisture vapor into the air, working in combination with your furnace to spread the moisture throughout your home. This is an efficient and effective way to restore your home’s air quality!