Why is my house so dry during the winter? It’s a question that many of us here in the Hamptons are asking, so we turned to Flanders Heating & Air Conditioning for some answers.
The Question: Each year during the winter months my home becomes very dry and I get a dry throat and a slight nose bleed in the morning. Why is that?
The Answer from Flanders Heating & Air Conditioning: During the cold winter months most homes become very dry. This is because you are heating the air in your home. When we heat air it expands, like most things when heat is added. If moisture is not added to the expanded air then it becomes dry. This means that there are low levels of humidity in your home. Not only does this dry air affect your health and comfort level but it also affects your home and wallet.
Ever notice that your wood flooring looks like it shrunk and is drier during the winter months? This is because wood flooring also becomes dry when there is less humidity in your home. Along with wood flooring your doors and windows also shrink which lets in more cold air. More cold air means you will be turning the thermostat higher to warm your home.
What are some ways to add humidity to my home?
It is recommended to add a humidifier. Today’s technology offers many options that a homeowner can choose from depending on your budget, how much humidity is needed and what heating and/or cooling system already exists in your home. Here are some general types of humidifiers to give you an idea of what is being offered.
• Portable humidifiers: Humidifiers that are stand alones in a room. These are good for single rooms but you must monitor humidity level in the room and clean the system on a regular basis.
• Whole house humidifiers: Humidifiers that are installed into your central air or heating systems. It releases water vapor into the air. This unit also watches and controls the level of humidity in your home without you having to watch it. All you have to do is set it to the level of comfort you would like.
• Steam humidifiers: Humidifiers that operate independently from your heating and cooling system plus uses less water.
• Bypass humidifiers: A whole house humidifier that has a damper system in it to let you set your winter and summer settings without having to think about it for the rest of the year.
If the proper humidifier is not installed, either you will still have dry air in the home or too much humidity will cause too much moisture in the home, which can cause mold. On whatever system you decide to use it is highly recommended to have a professional come to your home and give you an estimate for the proper humidifier for your home.