You hear a lot of advice about how to make your home more comfortable and your heating system more efficient. One thing that continues to come up, in both summer and winter, is proper humidity. There is good reason to be concerned about the humidity level in your home in Downers Grove this winter.
Improved Air Quality
Illinois winters are already dryer than other seasons because of the cold arctic air that moves through. Then, as you run your furnace to keep your home warm, that dries the air even more. With drier air comes drier dust, skin, furniture, everything.
The problem with this lack of moisture is that it makes dust and dirt lighter. That means as air circulates around the home, it will pick up particles from the areas around the home they have collected. The number of particles in the air is how air quality is determined, so more particles means lower quality.
Adding humidity to the air keeps those particles on surfaces where they can be easily cleaned. Humidity control is much more effective and has many more benefits than simply adding more filtering to remove the excess contaminant.
Better Energy Efficiency
Everyone is looking for ways to make their HVAC system more efficient. The largest controllable inefficiency in your heating system is airflow restrictions. Your system is designed to move around your home, heating it along the way. When air is not flowing properly, then it prevents heat from circulating properly.
When you have lower air quality, you are going to create more restrictions around your system. The first place you will notice this is your air filter. When you pay attention to your filter, you can change it to prevent any further problems with your system. When you have poor air quality, your filters will not last as long, increasing your costs to prevent restrictions.
However, filters do not catch 100% of the contaminants in the air, and those contaminants will collect in other areas of your system. This may include your circulating fan, your heat exchanger, and your air ducts. All of these will reduce your efficiency, driving up your heating costs.
Reduce Repair Costs
Along with higher heating bills, poor air quality also increases your repair bills. When your air quality causes restrictions in your system, it makes everything work harder to heat your home. This does a couple of things, causing more repairs.
First, it adds unusual heat to the system. This heat then makes wire, circuitry, and motors all wear out more quickly, needing repair or replacement.
It also makes your system run longer to achieve the desired temperature in your home. So your system is running longer, with more heat around the components. This creates an environment where things will wear out quickly.
Not only is this a good reason to check your air filters regularly, but also to control the humidity to keep your air quality in check. It is also a great reason to get your system maintained regularly, which includes clearing any common restrictions.
Protect Your Wood Surfaces
Wood is a fiber that requires moisture to stay in good condition. It is also a fiber that is susceptible to developing unwanted spores when it is too moist. The EPA recommends keeping your humidity between 30% and 50% for optimal effect in your home.
If you have wood furniture or cabinets and your humidity drops too low, you will notice it may start to crack over time. This is especially important if you have wood instruments like a piano, guitar, or other stringed instruments.
You can attempt to keep the humidity in any given room at the right level, but that only neglects the system-wide impact. Controlling the humidity throughout your home helps keep all of your wood in good condition and will extend its life.
Improve Your Health
When the air you breathe is too dry, it creates cracks in your sinuses and throat. These cracks then become places for viruses and bacteria to make their way into your system. Further, dryer air also causes respiratory problems in many people. Keeping your humidity between 30% and 50% helps reduce the risk of some infections by reducing areas of invasion.
Fire 'n' Ice Heating & Cooling, Inc. has been serving the Downers Grove, IL, area since 1977. Our professional HVAC technicians are experts in air quality control, including filtration and humidity control options. Our NATE certified team also repairs and services all furnace makes and models when something does break down. Call to schedule your humidity consultation today.