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Why Does My Home’s Air Get Dry in the Winter?

It’s a common complaint in the wintertime: your heater delivers plenty of warmth for your home, only to render your air bone dry. Winter air starts out dry to begin with, a condition that’s only exacerbated by the warm air of a heater or furnace.  Humidity levels play a huge role in the comfort of your home, and here in Plainfield, heating systems can sometimes contribute to the problem if you’re not heads up about it. “Why does my home’s air get dry in the winter?” The answer is a little complex, but can help you understand why your home doesn’t feel as comfortable as it should.

When we talk about humidity, we’re usually talking about relative humidity, which should be between 30% and 60% for your home to be comfortable. This becomes more important in the winter because cold air doesn’t hold water as well as hot air does. Warm air expands, which gives it a greater capacity to hold water, while cold air contracts (this is why condensation appears on a cold drink in the summertime; the warm air just outside the glass is being cooled, forcing out the moisture which condenses on the colder surface.) That means when warm air passes over water, it tends to pull it out, drying the air.

You can see how your furnace might contribute to this issue: cycling warm air through your home and pulling moisture out of it. Excessively dry air can cause all kinds of health problems, exacerbating allergies and leading to irritation in the nose and throat. You can remedy this in part by taking a shower, heating up water in a pan or using a portable humidifier. The best long-term solution, however, is to install a whole-house humidifier in your heating system, It will allow you to continue to heat your house while still keeping humidity levels in check.

For more extensive answers to the question “why does my home’s air get dry in the winter?” or to handle other issues regarding Plainfield heating, call upon the pros at DuAll Heating & Cooling. Trained experts are on hand to answer all your questions, so contact us today!

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