While we love the warmer months and having our windows open, the weather inevitably turns. As the cooler weather sets in, it is time to focus on winter air quality and getting your furnace running properly.

One of the key things to get your home ready for the winter is to mind your humidity level. The ideal humidity level for your home is roughly 30% to 50%. The relative humidity level tends to drop during the winter, especially once the air moves through the furnace combustion chamber. This means you should consider adding moisture to the air. Check out these seven reasons why you should think about using a humidifier this winter.

1. Help Prevent the Spread of Viruses

Did you ever wonder why winter tends to be the season when viruses spread more easily? One 2013 study suggests that a relative humidity of at least 43% renders about 85% of viruses inert. In other words, simply increasing the humidity level in your home can help reduce your risk of viral infections.

2. Reduce Snoring

Adding humidity is not going to solve something like obstructive sleep apnea, but it can aid with the symptoms. When you sleep, your nasal passages tend to dry out. If the air is already dry, your sinuses don’t stand a chance. Running a humidifier can help soothe your sinuses while you are sleeping, creating a more favorable environment for restful slumber. The additional moisture in your nasal passages can help reduce snoring caused by dry air.

3. Prolong the Life of Your Furnace and Filters

Over the winter months, you will notice an increase in dust. This increase is caused by several factors, including reduced cleaning, reduced ventilation and lower humidity. This dust often travels farther because the air is dryer, making its way to your heating system. That will clog your filters and collect on various parts of your furnace. Simply running a humidifier will help weigh down the dust and reduce how much of it gets into your furnace.

4. Reduce Dry Skin

There is a reason why sale of lotion constitutes a $13 million market. During the winter months, more people use more lotion to help deal with the increased dryness of their skin. By running a humidifier, you’ll be able to help keep your skin moister. This will reduce the amount of skin particles that contribute to dust, and that will actually improve your air quality and furnace performance.

5. Reduce Static

Have you ever noticed how much more static there is during the dryer months? While kids may find this an amusing way to tease each other, it can actually be dangerous. Too much static electricity can pose a threat to some household electronics. This is especially true if you work with computer components. Significant static discharge can even ignite accumulated dust and lead to a fire. Proper humidity levels help to prevent these problems.

6. Help Wood Furniture Last Longer

Wood makes for beautiful and long-lasting furniture when it is cared for properly. Unfortunately, wood is a fibrous material that requires moisture to keeps its properties. When it dries out, it cracks, and furniture built from it will start to separate. Running a humidifier will keep your wood furniture in good condition. You do need to be careful because too much moisture on wood will encourage mold growth.

7. Improve Air Quality

Air quality has become something of a hot topic among heating and cooling professionals. Simply put, air quality refers to the contaminants in the air around your home. During the winter months, some contaminants stay airborne longer. These lingering particles and contaminants contribute to heightened allergies and respiratory irritations. However, the particulates will bind to moisture and fall from the air. Therefore, running a humidifier can help improve the overall air quality in your space.

Call for Professional Assistance Today

You don’t necessarily have to figure out how to humidify your home room by room with small devices. A whole-house humidifier might be the right choice for your space. At Fire 'n' Ice Heating & Cooling, Inc., we’ve been serving the Downers Grove area for more than a decade. We can help you take the guesswork out of finding the right humidifier for your residence. Our team of professionals are proficient in heating, cooling and indoor air quality installations, repairs and maintenance. We know how to keep your residence comfortable. Call us today to discuss your home’s humidity before the weather gets colder and dryer.

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