Humidifiers Fight Dry Winter Air

Lake Oswego, OR gets cold in the winter, like most of the greater Portland area, and most residents are rightfully focused on their heating systems to keep their homes warm when the snows fall. But temperature isn’t the only factor in household comfort during the winter, and if you’re not careful, you might be missing a key component in your fight to keep your home a pleasant place to be. Dry air is a constant problem when temperatures drop, but there’s an easy solution that a professional service can help you with: whole-house humidifiers.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE AIR IS DRY?

The dryness of the air is measured by relative humidity, listed as a percentage. 100% humidity means likely rain, while 0% humidity means no moisture in the air. (That rarely happens anywhere on the planet, and certainly not in a rainy atmosphere like ours.) Human beings are most comfortable when the relative humidity in the air sits somewhere between 30% and 50%.

The problem in the winter is that the humidity levels are often much lower than that. As the temperature drops, the gaseous moisture in the air becomes liquid and coalesces into drops. (That’s why you see dew on the ground in the early morning during the spring and summer months.) The remaining air is left much drier than it was, which creates no small number of problems during the winter.

WHAT KIND OF PROBLEMS?

You’ve likely encountered problems with low humidity levels in the past. They can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Dry, cracked skin and chapped lips. Dry air will leech the moisture from your skin, leaving an itching, burning sensation behind.
  • Increased risk of illness. Dry air can dry out your sinuses, which leaves your body more vulnerable to colds and similar infections. This is especially the case for infants and the elderly.
  • Higher heating bills. Dry air feels cooler than humid air, which means that your heating system will have to work harder to make up the difference. Not only will your monthly bills go up, but the added strain will increase the risk of a breakdown elsewhere in the system.
  • Static electricity. No one likes the feeling of touching a piece of metal or the like, only to receive a painful shock. Incidents of static electricity go up considerably when the air is excessively dry.

HUMIDIFIERS TO THE RESCUE

You may have a smaller humidifier in your home, to help family member breathe easier when they’re sick or perhaps to keep certain types of plants healthy. A whole-house humidifier performs the same duties on a larger scale, running concurrently with your heater to add moisture to the air. As a result, your home feels more comfortable, incidents of illness go down, and your heater won’t need to spend so much energy in order to do its job. When applied over time, it will also reduce wear and tear on your heating system, and may actually increase the system’s overall lifespan.

Trust the pros at Western Heating & Cooling for dehumidifier service throughout the Lake Oswego, OR area!

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