Humidity – 11/1/13
Humidification - why adding humidity during winter can be important.
Humidity is a double edged sword. During summer we suffer when it is hot and humid, yet during winter we need humidity to help keep our
noses and sinuses comfortable.
Most weather reports referance relative humidity. Relative humidity is given as a percentage of how much moisture air can hold. 50% relative
humidity means that air is holding 50% of maximum possible. Air can hold much more moisture when it is warm than cold. When it is cold outside,
air cannot hold very much moisture. Warm moist air escapes our homes through small gaps, imperfect window and door seals, and when doors
are opened. Unless humidity is added, everything inside dries out.
People with sensitive sinuses realy benifit from adding humidity inside their hiome during winter.
Humidity can be a added different ways. If you have a forced air heating system, adding a central humidifier is realatively easy. Unit is
attached to ductwork, water connection made, humidistat installed, and voala, humidity can now be set to whatever level is desired. Some central
humidifiers even have controls that sense outdoor air temperature and adjust humidity levels so that water does not condense on windows.
If you do not have forced air heat, then portable humidifiers can be added to one or more rooms. Add water, plug into wall and flip the switch.
If you are building a new home, or built one in last few years, you will likely not need to add humidity for first few years after completion. New homes
contain a lot of mositure from building materials. Homes dry out over time and even the tightest home will dry out to the point of becoming uncomfortable.
Moist air is more comfotable. People often find they can lower their thermostat when air has been humidified, saving heating dollars.
More humidity, more comfort when it is cold out.
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