Are you suffering from a case of dry alligator skin again this winter? Is static electricity leaving hair unmanageable? Are you slathering lotions on your body, and squirting sinus spray in your nose? More benefits than you realize can be gained from a humidifier for your health and your home.
Your furnace is running often and temperatures have dipped causing the air in your home to lack moisture. You and your family begin to have dry skin, irritated sinuses, parched throat, itchy eyes, nose bleeds and hacky cough. Why? Long periods of exposure to low humidity will dry out mucous membranes. When these natural barriers aren’t working as they should, you may have a higher risk of colds, flu, and other infections. Studies have found that flu viruses survive longer and spread easier when humidity levels are low. This also causes a rise in allergies from dust or mites.
The Mayo Clinic recommends our indoor humidity level stay between 30 and 45 percent.
Perhaps your thermostat reflects the humidity in your home? If not, you can purchase a hygrometer at your local hardware store. Have you considered adding a humidifier to your home?
Does this photo remind you of your childhood?
Placing a pot of water on the stove and adding a splash of eucalyptus oil was once a common remedy for sinus and chest congestion due to dry air. Yet, it could prove more harmful to sensitive nasal and chest membranes. This method most always left a sticky film on household surfaces, not to mention the possibility of serious scalding and burns. There was no way to monitor the level of humidity added to the indoor air, often setting up the stages of mold growth.
Feels Like You’re Living in the Mojave Desert?
Electronic Equipment – Static electricity from dry air can damage internal parts of a computer, TV and other electronics.
Woodwork, Floors and Wood Furniture – Wood expands and contracts causing mitered corners to ‘cup’. This will make the floor warp. Wood absorbs (swells) or loses moisture (shrinks) as relative humidity varies. Perhaps you’ve had a door edge swell and get stuck. These variations can cause a piece of wood furniture to come apart or warp.
Musical Instruments – The same is true for wooden instruments such as guitars, violins or pianos. Dry air can make glue brittle and separate.
Wine and Liquor – Corks dry out, shrink or crack, exposing wine to bacteria and ruining the flavor.
Artwork and Books – Dry air can cause paint (especially acrylic and oils) to crack and peel. And bindings in books can become brittle.
House Plants – It goes without saying that dry air will affect plants, especially hot house varieties.
A Whole House Humidifier Works Wonders.
What about other remedies? People will often buy a table top or floor model vaporizer or humidifier. We already listed some of the downfalls of a boiling pot of water. The biggest complaint with portable units is the need to maintain the water level, and keep it clean and free from bacteria. A quick personal fix can be gained from a steam bath or hot shower. Or to reduce chest congestion some people will cover their head with a towel and breathe in steam as they lean over a sink filled with hot water. These ‘fixes’ won’t help others who are sharing the dry air in the environment, or prevent damage to some of the items listed above.
Simply stated, a good whole area humidifier works to replace moisture to the air you breathe. Aprilaire, a leading manufacturer and expert in humidification says:
Humidification – the process of adding moisture to the air – is one of the most important aspects of total indoor air comfort, yet it’s one of the least understood.”
A whole-house humidifier allows the perfect amount of moisture into your home, minimizing the ill effects of dry air and making you more comfortable. This can even save you money. The EPA reports that every degree you lower your thermostat to, can allow 4% savings on your heating bill.
Installed directly to your home’s central heating and cooling system, it provides whole-home comfort—unlike portable units that only address certain spaces.
The only maintenance required for a whole house system is to change filters, panels, and to keep drains and pans cleaned and unclogged. Most of all, pay close attention to the instructions that come with your humidifier. This is important. A dirty rusty filter can cause mechanical problems if the rust drains out, such as this one we recently removed from a humidifier.
ABEL Heating and Cooling can Offer Maintenance and Suggestions.
Thinking about installing a new whole-house or space humidifier in your home or business? Let us help you make that decision based on our knowledge and expertise. Have questions about your existing humidifier? Call ABEL at 952-472-2665 or Contact Us.
…and see you later, Alligator! Skin