Finding the Right Balance Between Heating and Humidity

Finding the Right Balance Between Heating and HumidityThe amount of humidity in the air fluctuates with the seasons. Winter air is always drier because cold air holds less moisture than warm air, and running your heating system dries out your indoor air even further. When the moisture level falls too low, it can start to negatively impact your household and your family’s comfort and health. To strike a balance during heating season, humidity should be kept in the 30–50 percent range.

Why Adequate Moisture Matters

When the air inside your home becomes too dry, a host of problems can develop including:

  • Comfort and health effects. A lack of moisture in the air can make your home feel uncomfortably cool and cause discomforting symptoms like dry skin, chapped lips, sore throats and nasal irritation. Dry conditions also encourage the growth of certain viruses and bacteria that cause common winter illnesses like colds, respiratory infections and the flu.
  • Household damage. Low humidity can wreak havoc on your home’s wooden structural components, floors, trim and furniture, and can damage drywall, paint and wallpaper. Another dry-air concern is static electricity, which causes irritating shocks and can ruin costly electronic equipment.
  • Higher energy bills. Dry winter air doesn’t hold heat well, so you’ll likely have to raise the thermostat setting and burn more energy in an effort to keep your home warm.

How to Achieve a Balance Between Heating and Humidity

If extremely dry air in your home is a concern, you can check the moisture level yourself using a device called a hygrometer that’s found at most home improvement stores. If the reading is below 30 percent, you can have a whole-house humidifier installed to bring the level back into balance. An HVAC pro installs the humidifier unit alongside the furnace and connects it to your water supply. The unit creates water vapor that’s added to the heated air sent out through the ductwork. You can adjust the humidification level as needed via an independent humidistat control or your thermostat.

To learn more about balancing humidity in your Middletown home during heating season, contact us at C.R. Wolfe Heating & Air Conditioning.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Middletown, New York about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about balancing heat and humidity and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 845-367-4482.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “clker-free-vector-images/Pixabay”

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    Chris Kuiken Chris Kuiken is an expert in the fields of heating, air conditioning, construction, and building science... More »