Maximizing Home Comfort during the Colder Winter Months Published on December 30, 2014 Humidity is normally ignored as a huge component of indoor comfort and air quality. Air that is too moist or too dry can impact your comfort, your heating or cooling efficiency, and even cause damage to the furnishings and finishes of your home. Throughout the winter, your furnace often strips the air of moisture during the heating process; this may make the air inside your home feel very dry. Keep reading to learn more about dry air and its effects on your home, your skin, and your heating bills—and learn how you can control indoor humidity to boost your comfort all winter long. Dry Air and Your Home Dry air can wreak havoc on your comfort and your home. When the air in your home is too dry, you can experience irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and mouth. Dry air may also lead to symptoms similar to those of a sore throat, such as discomfort and coughing. If you or your family members suffer from allergies or asthma, a dry indoor environment may cause respiratory discomfort as well. Air that is too dry can also damage the finishes and furnishings in your home, particularly those made from wood, causing them to shrink, warp, and crack. Low humidity could also affect paper products, such as photos, posters, and books, making them more brittle. Furthermore, extremely low humidity can lessen the efficiency of your home’s heating system. Air that has more moisture can hold more heat, which means it will feel warmer. In turn, low humidity in your home means the air will feel cooler, meaning you have to turn up the heat more than necessary to feel comfortable. Adding Humidity During Heating The simplest way to a more energy-efficient and comfortable home during the winter is to control your indoor humidity. The best humidity range for your home and your health is 35-50%. Although you can use single-room humidifiers to improve the humidity in certain areas of your home, this tactic is not efficient. Instead, you should look at adding a whole-home humidifier to your HVAC system. A whole-home humidifier can be joined with your current HVAC and plumbing systems and controlled via your thermostat. You can set the ambient humidity to any level you desire without worrying about turning the system on and off or remembering to fill or empty water reservoirs. Once the heating season is over, your humidifier can be drained and shut down until it is needed again; the only maintenance your humidifier needs can be done by your Service Exerts technician during your bi-annual HVAC tune-ups, so no extra appointment necessary. If you’d like to hear more about improving your comfort and your home’s heating efficiency this winter, visit our website for a full listing of our HVAC services. We proudly offer heating and cooling repair, replacement, and maintenance in addition to indoor air quality solutions and attic insulation. Read through our blog to find out more about the latest information and technology in the HVAC industry!