Solve Problems With a Humidifier During Heating Season

Solve Problems With a Humidifier During Heating SeasonBecause humidity’s impact varies by season, a whole-house humidifier plays a role in winter comfort and efficiency. Cold air doesn’t hold water vapor efficiently, so outdoor relative humidity frequently dips below 50 percent during winter months. Indoors, other factors drive humidity even lower. Most of our homes utilize gas-fired forced-air furnaces that dry indoor air more. While the EPA recommends keeping average indoor humidity around 40 percent, household levels often plunge below that in dry, cold winter conditions with the furnace running.

The consequences of seasonal low indoor humidity can manifest as symptoms in humans as well as structural effects on the house. Here are some of the problems that installing a whole-house humidifier can alleviate in winter:

Health Issues

People long believed that cold and flu viruses thrived in damp conditions. Recent studies have proved the opposite: airborne viruses actually survive longer and infect humans more readily in low humidity. In an enclosed indoor environment, chances of becoming infected are less when relative humidity is above 40 percent.

Physical Irritants

The list of annoying symptoms of low humidity is long: dry, stuffy nose, sore throat, itchy flaky skin and eye irritation to name a few. Those sharp zaps of static electricity you get after walking across a carpet or floor are also caused by lack of water vapor in the air.

Structural Matters

Continuous exposure to dry air damages many materials in your home. These include wood floors and cabinetry, plaster, paint, artwork and musical instruments like pianos and guitars. All these materials lose dimensional stability as natural moisture is drawn out due to low humidity, causing the material to shrink and/or crack.

Comfort And Costs

Dry air doesn’t hold heat energy — the reason broiling deserts turn frigid at night. Dry air makes a house feel more chilly than it would at a higher humidity level. Compensating for the effects of low humidity by cranking up the thermostat decreases furnace efficiency and raises monthly costs.

Ask Paitson Bros. about a whole-house humidifier to stabilize winter humidity in your home. We’ve been keeping indoor environments healthy and comfortable since 1922.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about humidifiers and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “freedigitalphotos”

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    By Jeff Paitson
  • About Jeff

    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

    Jeff’s belief is that the business belongs to Jesus Christ; therefore 10 percent of the company’s profits go toward the Maryland Community Church.

    Jeff is a Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce member and in his spare time, he enjoys photography.
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  • About Ethan


    Ethan Ethan Rayburn is a lifelong resident of Terre Haute and a 2005 graduate of Purdue University.

    An Eagle Scout, Ethan spent four years as a non-profit executive with the Boy Scouts of America before joining Paitson Bros. as a comfort advisor and later General Manager. In that role, Ethan has brought a renewed enthusiasm for customer care, integrity, value, and service to Paitson Bros. Heating & Air Conditioning.

    Ethan enjoys singing and was a member of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club. He also enjoys playing and coaching soccer, spending time with his family and two young boys, and volunteering his time and resources with his church, Terre Haute First Baptist Church, which he has attended from a very young age.
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