29 Jan Dry Air – Fighting the Common Problems it Causes
Anyone who lives in Southeast Michigan knows winter temperatures can be downright miserable – and when the air becomes dry more problems crop up. Humidity levels plummet during winter months due to the fact cold air isn’t capable of holding the moisture warm air can. Humidity of about 45% is ideal for your indoor spaces during winter, however it often drops to 15% or even lower. This can result in a host of problems including not only discomfort, but your home and health as well.
Moist membranes line your nose and throat; these membranes cannot do their job of capturing bacteria, dust, and viruses before they reach your lungs when humidity levels are too low and the membranes become dry. Humidity is moisture, so you can actually lower the chance of flu, colds or other respiratory illnesses by adding moisture to the air in your home. A humidifier can help with this when the air is dry.
We all know how painful it can be when hands or lips become cracked and dry. The itching can be maddening as well. Our skin is comprised of more than 50% water, so when dry air comes around it can aggravate acne, eczema and other skin conditions. Adding humidity to the air can help greatly when caring for your skin.
This is another result of extremely dry air, and one that’s super uncomfortable. We do most of our breathing through our noses, so when air lacks moisture it can dry out the nasal passages and cause itching or discomfort. Not only that, dry, irritated nasal passages can result in nosebleeds. Again, it’s important to ensure the air inside your home is properly humidified.
Many people don’t realize the negative impact of dry air on their home and furnishings. When the air becomes dry, it will pull moisture from anywhere it can find it – and this includes the wood frame of your home, wood floors, and even wood furnishings. You may notice creaking hardwood floors, gaps in windows constructed of wood, or even gaps between walls and ceilings. Not only is it damaging, it can cost you in terms of heating your home as cold air can infiltrate these gaps. Dry air can cause wood furnishings to crack, or artwork, books or other paper items to warp or wrinkle. It’s also very damaging to musical instruments. Humidity to the rescue!
We’ve all experienced static electricity when walking in socks across the carpet or touching something metal such as a doorknob. It can be painful and it certainly isn’t pleasant! Dry air causes the build up of static electricity, and you’ll probably notice clothes clinging together when you remove them from the dryer or even your hair standing on end when you try to brush it. By properly humidifying the air you can eliminate static electricity.
Portable humidifiers are capable of adding moisture to a single room, however the best solution is a whole-home humidifier. These area available in bypass and power models.
A bypass humidifier such as the Lennox HCWB17 delivers moisture throughout your home using the airflow generated by your air handler or furnace. It’s capable of adding as much as 17 gallons of moisture to the airflow in your home each day, and allows you to fine-tune your comfort by specifying the humidity level you prefer.
Power humidifiers such as the Lennox HCWP18 are capable of adding as much as 18 gallons of moisture to the air on a daily basis. This humidifier operates using its own electric fan rather than your air handler or furnace. It can also add moisture to the air regardless of whether the A/C or heat system is operating. For larger homes requiring increased moisture circulation we recommend the Lennox HCWP18.
There’s nothing good about dry air, especially in winter months. If you live in Ann Arbor or anywhere in SE Michigan you don’t have to suffer the damage to your health and home! At Haley Mechanical we can help you take charge of the moisture level in your home using humidifiers from Lennox, the most trusted name in the business.