There’s a reason why air appears drier in the winter than when it’s warmer. That’s due to the fact warmer air carries extra moisture, or humidity, than colder air.
The same is true inside your the U.S. house. Using your gas furnace makes your house 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 exposed to getting sick.
Here’s why your gas furnace dries out your home’s air and what you can do to counter it.
The fuel your furnace consumes isn’t the thing responsible for making your home’s air appear dry. Rather, it’s the combustion process.
There are two different types of gas furnaces, standard and high efficiency. With an older standard furnace, you can see light from the burners when it’s heating. A newer, high-efficiency furnace is totally sealed.
A standard furnace, also called an atmosphere furnace, pulls air from inside your residence to combust. Because the furnace continuously depends on air to burn, it will also draw in cold, dry air from outdoors, which in turn lowers your residence’s humidity.
High-efficiency furnaces, also known as a sealed combustion furnace, are best for keeping your humidity steady. They take all their combustion air from outdoors, but it stays contained in the sealed furnace. As an added perk, they keep your residence more warm while consuming less energy. Upgrading to an ENERGY STAR® furnace from an old furnace may save you as much as 40% on heating costs, according to Lennox®.
Other than combustion, cold air also naturally drifts into your home during colder weather. Decreased humidity means the air will rob moisture quickly from your skin, lips, nose and throat. It’s also to blame for static electricity.
Using a humidifier. While a portable humidifier can only make one room pleasant at a time, a whole-house humidifier will transport that comfort across your home.
These are just a few humidifier benefits you’ll receive when you switch to a whole-home system.
It’s common that cold weather is the worst time for colds, flu and other sicknesses. That’s due to the fact you’re more apt to get sick when your nose and throat are dry. Under specific airflow conditions, air at the right humidity level may also hamper the spread of some viruses. In addition, it can weaken year-round allergy symptoms.
If you have chronically dry skin or eczema, you realize just how irritating those conditions make you during winter. Installing a whole-house humidifier will help your skin keep more moisture.
Maintaining your bedroom at the right 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 just about anything in your residence that’s wood doesn’t like it when humidity is too low. This is due to the fact dry air absorbs moisture from the wood and causes it to fracture. Having your residence’s humidity at the correct level will keep your house’s furnishings looking their best.
Between frequent filter changes and constant refilling, portable humidifiers require a lot of upkeep. A whole-house humidifier only needs maintenance about once a year, which can be performed at the same time as your furnace tune-up.
A steam humidifier has the smallest amount of maintenance since it doesn’t need a pad. It retains water in a canister and boils it into steam that gets distributed through your ductwork. As it’s independently powered, it can run when the furnace isn’t on.
If your house’s air feels less than pleasant during the winter, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help. Call us at 866-397-3787 to request a free home comfort consultation. There’s no pressure, just free Expert suggestions on how you can balance your house’s humidity at just the correct level. And, like our other services, our work is protected by our well-known 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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