How Do You Know When Your Home Needs a Humidifier?
Humidity is something you want out of your home in a hot summer, but fall and winter air might get too dry. Colder air doesn’t hold as much moisture, so your home’s humidity levels can get too low. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests that most people are comfortable when interior humidity levels are between 40% and 60%. Adding a humidifier to your home might accomplish this, but you need to know the warning signs that your home could benefit from a humidifier.
Your Hygrometer Is Telling You
Most people know what a hygrometer is even if they’re not familiar with the name of the device. You know that a thermometer tells you what the temperature is, and a hygrometer similarly tells you what the humidity is. Hygrometers come in both analog and digital models, and you can get one as a standalone unit or part of a clock. An analog hygrometer usually shows you the humidity level in your home with a needle on a circular dial measuring 0% to 100%. A digital hygrometer will simply display the percentage, although it might show relative humidity instead of actual humidity.
Your Family Is Shocking You
Static electricity is a common occurrence if your home environment is dry to the point of being uncomfortable. Humidity blocks static electricity from building up. When moisture levels fall too low, your chance of getting a static shock will go up. This might seem like something inconvenient and silly, but it can happen so much that people in your family start getting worried about touching other people or even certain things in your home. Extreme cases of static, while rare, do have the potential to disrupt or even destroy electronic devices.
Your Lips and Skin Are Dry and Itchy
Dry air is always going to draw out moisture when it’s present. That might mean pulling moisture away from you. Dry, flaky skin or having an itchy scalp in your family might make you all reach for lip balm and moisturizing products. They can help alleviate your symptoms at the start. However, if it’s happening on a regular basis, then your home’s low humidity could be a chronic problem and not just an acute issue, thanks to the latest cold snap.
People Are Physically Ill
Dryness might start on the surface of your body, but it will move inside it. Nosebleeds, persistent coughing, and even allergy episodes will wear anyone down. Anyone suffering from allergies or asthma will possibly be impacted more frequently now than at any other time of year. Nasal congestion can present itself in the morning or night. You might also notice a sore, scratchy throat and a runny nose that you can’t seem to find peace with. Your eyes can also dry out from any of this going on. If you suspect anything serious, see your doctor. Just don’t be surprised if they suggest humidifying your home.
You Start Seeing Gaps in Various Places
Moisture that gets leeched out of physical materials might cause certain reactions you can identify visually. These include cracks, warping, weakening, gaps, and shrinking. This can happen to flooring, furniture, moldings, and many building materials in your home. Wood is very susceptible to this, in particular. Many manufacturers who sell hardwood flooring actually require humidifier installation as a condition of providing a warranty on their products. If your home has a lot of wood floors, furniture, or other surfaces, then you should consider protecting them just as much as anyone living in your home.
You’re Running Your Heat All the Time
The colder it gets, the more you’ll run your heat. That’s what it’s there for. However, that’s going to dry out the air more. Drier air is going to hold less heat because it retains less moisture, and you’re left running the heat even more. Adding humidity to your home might not just make you more physically comfortable but also reduce your power bill because the HVAC won’t have to run as hard. If your utility bills are surprising you, low humidity levels might be a factor contributing to that.
Keep Your Home Comfortable
If your home needs a humidifier, then you need to install one. After that, you need to keep it maintained so it stays functional and serves your home well. Our team in Frederick, MD can take care of all this for you. We handle all heating and cooling needs, ductwork, and indoor air quality issues. Contact us at Weather Masters Corp. for humidifier installation services, maintenance visits, and repairs.