Written by Brad Crawford
Humidifiers are often overlooked in the Dallas area, but they can do some real good in many homes. Despite the mild, humid North Texas climate, our air does get cool and dry enough to cause problems during the fall and winter seasons.
Ideal relative indoor humidity is around 40 to 50 percent. In winter, though, indoor humidity can fall below 30 percent, leaving you with problems such as dry eyes, static shocks and a persistent chilly feeling. It can ruin your artwork, cause cracks in the molding and walls and split the wood flooring causing eventual large dollar repairs.
Portable humidifiers help somewhat, but they’re effective only for one or two rooms at a time. The need for daily filling and cleaning makes them a hassle to use too.
Whole-house humidifiers are more effective and more convenient. These units are installed directly into the HVAC system. As air passes through the system, the humidifier releases water vapor into the air. The air, now at a comfortable humidity level, is distributed throughout your home through your HVAC ducts.
Because a whole-house unit draws water from your home’s plumbing system, you’ll never have to refill it. The unit needs upkeep only once or twice a year.
With a whole-house humidifier, you can improve your comfort level in a number of ways.
- Protect your skin – Increasing indoor humidity can relieve wintertime discomforts such as itchy dry skin, cracked lips, dry eyes and a scratchy dry throat. Humidifiers may help prevent nosebleeds, too.
- Lower cold and flu risk – Your respiratory tract needs sufficient moisture to keep out the microorganisms that cause colds and flu. What’s more, most viruses doesn’t survive as well in humid air, so proper humidity levels may reduce the number of viruses in your home.
- Ease respiratory symptoms – If you do happen to catch a cold or the flu, dry indoor air will irritate and inflame your respiratory tract, making your symptoms worse. Properly humidified air will help you breathe easier. If you have asthma, you may find improved humidity results in fewer attacks.
- Feel warmer – Dry air draws moisture from any surface it can, including your skin. This drying process creates an evaporative cooling effect that makes you feel chilly. With proper humidity levels, you’ll feel warmer and may be able to turn your thermostat down to lower your heating expenses.
- Avoid static electricity – When the air is dry, metal items can build up more of an electric charge than they can in humid air. The result is static electricity. Humidifiers help prevent the painful shocks and clingy clothing static causes, as well as damage to sensitive electronics from static jolts.
- Prevent costly repairs to your woodwork , walls, and artwork – When humidity drops below 42% bad things in the home can begin to happen. Wood will begin to crack and artwork will dry up. Many of these damages are unrepairable.
For more pro tips on using a humidifier or other HVAC equipment, please contact us at Crawford Services. In the Dallas area, we can help you find safe, affordable, effective ways to stay comfortable.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in North Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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