Cold air holds less moisture than warmer air.
In cold weather areas, overly dry air becomes a problem.
In these locations, the below freezing temperatures necessitate running the heating system for more than half the year. With the hot air blasting into the space, the moisture levels become especially low. Low humidity can cause damage to home furnishings. Antiques, furniture, musical instruments, hardwood floors and moldings can dry out and crack. There are also health concerns created. Headaches, sore throat, itchy eyes, coughing, difficulty sleeping, sneezing and coughing can all be blamed on insufficient humidity. Chapped lips, bloody noses and static shock are some of the consequences. The dry air aggravates allergies, asthma and can lead to respiratory infection. Because the overly dry air feels colder, homeowners are tempted to raise the thermostat setting. This only worsens the problem while also putting a greater workload on the furnace. The heating system is forced to run longer and more often to achieve the thermostat, increasing impact on the environment, wear and tear on components and energy bills. The ideal solution is a whole-home humidifier. While portable humidifiers require a great deal of maintenance and only affect a single room, whole-home options introduce moisture by way of the duct system, improving the comfort and health of every cubic foot of breathing air. There are three different styles of humidifiers on the market: steam, by-pass and fan-style. Each one offers different advantages. The right humidifier depends on the size and exact demands of the home. The higher-end models allow adjustment of the amount of moisture added and run independently from the furnace. By making the air feel warmer, the home feels comfortable at lower thermostat settings. The savings on energy bills quickly helps to pay for the investment into the humidifier. These air quality accessories should be installed by a licensed HVAC contractor to ensure peak performance.