If you’ve lived in the Pittsburgh area for even just a year, then you are probably well aware of how dry our winters can get. When you take that dryness and put it in your home, you could end up with a lot of problems. And the thing is, the relative humidity outdoors absolutely impacts the moisture levels indoors! The lowest humidity level before your environment starts getting uncomfortable (and unhealthy) is 30%—you want your home’s relative humidity level to be between this and 50%.
The humidity in your household is measured by relative humidity, which we alluded to above—this is the percentage detailing the amount of ambient moisture that exists in the air. The lower this number, the drier your air is.
Anything below that 30% mark means that any moisture present will be leeched from your household and anything in it. This includes your own skin, which can become raw and itchy. Also, low humidity creates static electricity, and dries out sinuses which can make you and your family more susceptible to germs and illness. This is especially important for those who suffer from asthma or allergies.
Dry air is such a problem when the weather cools because cooling your air causes moisture to coalesce and evaporate. Additionally, when temperatures outside are cold enough for it to snow, any moisture in the air literally freezes. Running your heater doesn’t help, either, as this is not adding any moisture to the air.
So is a whole-house humidifier really the answer? Yes!
This system is relatively simplistic. It’s comprised of a wick or pad, which is fed water by a reservoir. A fan blows over across the top of the pad, which sends moisture into the air through the ducts in your HVAC systems.
Most of the time, the level of moisture can be adjusted to suit your specific needs, helping you stay comfortable indoors no matter what the weather is like outdoors. There are a number of benefits to having a whole-house humidifier installed, including:
- Eliminating Static Electricity: Sure, it may seem fun (not to mention, funny) to slide in your sock across the carpet in your home on a dry day and “shock” your siblings. But, by the time you’re an adult, static cling and frizzy air can get pretty old, right?
- Lowering the Risk of Illness: This is an even more serious issue. Dry air makes you less resistant to colds and other contagious illnesses, because it dries out your sinuses and mucous membranes, as we mentioned above. Essentially, it lowers your immunity to illnesses you might have otherwise been able to avoid. A whole-house humidifier, however, will help keep you and your family healthy and happy.
- Healthier Skin: With a whole-home humidifier in place, your skin won’t feel as dry and chapped as it would otherwise. Humidifiers help cut down on irritating skin conditions such as eczema, and can help even healthy skin feel better in dry conditions.