Maintaining Ideal Humidity In Your Home All Winter Long

The minute you turn your furnace on, the air starts to dry and it’s hard to maintain an ideal humidity level in your home, which should range from 30 to 45 percent in the winter. Eventually, the air dries so much that it may adversely affect your health as well as the wooden fixtures and furniture in your home. Unless you have a small home, a whole-house humidifier, rather than one or more portable units, is likely to be the most efficient way for you to increase humidity during the heating season.

A whole-house system also makes it easier for you to manage the humidity levels, since you can set the level you want based on the outdoor temperature. It’s not commonly known, but the amount of humidity in the air should be based on the outdoor temperatures. Colder temperatures require less indoor humidity. When temperatures are 40 degrees F outside, the indoor humidity should be no more than 45 percent. As it falls to 0 degrees or lower, it should only be 25 percent to avoid condensation on windows or around pipes.

Besides being able to control the humidity levels, when you install a whole-house humidifier, you’ll lower the energy it takes to maintain comfort levels in your home. You’ll also prevent the problems associated with dry air indoors, such as static electricity, dry skin and wood cracks in flooring, furniture or cabinets. Whole-house systems need maintenance once or twice during the heating season, while a portable unit should be cleaned once a week to avoid bacterial growth in the water tank.

Whole-house humidifiers tap into your home’s plumbing and attach to your HVAC system. When the furnace or heat pump kicks on, the humidifier adds water vapor to the air before it moves through your ducts, so your home is evenly humidified. Each 10 percent increase in humidity levels helps you feel warmer by a degree, which means you can lower the thermostat without sacrificing comfort.

If you’d like more information about maintaining an ideal humidity in your home during the upcoming heating season, please contact us at Overland Park Heating & Cooling. We’ve provided quality HVAC services for the greater Kansas City area since 1983.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock