Why Do We Need To Regulate Humidity In The Winter?

Why Humidity Is Important In The Winter

Why Do We Need To Regulate Humidity In The Winter?

Here at John Cipollone Inc., we often get questions from our customers about the right level of humidity for their home.  The humidity level, which correlates to the amount of moisture in the air, affects indoor air quality. If you have too much moisture in the air, you could get mold or mildew in your home. However, in the winter, most homes have much lower humidity which can lead to health problems and other problems throughout your home. 

I’ve personally been taking care of the indoor air quality in homes for years. It’s not something everyone thinks about all the time, but it makes a difference in your comfort. It also impacts your health. I’ve installed humidifiers and dehumidifiers that treat the entire home, and plug right into the HVAC system. 

In this article, I’ll tell you a little more about why humidity is important in the Winter, and what you can do to keep your home at the proper humidity levels. If you want to speak with an expert, give us a call at (610) 446-7877

Understanding Humidity

When you hear about humidity- most of us think of hot, sticky days in the summer. But indoor humidity levels- the amount of moisture in the air- is important for your health and your home all year long.

In the Winter, it’s much colder outside, there is a much lower humidity level -warm air holds more moisture than cool air. While overall humidity is lower when it’s cooler outside, when you add heated air circulating through your home, humidity levels can drop even further.

Problems with Low Humidity Include:

  • Doors and Windows shrink causing gaps and drafts
  • Drywall can shrink causing gaps between walls and ceilings. You may see more nail pops in drywall, or cracks developing in places.
  • If you have wood floors, you might notice more creaks and cracks in the winter, due to shrinking by low humidity.
  • Increased static electricity- are you getting small shocks when you touch a family member, or even a light switch in the winter? The build up of static electricity in the winter can be exacerbated by low humidity indoors.
  • Health Issues- Low humidity can also lead to:
  • Nosebleeds
  • Dry skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Respiratory and sinus problems
  • Cracked lips
  • Sore throat
  • Increased allergy or asthma symptoms

Recommended Indoor Humidity Levels

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends indoor humidity levels between 30-50%. You can measure the humidity in your home with a smart thermostat, or by getting a humidity gauge at your local hardware store.

Breathing Easy

Dry air carries more viruses and bacteria, and dry nasal passages are more vulnerable to infections. This is part of the reason why colds and flu spread faster in cold dry weather than during the Summer.

One of the best ways to help improve your indoor air quality is to increase the humidity in your home during colder weather. At John Cipollone, we recommend our customers consider getting a whole home humidifier, like an April Aire system installed to help regulate humidity throughout your home.

Balanced humidity in your home can help improve your sleep, enhance productivity, and keep your family healthier as well. Proper humidity levels can also help preserve the natural beauty of wood floors, cabinetry, furnishings, and anything else in your home susceptible to warping, cracking, or other permanent damage due to low humidity levels

Whole Home Humidifiers vs. Spot Humidifiers

A Whole Home Humidifier Can Plug Right Into Your HVAC SystemA whole home humidifier will help keep your floors, furniture, windows and doors from shrinking too much with low humidity. In some parts of your home, you might still consider a portable humidifier during certain times of the year. 

For example, your home may be at 30% humidity, but a slightly higher level of humidity in your bedroom can help you sleep better and prevent nosebleeds or other problems. The right humidity level keeps your respiratory system from drying out, so you’ll cough less and breathe easier. In addition, slightly higher humidity levels can help keep your skin more hydrated, which is especially important for people who suffer from dermatitis, eczema or other skin conditions.

What Happens If It’s Too Humid?

Too much humidity can lead to mold and mildew setting up shop, and it can help encourage growth of bacteria. Wood furniture and doors can swell, making them harder to open and close completely. You might even find wood furniture may feel sticky when the humidity is high.

Excess humidity can also make your home a more friendly environment for pests like termites and other 6 legged friends. It can also cause stains on walls and ceilings, flaking paint and peeling wallpaper.

Fortunately, humidity tends to get “too high” for comfort in warmer weather, and air conditioning can reduce the temperature and humidity levels in your home, making you comfortable once again!

Too Dry? Give us a Call!

If you’re having a humidity problem in your home, give us a call here at John Cipollone.  We can help examine your system and help you determine whether a whole home humidifier is a good fit for you! Our experts can help you choose a system that will keep your family healthy all year long.

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