There’s a reason why air feels drier during cold weather than in the summer. That’s because warmer air retains more moisture, or humidity, than colder air.
The same is true for your the U.S. home. Using your gas furnace makes your residence feel warmer but can also dry out the indoor air. Dry air can transport a whole host of ailments, such as dry skin, cracked lips and make you more exposed to getting sick.
Here’s why your gas furnace dries out your residence’s air and what you can do to combat it.
The fuel your furnace consumes isn’t the culprit responsible for making your house’s air seem dry. Rather, it’s the combustion process.
There are two different kinds 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 tightly sealed.
A standard furnace, also called an atmosphere furnace, draws air from inside your house to work. Because the furnace constantly requires air to burn, it will also draw in cold, dry air from outdoors, which in turn reduces your home’s humidity.
High-efficiency furnaces, also known as a sealed combustion furnace, are ideal for keeping your humidity even. They draw all their combustion air from outdoors, but it stays trapped in the sealed furnace. As an added perk, they keep your home more cozy while requiring less energy. Switching to an ENERGY STAR® furnace from an old furnace might save you as much as 40% on heating costs, according to Lennox®.
Other than combustion, cold air also naturally flows into your home during cold weather. Lower 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 spread that comfort throughout your house.
These are just a small number of humidifier benefits you’ll acquire when you switch to a whole-home system.
It’s typical that winter is the worst time for colds, flu and other ailments. That’s because you’re more apt to end up sick when your nose and throat are dry. Under specific airflow conditions, air at the right humidity level can also slow the spread of some viruses. Also, it can help with year-round allergy symptoms.
If you have chronically dry skin or eczema, you realize just how uncomfortable those conditions are during winter. Getting a whole-house humidifier will help your skin keep more moisture.
Keeping your bedroom at the preferred temperature and humidity level will keep you comfortable at night. It can also alleviate loud snoring, since your throat and nose will be better hydrated.
Cabinets, flooring, furniture and generally anything in your home that’s wood is affected when humidity is too low. This is a result of the fact dry air moves moisture from the wood and causes it to crack. Having your residence’s humidity at the correct level will keep your home’s furnishings looking their best.
Between steady filter changes and continuous refilling, portable humidifiers demand a lot of upkeep. A whole-house humidifier only needs maintenance about once a year, which can be done at the same time as your furnace tune-up.
A steam humidifier has the smallest amount of maintenance since it doesn’t require a pad. It retains water in a canister and boils it into steam that gets moved through your ductwork. As it’s independently powered, it can run when the furnace is off.
If your residence’s air feels less than comfortable during cold weather, 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 supported by our famous 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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