This past year, the summer season was disappointing and the fall weather was chilly, damp and brief.
The winter weather arrived much earlier than usual. By mid September, it was necessary to start up the furnace. With outside temperature consistently below freezing for nearly eight straight months, the heating system carried a heavy workload. It seemed as if the furnace ran non stop and my monthly energy bills were especially high. I noticed that no matter how high I set the thermostat, the house still felt slightly chilly. I realized that the air in the house was far too dry. My whole family was frequently coughing, sneezing and complaining of headaches. We all had issues with chapped lips, dry skin and frizzy hair. My youngest son suffered from frequent nose bleeds. Static shock was common and aggravating. I did some research and learned that insufficient humidity levels can be a danger to health and home furnishings. The potential for respiratory infection, cold, flu and aggravated symptoms of allergies and asthma increases when there’s insufficient moisture. Because dry air pulls moisture out of everything it touches, it can cause damage to hardwood floors, antiques, moldings and musical instruments. Since dry air feels colder than properly moisturized air, it encourages higher thermostat settings. I contacted a local HVAC contractor and asked about whole-house humidifiers. For the size and level of humidity concerns, the contractor recommended a steam-style humidifier, which incorporated right into the air handler of the heating system. As the name implies, this type of humidifier converts water to steam and introduces it into the indoor air. Now that we are maintaining proper humidity levels, the home feels more comfortable and I’m saving money on energy bills.