Did you know that dry air can be a real problem in terms of your indoor air quality? Most people know that dry indoor air can be uncomfortable, causing dry skin, cracked lips, parched nasal passages, sore throats and those annoying static shocks. What many don’t realize is that it can be bad for their health and damaging to homes, furnishings and possessions as well. Fortunately, when dry air is the problem, improving indoor air quality can be easily done by adding moisture to the air with a whole-house humidifier.

In the Columbus and Phenix City areas, dry indoor air typically becomes a problem during the winter season. Air is drier in winter than it is during the warmer seasons—a problem that’s compounded by heating systems, which remove even more moisture from that cold, dry air. While typical household activities like showering, laundry and cooking release a little moisture into the air, they simply don’t add enough to maintain the recommended level of humidity in the home, which is 30 to 50 percent.

How Dry Air Can Affect Indoor Air Quality and Health

Indoor humidity levels below 30 percent are the main source of the dry, itchy skin so many of us suffer from during the winter months. Irritation of bronchial passages by overly dry air can promote respiratory symptoms in people with allergies, asthma and other respiratory disorders, as well as increase dust mites and other allergens typical of low humidity environments. Dry air has been shown to increase the incidence and duration of colds and other common respiratory infections, since dry nasal and bronchial passages are more susceptible to viral invasion. A whole-house humidifier offers a solution to many of these troublesome issues by maintaining optimal humidity levels in every room of the house throughout the heating season, improving indoor air quality to create a healthier and more comfortable environment.

Dry Air Is Hard on Your Home

Did you know that dry air can be damaging to your home and its contents? Dry air will draw moisture from wherever it can, drying out walls, wood flooring and trim. As wood, paint and other building materials in your home become parched, shrinkage will occur, which can lead to cracking in wood floors, paneling and trim, as well as peeling paint and other damage. Joints in wood furnishings may loosen as dry air takes its toll, and artwork and musical instruments can also be damaged. Another danger of dry air: static electricity. While static may be merely an annoyance when it makes your clothing cling and your hair messy, it can cause serious damaging to electronic equipment.

Humidity Levels, Home Comfort and Heating Bills

Overly dry air feels colder than air with optimal humidity levels, so using a whole-house humidifier in your home will help you feel warm and cozy on those cold, blustery winter nights. Better yet, you’ll feel warm and cozy at lower temperatures with moister indoor air, allowing you to turn down the thermostat a bit without compromising comfort. For every degree you’re able to lower that thermostat, you’ll reduce energy consumption by up to 4 percent, which can add up to significant savings on those winter heating bills.

If you’re interested in improving your indoor air quality this winter with a whole-house humidifier, you’ll be glad to know that these handy appliances can be added to both new HVAC systems and existing ones. They’re also available in models designed for use with a range of heating system types, including forced air, baseboard and radiant heating, among others.

For more information on choosing the best whole-house humidifier for your home, or for other remedies to indoor air quality issues, contact Indoor Solutions, Inc. We’ve been providing expert HVAC system service and installation to customers in Columbus, Opelika, Auburn, Eufaula and surrounding areas since 2003.

Image via Flickr by Jeremy Levine

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