Humidity Has a Warming Effect on a Household’s Occupants
When winter rolls around and the temperature starts to plummet, the first thing you probably do is turn on the heat – flip the thermostat, turn on the furnace, and throw some wood in the fireplace. Whatever it takes to keep warm!
However, there’s more to keeping warm than turning on the heat. Having low humidity in your home – meaning the air is too dry – will make you feel colder than you would if you had a healthy humidity level (generally agreed to be between 30 and 50 percent). This is because body heat evaporates into the air faster in low humidity. When there is more moisture in the air, you retain your body heat, and when there’s enough humidity in the air, you’ll stay warm even at cooler temperatures (and you won’t need to crank the heat quite so high).
There are a few things you can do to keep the humidity in your home at a comfortable level. The first thing you’ll want is a hygrometer – a device for monitoring humidity levels. Having a properly-calibrated hygrometer will let you know how far off you are from ideal room humidity. There are numerous ways to introduce humidity into your home. Put a pot or kettle full of water on your stove and set the burner to a low heat; on sunny days, simply place trays of water in the sunlight throughout your house.
Humidifiers are the most efficient way to adjust home humidity. Portable humidifiers are freestanding, and can be moved from room-to-room – but can be a bit pricey for the area they cover. Whole-house humidifiers attach to your furnace, and, after installation, will keep your house at a healthy humidity level with practically zero maintenance. Which one you should use depends on your home setup and personal preferences.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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