Although there are benefits of the low humidity of the Arizona’s deserts in the summer and early fall, it takes it toll on your comfort in the winter. Besides the annoying static electricity and chapped skin, dry indoor air causes more serious health issues.
The reason they call winter the cold and flu season is that the viruses and bacteria that cause them become more contagious in the dry air that occurs during the heating season. Skin infections occur from overly chapped or cracked skin, and sore throats, sinus infections and bloody noses aren’t uncommon.
Healthy indoor humidity levels range between 30 and 50 percent. Depending on the size of your home and family, normal day-to-day activities might supply all you need indoors from cooking, laundry and bathing.
Fighting Low Humidity in Your Home
As fall turns to winter, the air will become increasing dry once the furnace starts to run regularly, and you may need to increase it to fight the low humidity. The three most effective ways to add more include:
- Leaving the exhaust fans off as you cook or bathe, letting the steam circulate through your home.
- Using portable humidifiers living and sleeping areas.
- Installing a whole-house humidifier that works with your central HVAC system. A humidistat controls the humidity level, keeping it at a level you find comfortable.
While portable steamers and misters will increase humidity levels, they require weekly maintenance and continual filling. They take up space on counters or furniture, and each uses electricity.
A whole-house humidifier uses little energy and has a water line that fills it automatically. It requires infrequent cleaning and each room of your home will have a consistent humidity level. Raising the humidity also helps everyone feel warmer, which may let you turn the thermostat down.
Low humidity in the heating season can affect your health adversely and reduces indoor comfort. If you’d like to learn more about increasing it indoors, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric, providing trusted HVAC services for Yuma-area homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about indoor humidity and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 928-723-3183.