Controlling the humidity in your home is really what HVAC is about as well as comfort. Every home is different, largely due to geographic location and climate, the build of your home also plays a big part. Here in Lincoln, Nebraska homeowner fight the battle of high humidity in the summers and dry air in the winters. The premise behind air conditioning is not just to lower the air temperature in your home, but to remove humidity. Why? The dryer the air the cooler the air will feel. For this reason an air conditioner system that removes humidity efficiently from your home will provide better comfort than one that doesn’t.
When we turn to heating season and your HVAC system is circulating dry warm air we suggest adding humidity to improve your comfort during those colder months.
Adding the proper amount of humidity to a home with low humidity will raise how warm the air feels without a change to the thermostat. It’s said that adding proper humidity could make your home feel 1-3 degrees warmer. This means you will be saving money on your heating bill because you’ll be heating your home less while feeling more comfortable. So what is the proper humidity level? There is different ranges out there, but we suggest keeping your home in the range of 40%-50% relative indoor humidity. During winter months the higher on that spectrum you can keep your home the warmer you will feel.
Keeping proper humidity levels in your home will improve your health. Reduce the number of dry noses and sore throats by adding humidity to the air. A humidifier helps keep the mucous membranes in your nose, as a result you’ll reduce the chances of bloody noses and infection.
Humidity can reduce airborne irritants like dust and viruses which thrive in dryer air. Reducing these, plus breathing air with a higher moisture content can help avoid chronic dry and sore throats.
Dry, itchy skin also becomes prevalent during colder months. The comfort of a hotter and longer shower during cold months is more enticing, however this is a also a recipe for dryer skin. Pair this with more frequent hand washing to avoid infections such as colds, influenza, and COVID, and your skin needs every little bit of help to keep moisture in. Reduce the drying of your skin throughout the day by keeping a healthy humidity level in your home.
Avoiding swings in your home relative humidity levels will help you avoid damage to your home. Hardwood floors and cabinetry will benefit from a consistent humidity level. During cold months especially in older homes that naturally have more air infiltration the air can become quite dry. The dryer the air becomes the greater the chance for splitting of the woodwork throughout your home.
Space humidifiers are helpful at adding humidity to an individual space, however when your goal is to cover your entire home, they just won’t cut it. Although a whole home humidifier will cost more it not only will cover a greater area, but make doing so much easier. Unlike space humidifiers, a whole home humidifier is connected to a readily available water supply. This means not more filling water supplies and removing filters while it’s not in use. The maintenance of most whole home humidifiers is minimal consisting of changing the water panel, typically once a year, and on some models opening or closing a damper at the change of seasons.
If you would like to learn more about the right humidifier for your home contact the pros at Bryant Air Conditioning, Heating, Electrical & Plumbing.