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  • Winter Can Bring Dry Air: Tips to Combat Low Humidity in Your Home

    Energy Air

    Often during the winters the air feels dry in our homes. This can cause dry skin, dry eyes, throat, and mucous membrane as well breathing issues especially for those with asthma. The reason for drier air in the home is not due to the HVAC system or the electric heater, but rather Mother Nature.

    HVAC systems work by using outside air that is filtered into the home through the ventilation system, or fresh air intakes. The humidity of this air is determined by the outside weather. In Florida, the average relative humidity appears to stay consistent. In order to see a clearer picture of the differing humidity levels from summer to winter the absolute humidity (total water content of air), should be used rather than the relative humidity level. Relative humidity is a measurement of the absolute humidity relative to the maximum for that temperature. This measurement is a percentage that shows no true magnitude of the actual water content in the air.

    Why Do We Have Low Humidity In Winter?

    In typical cooling mode, your HVAC system would work to remove the humidity to provide a comfortable living space. However, when the humidity of the outside air is lower, there is no way for a standard HVAC system to add humidity to the air. Ecologists explain that lower humidity values are due to a decrease in the sun’s radiating heat that typically causes moisture to evaporate from the Earth’s soil. During the winter this evaporation rate is lower, directly lowering the water content available in the air.

    How To Add Humidity To Your Home

    There are ways to add humidity back into your home. The most common for the HVAC industry would be to install a whole-house humidifier. This option can be expensive, a cheaper alternative is to purchase a single room humidifier and place it in the room you desire to add humidity.

    Other ways to add humidity to your home are a little less conventional but can offer temporary relief from low humidity. By placing pans of water near heating vents or windows with sun exposure, you can increase the water content in your air. You can also boil a pot of water on the stove for a similar effect. Anything in your home that produces warm, humid water vapor can be used such as your dishwasher and shower. Also hanging damp clothes around the house rather than machine drying can help humidity levels in your home. For more information on alternative ways for increasing home humidity, visit the Home Wizard webpage.

    by Jason Kulp

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