Many people living in our northern climate find indoor air very dry come winter time, resulting in sore throats, dry noses and skin, and itchy eyes. Some even experience breathing difficulties when exposed to low humidity over the winter months. The ideal in-home humidity level is generally described between 30 and 60 per cent. When humidity is too low, the mucous membrane lining your respiratory tract can become dry and inflamed, increasing the risk of colds, flu and other infections. Low humidity can also dry out hardwood floors, causing them to separate or crack. When humidity is too high, it can result in nasal congestion or even contribute to the growth of mould.

So, how can you regulate your home’s humidity over the winter months? A furnace humidifier can be a very cost effective way to combat dry indoor air. The two most common types of cost-effective humidifiers are reservoir and flow-through. The reservoir type holds the water in a “reservoir” and uses a rotating drum to introduce the humidity to the air. A flow-through has the water “flow through” the humidifier and then drains it out. Although all furnace-mounted home humidifiers are designed to work by adding moisture from water and evaporating it using the furnace’s warm supply air, a flow-through with bypass can be mounted on the return air duct, allowing a more versatile installation.

How do you know if you need a humidifier? Have your home’s relative humidity checked by a qualified professional. If humidity levels are between 30 to 60 per cent in the winter, then you likely do not require a humidifier. If levels are below 30 per cent in the winter, then a furnace humidifier can help create a more comfortable and healthy environment.

If you find your home very dry in the winter, and would like to learn how you can enjoy a more comfortable and healthy in-home winter environment, call the professionals at Langton Mechanical to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.

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