There’s a reason why air seems drier in the winter than when it’s warmer. That’s because warmer air retains additional moisture, or humidity, than colder air.
The same is true within your the U.S. home. Starting your gas furnace makes your residence feel warmer but can also dry out the indoor air. Dry air can bring a whole host of ailments, like dry skin, cracked lips and make you more vulnerable to getting sick.
Here’s why your gas furnace dries out your house’s air and what you can do to combat it.
The fuel your furnace uses isn’t the culprit responsible for making your home’s air seem dry. Rather, it’s the way it combusts.
There are two different kinds of gas furnaces, standard and high efficiency. With an older standard furnace, you can see light from the burners when it’s on. A newer, high-efficiency furnace is tightly sealed.
A standard furnace, also termed an atmosphere furnace, takes air from inside your residence to combust. Because the furnace constantly requires air to burn, it will also pull cold, dry air from outdoors, which in turn affects your house’s humidity.
High-efficiency furnaces, also referred to as a sealed combustion furnace, are ideal for keeping your humidity steady. They draw all their combustion air from outside, but it stays contained within the sealed furnace. As another advantage, they keep your house more cozy while using less energy. Moving to an ENERGY STAR® furnace from an old furnace could save you as much as 40% on heating costs, according to Lennox®.
Other than combustion, cold air also naturally moves into your residence during the winter. Decreased humidity means the air will rob moisture quickly from your skin, lips, nose and throat. It also causes static electricity.
Using a humidifier. While a portable humidifier can only make one room pleasant at a time, a whole-house humidifier will spread that comfort throughout your residence.
These are just a small number of humidifier benefits you’ll receive when you install a whole-home system.
It’s common that cold weather is the worst time for colds, flu and other sicknesses. That’s because you’re more apt to end up sick when your nose and throat are dry. Under certain airflow conditions, air at the right humidity level can also resist the spread of some viruses. In addition, it can help with year-round allergy symptoms.
If you have consistent dry skin or eczema, you know just how aggravating those conditions are during winter. Adding a whole-house humidifier will help your skin retain more moisture.
Keeping your bedroom at the ideal temperature and humidity level will keep you comfortable at night. It can also reduce loud snoring, since your throat and nose will be better hydrated.
Cabinets, flooring, furniture and generally anything in your home that’s wood suffers when humidity is too low. This is a result of the fact dry air moves moisture from the wood and causes it to split. Balancing your home’s humidity at the right level will keep your residence’s furnishings looking their best.
Between consistent filter changes and constant refilling, portable humidifiers demand a lot of upkeep. A whole-house humidifier only needs maintenance about once a year, which can be performed in tandem with your furnace tune-up.
A steam humidifier has the lowest amount of maintenance since it doesn’t need a pad. It retains water in a canister and boils it into steam that gets transported through your ductwork. As it’s independently powered, it can work when the furnace is off.
If your residence’s air feels less than cozy during the winter, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help. Call us at 866-397-3787 to schedule a free home comfort consultation. There’s no sales tactics, just free Expert suggestions on how you can balance your home’s humidity at just the correct level. And, like our other services, our work is backed by our legendary 100% Satisfaction Guarantee for one year.*
*Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.
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