Why is My Home so Dry?

The Answer Guide

Why is My Home so Dry?

Is your home so dry it’s affecting the health of your family?...
Are you plagued by static electricity?...
Does it feel cold even when the thermostat is set at comfortable level?

When air warms, it can hold more moisture. In the winter, when we heat our homes, the air dries out… dramatically. This can lead to a host of problems, such as:
  • Excessive static electricity
  • Viral infections, such as colds and the flu
  • Agitation of asthma and allergy problems
  • Rashes, chapped lips, and dry skin
  • Cracks in wood floors
  • Shrinkage in wood furnishings
  • Gaps in molding
  • Wallpaper peeling at the corners
  • Loose drawers
  • Out of tune pianos

Fortunately, we can correct these problems with an automatic central humidifier.

A Few Facts

  • Your home may be drier than the Sahara in the winter. If the air outside is 35OF with a 60% relative humidity, heating it to 72OF will drop the humidity to 15%! By comparison, the average humidity in the Sahara is 25%.
  • Static electricity as low as 500 volts can damage microchips in computers and electronics. You cannot perceive static electricity until it reaches 1,500 volts. Simply walking across a rug can produce static electricity of 12,000 volts. While not harmful to people, static electricity can damage microchips. Proper humidity helps control static electricity.
  • One of the main reasons we get colds and flues in the winter is dry indoors air. The mucus in our upper respiratory tract traps bacteria, viruses, and allergens as they enter our body and sweeps them into our stomachs before they can enter our bloodstream. With excessively dry air, our mucus dries and thickens, effectively reducing our immunity.

What can I do?
Your grandmother intuitively knew the answer to dry winter air. She left a pot of water simmering on the stove to add moisture to the house. While effective, this is not necessarily safe or economical.

Alternatively, hauling water to a series of room humidifiers is messy and inconvenient. The best solution is to use an automatic furnace central humidifier that will maintain indoor humidity at the optimum level without the need to ever give it a thought.

How expensive are humidifiers?
Actually, humidifiers are free. They will pay for themselves in a couple of seasons from energy savings. Though you may not notice it, your body is constantly perspiring. When the air is dry, your perspiration evaporates instantly, creating a cooling effect. This is why rubbing alcohol feels cool when applied to the skin, even though the rubbing alcohol is kept at room temperature. Thus, proper levels of humidity result in a more comfortable home, at a lower thermostat setting. Simply lowering your thermostat a degree or two will pay for the cost of the humidifier in a couple of seasons. It doesn’t take much.

How do automatic humidifiers work?
We will mount a humidistat on the wall inside your home and a humidifier on your furnace or duct system. You dial in your desired level of humidity (i.e. 30% to 40% is recommended), the humidistat measures the humidity in the surrounding air, and adds moisture if the humidity is low. It’s simple, efficient, and automatic.

© 2002 Service Roundtable