If the interior air in your home gets especially dry and uncomfortable in the winter months, it could be because of your furnace. When your furnace is working hard to heat your home, it uses up interior air that must be replaced by outside air. Of course, the outside air is cold during the winter month, and cold air is dry because of the concept of relative humidity.
If you have dry wintertime air, you'll have to put a little more effort into keeping your home comfortable. Consider the following tips to improve excessively dry interior air and to maximize comfort:
- Get a humidifier- Homeowners with especially severe dry air problems should consider getting a humidifier. A humidifier will keep the dry, heated air in your home moist regardless of how much you have to rely on your furnace to heat your home air. Ideally, a humidifier should keep the humidity level in your home between 30 and 50 percent.
- Have your home examined for leaks- Leaks in your home can allow the dry, cold air outside to get into your interiors. They can also make interior air colder so that your furnace must work harder and use up more air. Caulking leaks in doors, windows, crawl spaces, attics, and ductwork can help alleviate dry air problems and increase HVAC efficiency.
- Put some thought into your ventilation- Inefficient home ventilation can aggravate dry air problems. While air needs to circulate throughout the home, excessive ventilation increases demands on the furnace. Arrange for an inspection with your HVAC technician if you've noticed the drafts and inefficient HVAC equipment operation that could indicate ventilation problems.
- Turn down your thermostat a bit- By turning your thermostat down, you can reduce the need to bring in outdoor air that could cause humidity levels to drop. When you lower your thermostat, your furnace doesn't have to work as hard. Turning your thermostat down will not only improve humidity levels, but it will also save you money on your heating bills.
- Stay hydrated and moisturized- Drinking a lot of water and regularly applying moisturizer to your skin will leave your body less susceptible to feeling uncomfortable because of dry interior air.
- Don't take long showers- Although it's tempting to linger underneath hot shower water during the cold winter months, hot water and steam can dry out your skin. If you take faster showers, you'll notice that it's easier to keep your skin thoroughly moisturized.
To learn more, visit the experts at Allied Air Conditioning & Heating Corp.