Supplement Your HVAC System With Humidification: The Benefits
by Greg Leisgang on February 17, 2014
Posted in: Indoor Air Quality
Home humidity in the winter drops to the point where it can become unhealthy for you, your home and its contents. Unless you have a small home, a central humidifier that works with your HVAC system is the simplest and most efficient way to manage indoor humidity. Forced air furnaces dry the air as they heat it, and unless you keep adding water vapor to the air, it'll get drier as the winter passes.
Air that has less than 30 percent relative humidity sets the stage for:
- An increased risk of infectious disease transfer. Bacteria and viruses spread much more rapidly in dry air.
- Irritated respiratory tracts. Besides being uncomfortable, small cracks can form that bacteria and viruses can enter, increasing the likelihood of contracting an illness. Nosebleeds are another result of low indoor humidity levels. Air that's too dry can also increase the discomfort associated with allergies and asthma, and lengthen recovery time from colds and respiratory flu.
- Dry skin that burns and cracks.
- Static electricity. Not only is this annoying, it can damage electronics with low-voltage components.
- Damage to the home and its furnishings. Anything made from wood can crack and it may not return to its original condition even when the humidity increases.
- An uncomfortably cool home. When the humidity is low, the air feels cooler. Moisture from your skin evaporates more quickly, chilling you.
A central humidifier attaches to your HVAC system and it uses some type of media over which water passes. As the air from the air handler blows over the pad, it evaporates and enters each room of your home through the ductwork. The excess water drains into your plumbing. These systems use a float valve that sends water to the pad when it's needed. A humidistat controls the amount of humidity in the air, whose ideal ranges are between 30 and 50 percent.
To learn more about increasing humidity with your HVAC system this winter, contact Tri-County Heating & Cooling. We provide top-notch HVAC services for homeowners throughout the Cincinnati area.
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