So here’s the thing: there might not be anything wrong with your heater. If there is something wrong with your heater, we are definitely the team to call! And to be fair, this is a call we get pretty often. Dry air is an issue for folks running their heating system on a daily, and even hourly, basis.
The assumption that heaters dry out the air is true to a point. When the level of moisture outdoors drops, as it does every winter, then your indoor relative humidity level drops as well. Anything below 30% is considered too low, and it will cause discomfort in addition to lowered immunity, leading to you and your family members catching illnesses easier. Low humidity can even cause property damage as wood starts to dry out and splinter.
But if your heater is only a small part of the problem, and even if it were the main problem, you wouldn’t want to stop using it anyway, what can you do? Read on to find out!
Install a Whole-House Humidifier
As we mentioned, when the air is too dry—humidity levels are too low—it can cause a variety of problems. For example, it will dry out your skin, leading to itching, rashes, chapped lips, and more.
Dry air also dries out your mucous membranes in your sinuses, depleting one of your body’s most helpful defenses against preventing colds and other illnesses. And let’s face it, 2020 is a time that we need our immune systems! Dry air is actually one of the biggest reasons that the cold and flu season hits hardest in the winter.
One last issue that dry air creates is static electricity. Yeah, it can seem amusing to slide your socked feet across the carpet on a dry day and “shock” a family member. But you won’t be laughing so much if you feel a shock from a metal doorknob or even worse, an electrical outlet. Static electricity can even create fire hazards.
How This Relates to Your Heater
While nothing is wrong with your heater that makes the air dry, your heater certainly does exacerbate the problem. Dry air also forces your heater to work harder in a sense. Moisture holds onto heat better, so it feels colder when the air is really dry. This means you’ll crank up the thermostat to try to get warmer, and your heater will have to run longer to compensate, plus dry out your air even more!
The Humidifier Difference
Perhaps you’re already familiar with portable humidifiers. They’re most often seen in bedrooms when someone is sick, or maybe being used to keep indoor plants moist. Whole-house humidifiers are a more comprehensive solution to dry air, however.
A whole-house humidifier can be installed directly into your ductwork to tackle the dry air problem comprehensively through your entire home, so you don’t have to rely on inefficient and insufficient portable humidifiers.