When it comes to comfort, temperature is only one part of the picture. The amount of moisture in the air is just as important. Getting humidity right affects your real comfort levels but more importantly, it affects your health… and nothing is more spooky than an awful, yucky cold!
How much humidity should you aim for?
The ideal range is 40-50% in the summer and 30% in the winter. The slightly lower target in winter is to prevent condensate from forming on cold windows. Typically for the colder months, low humidity is the issue since cold air holds less moisture, especially in an already dry state like Utah.
Effects of low humidity
- Static build-up is one of the first things you’d notice when the humidity drops. While this might be ok for Frankenstein, getting small shocks when you touch metal, and static-charged hair can bring some discomfort. However, for your expensive equipment and devices, static electricity can actually lead to damage.
- Dry skin and membranes: Low humidity causes the dreaded “winter skin” which can become zombie-like and painful as your skin cracks and opens you up to infection. Not only does your skin dry out, but so do your nasal membranes. This increases your susceptibility to colds and other respiratory illnesses.
- Damage to furniture and your home’s structure occurs if the air is so dry that it removes moisture from wood. Your floors may begin to creak more and your doorways might warp slightly. This is something that happens over time so you may not notice it right away but to keep your home from appearing and sounding haunted, you need the right humidity.
How to prevent a dry house
By far the best way to keep your humidity levels up in winter is to use a humidifier. You can use a vaporizer or install a humidifier in your HVAC system. Regardless of what you use, remember not to let the air get too humid because this comes with its own frightening problems.
You need the right-sized humidifier
To get the right amount of humidity in your home, the first step is to have a humidifier that’s the right size. A professional knows how to calculate the required pounds per hour (lb/hr) of moisture or steam to be added to the air. The amount of moisture needed is based on temperature of air entering the furnace (a mixture of outdoor air and return air from your home) as well as relative humidity. Moisture is added to get humidity levels up to where they should be. Having a humidity sensor ensures you never go too high or too low with humidity levels, and that’s a spell that you don’t want to miss out on.
Don’t deal with winter dryness this year
Don’t get tricked with the cold dry air this year. Give us a call at Western Heating & Air Conditioning and we’ll treat you with $50 off a whole house humidifier to cure your home’s low humidity problems. Call 801-375-COOL or visit us online at www.TimeForComfort.com
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