When winter arrives, dry air in the home can become a real issue. Humidity levels naturally drop in the winter since the cooler temperatures outdoors cause less water vapor to be suspended in the air. The constant operation of your forced air heating system can perpetuate the issue. Here's a look at common problems caused by dry air in the home, as well as a few solutions to explore.
What problems can be caused by dry air in the home?
The primary implications of dry air have to do with your overall health and wellness. Since most people spend a lot of time indoors during the winter, having dry air in the home means you are exposed to that dry air a lot! It can cause dry, itchy skin, red and itchy eyes, a feeling of dryness in your throat, and even a dry mouth.
Prolonged dryness in the throat can increase your risk of developing a cold or the flu. When you are sick (which unfortunately happens to a lot of people in the winter), the dry air only serves to make you more uncomfortable. Dry mouth also has its consequences, which include an increased risk of tooth decay, and nobody likes the look of dry skin, either!
How can dry air be addressed?
There are several ways to add humidity to your air this winter. Basically, you can choose between a whole-home humidifier and a portable humidifier.
- A whole-home humidifier is a unit that integrates with the rest of your HVAC system. Today's models are quite sophisticated. You can set them for your preferred humidity level, and they regularly sample the air, adding moisture to the air when it becomes drier than your chosen setting. Should you choose a whole-home humidifier, your HVAC professional will need to install it, since it must be wired in with your furnace.
- A portable humidifier is a stand-alone unit that you can place in any room in your home. You can adjust the unit to create your preferred humidity level. Though they tend to be less expensive than whole-home units and don't require professional installation, the trade-off is that they won't necessarily ensure even humidity throughout the home. The air in some rooms might feel drier than others.
If you are suffering from symptoms that you think may be related to dry air in your home, talk to an HVAC professional like Triad Heating & Cooling Inc today to learn more about your humidifier options. Even if you use an inexpensive, portable humidifier, you'll experience an improvement in your health as a result.