There’s a reason why air appears drier in the winter than in the summer. That’s since warmer air carries extra moisture, or humidity, than colder air.
The same is true inside your the U.S. house. Turning on your gas furnace makes your residence feel warmer but can also dry out the indoor air. Dry air can carry a whole host of ailments, including dry skin, cracked lips and make you more susceptible 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 needs isn’t the thing responsible for making your residence’s air seem dry. Rather, it’s the combustion process.
There are two different styles of gas furnaces, standard and high efficiency. With an older standard furnace, you can notice light from the burners when it’s heating. A newer, high-efficiency furnace is tightly sealed.
A standard furnace, also known as an atmosphere furnace, takes air from inside your home to function. Because the furnace constantly depends on air to burn, it will also pull cold, dry air from outdoors, which in turn reduces your house’s humidity.
High-efficiency furnaces, also called a sealed combustion furnace, are better at keeping your humidity steady. They take all their combustion air from outside, but it stays contained inside the sealed furnace. As an added bonus, they keep your residence more warm while consuming less energy. Moving to an ENERGY STAR® furnace from an old furnace can save you as much as 40% on heating costs, according to Lennox®.
Besides combustion, cold air also naturally moves into your home during colder weather. Reduced humidity means the air will snatch moisture fast from your skin, lips, nose and throat. It also causes static electricity.
Using a humidifier. While a portable humidifier can only make one room comfortable at a time, a whole-house humidifier will generate that comfort around your home.
These are just a few humidifier benefits you’ll get when you switch to a whole-home system.
It’s no surprise cold weather is the worst time for colds, flu and other illnesses. That’s because you’re more susceptible to get sick when your nose and throat are dry. Under specific airflow conditions, air at the correct humidity level may also restrict the spread of some viruses. Also, it can reduce year-round allergy symptoms.
If you have chronically dry skin or eczema, you know just how aggravating those conditions can be during winter. Getting a whole-house humidifier will help your skin retain more moisture.
Maintaining your bedroom at the right temperature and humidity level will keep you cozy at night. It can also reduce loud snoring, since your throat and nose will be better hydrated.
Cabinets, flooring, furniture and basically anything in your residence that’s wood doesn’t like it when humidity is too low. This is because of the fact dry air draws moisture from the wood and causes it to split. Balancing your house’s humidity at the right level will keep your house’s furnishings looking their best.
Between frequent filter changes and continuous refilling, portable humidifiers require a lot of upkeep. A whole-house humidifier only needs maintenance about once a year, which can be completed in tandem with your furnace tune-up.
A steam humidifier has the smallest amount of maintenance since it doesn’t need a pad. It holds water in a canister and boils it into steam that gets moved through your ductwork. As it’s independently powered, it can be in use when the furnace is off.
If your home’s air feels less than pleasant 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 advice on how you can balance your residence’s humidity at just the right level. And, like our other services, our work is backed 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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