Finding the Right Heating/Humidity Balance

Finding the Right Heating/Humidity BalanceFinding the right balance of humidity and heat in your home in the wintertime can be a bit tricky. As with any time of year, you never want to overdo humid conditions. That can lead to a moldy and a musty smell. On the other hand, you need a bit of moisture in the air to maintain a more healthful environment in the winter, when air is drier. Read on for how to keep your moisture levels where they should be.

Finding the Right Moisture Levels

First off, you need to know what the humidity level in your home is. Buy a hygrometer at a home convenience store and you can find out. Humidity should range between 35 and 55 percent throughout the year — a little on the low side in summer and a bit on the high side in winter.

In summer, the main problem with high humidity in the home is the discomfort it causes, as it makes us feel warmer than we need to. In the winter, that’s not usually an issue. Mostly, moisture levels tend to be lower in cooler air. What’s more, the furnace can dry out air even more. While drier air isn’t a cause for discomfort per se, it can have the following effects:

  • chapped lips
  • dry, irritated skin
  • dry mucus membranes, leading to susceptibility to colds and flu, coughing and sore throat
  • drying of wooden floors and home furnishings
  • more static in the air

How to Raise Moisture Levels in Winter

With your hygrometer to guide you, the idea is to raise moisture levels in your home for good health and comfort. You can try boiling pots of water on the stove, taking longer showers, and letting the vapor waft into the house or even adding more house plants to your home. These measures will help, but they won’t do nearly as good a job as a whole house humidifier will. Portable humidifiers will help some, but must be moved from room to room and refilled continuously.

To learn more about improving humidity in the winter, contact Cool Power of Long Island.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hauppauge, New York and the Long Island area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heating and humidity and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 631-292-0629.

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