When it comes to controlling comfort levels in your home during winter, your furnace is only one part of the equation. That’s because even if your furnace is keeping your home warm, you can still experience comfort problems associated with low humidity. Today we’re going to talk about the effects of low humidity in your home and what you can do to avoid those problems!
Why Do Homes Have Low Humidity In Cold Weather?
Humidity is a measurement of the amount of water vapor in the air. During the colder months here in the Coachella Valley, the air is drier than it is during the rest of the year and outdoor humidity levels are typically at their lowest. If you utilize a furnace and/or fireplace and don’t do anything in particular to increase the humidity in your home, your indoor humidity levels will be low as well.
What Are The Effects of Low Humidity In Your Home?
- Feels colder. Although humidity won’t change the actual temperature of your home, it will make you feel colder. This causes many people to raise their thermostat temperatures, which increases energy consumption.
- Irritates skin. When the air is dry, it will also dry out your body and make your skin itchy, cracked and/or irritated.
- Worsens asthma, allergies and illnesses. Along with drying out your skin, low humidity will dry out your nose, throat and air passages. This often worsens symptoms of asthma and allergies and is problematic for anyone with respiratory issues.
- Increases static electricity. Have you ever noticed that you encounter static shocks much more often when it’s cold outside? That’s because low humidity increases static electricity in the air, which causes those painful shocks when you touch things like light switches and door knobs.
- Cracks wood. In addition to all the other negative effects above, low humidity also dries out the wood around your home. When this happens, wood tends to shrink and crack. This can cause damage to valuables, wooden furniture, walls and the floors in your home. It is not only unsightly, but can lead to significant damage to your home, ultimately compromising the integrity of your home’s structure.
How Can You Address Low Humidity In Your Home?
The best way to address low humidity in your home and avoid the problems listed above is to install a whole house humidifier. This device will add moisture to the air that’s circulated by your HVAC system, which will increase humidity levels in your entire home. In addition to improving your family’s comfort level and reducing the potential occurrence of asthma and/or dry throat symptoms, it will also preserve your wood furniture and drywall!
Since winter temperatures aren’t typically too extreme in the Coachella Valley, you could also consider utilizing your furnace and/or fireplace less. Every time your furnace kicks on or fireplace is lit, those devices suck moisture from your air. By running them less, moisture will remain in the air and humidity levels will remain balanced.