In the winter, humidity gets too dry for comfort. Dry air soaks up the moisture in your skin, hair, eyes, nose, and throat, leading to sinus problems, nose bleeds, chapped lips, and dry skin.
The drying out of breathing passages also makes you more susceptible to illness since mucus isn’t able to trap bacteria as easily. Breathing in dry air can cause or worsen asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, and nosebleeds.
Other dry air problems include static electricity, snoring, alligator skin, chapped lips, and cracking of woodwork and other hygroscopic (water absorbing) goods.
Luckily, with a forced air system, you can maintain ideal humidity levels throughout the home. All you need is a central humidifier attached to the system.
Keep in mind that the dry, winter air is coming from the cold air outside. The leakier your house, the more cold air gets in and the lower your relative humidity will be. While you may still need a humidifier, sealing and insulating your home is a great first step in combatting dry, winter air.
The most common type of central humidifier sends heated air from the furnace through a wet pad or disk. If you are using a wetted-element humidifier, it is normally on the warm-air plenum, which connects to the ductwork. Other models use a bypass pipe or they attach to an air duct leading out of the plenum.
Unlike portable humidifiers, central humidifiers are hooked up directly to the plumbing system so you never have to worry about purchasing or adding special deionized or distilled water. A humidistat is used to measure moisture levels so the humidifier doesn’t emit too much or too little moisture.
If relative humidity (RH) levels drop to about 30-35%, you will start to notice the effects of dry air. The ideal relative humidity in winter depends on a variety of factors, but you generally want to aim for a low end of 40%.
Don’t let dry air cause health problems for you and your family. While you can partially combat the problem of low humidity with a portable humidifier, the best way to maintain consistent humidity levels throughout the building is to install a whole-house humidifier.
We carry a variety of models, and with the help of our experts, we’ll find the perfect humidifier to counteract all of your winter air ailments.
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