Winter has its highlights but it is also one of the most challenging seasons. The majority of people stay indoors because of the harsh weather. The cold temperatures are hard to bear and the snow-covered roads are difficult to drive on. However, poor indoor air quality during the winter can make homestay difficult as well. The air can get very dry. This has consequences on health and properties. Some effects are subtle while others are obvious. Regardless, dry air symptoms should never be ignored. Let’s dig a little deeper into dry air and its effects on air quality.
What Is Dry Winter Air?
- 1 What Is Dry Winter Air?
- 2 Damage Caused By Dry Indoor Air
- 3 Strategies For Combatting Dry Air In Winter
- 4 Call Townsend Energy To Improve Your Home’s Comfort
When we say dry, we mean the environment has an extremely low amount of water vapor. We may not see it but vapor is a natural component of the air around us. Hot air generally has more moisture content than cold air. As such, the air is drier in the winter than in the summer.
The moisture content in the air is often described in terms of humidity. It’s not good to have very high or very low humidity indoors. The most comfortable homes keep this level somewhere in the middle. Learn the reasons for dry air so that you can counter them.
1. Insulation Problems
Keeping a sufficient amount of moisture in the air is essential. Low moisture conditions inside homes are likely caused by the influx of dry air coming in from the outside. External forces can be kept at bay with proper insulation and a reliable heating system. These two will keep the moisture balanced for good air quality.
Homeowners must be mindful of any gaps along the walls and windows that can serve as pathways for outside air. Cold dry air from the outdoors can slip inside which upsets the moisture balance. Humidity will drop and cause discomfort.
2. Lack Of Humidity Replacement
Homes may use several heating appliances as part of their daily routines. Each of these will reduce humidity. Cooling appliances including air conditioners do the same thing. Air will continue to dry out unless the lost moisture is replaced.
Damage Caused By Dry Indoor Air
Short exposures to dry air is not a cause for concern. However, prolonged exposure can trigger the development of numerous problems. Low humidity can cause the following:
1. Respiratory Issues
It’s harder to breathe dry air because the air passages tend to constrict in this kind of environment. This is not a good thing for people who are dealing with respiratory ailments like asthma. They might suffer from coughs, chest pain, and shortness of breath.
2. Dry Skin
Since the air is dry, it can pull moisture more readily from all surfaces such as the skin. This leads to dry skin which is itchy and unsightly. Even hair can be negatively affected by low humidity. People hit with the flu may have worse symptoms such as dry eyes. They might also complain about chills due to evaporative cooling.
3. Wood Damage
Homes typically have a lot of wooden fixtures, furniture, and finishing. Dry air can cause warps and cracks that would ruin their appearance. The deformities might also interfere with their function. For example, windows may not close shut and doors may become hard to open.
Wall paint may also start to crack due to dry air. If you used wallpaper for coverage, then you might see sections peeling off. Musical instruments may crack and play out of tune. Book pages may also warp. Paper sculptures may suffer from damage.
Strategies For Combatting Dry Air In Winter
Don’t despair. All these problems may seem overwhelming but it is possible to solve dry air and improve indoor humidity levels.
1. Air Drafts
The first thing that homeowners should do is to put a stop to the drafts along the walls, doors, and windows. Cracks and holes should be sealed up with putty or other fillers. Gaps around windows and doors should be sealed with weather stripping to stop airflow. Insulation may also be added in areas where it is lacking. If you need help with this, then consult the HVAC contractors at Townsend Energy.
Since dry air is caused by low moisture content, it is only natural to solve it by increasing the water vapor in the air. A humidifier is a perfect device for this. Small options are available for use in tiny spaces. Larger humidifiers, such as whole-house humidifiers, can also be installed to take care of an entire house. Use whatever is suitable for your personal needs.
3. HVAC Check-Up
Make sure that your HVAC system is not contributing to the problem by having it checked regularly by a professional. Annual heating system maintenance will keep them in top shape and prevent avoidable breakdowns. An HVAC technician will be able to spot issues and offer solutions before things get worse. You will end up saving more in the process while enjoying the comfort of your home. They can also reduce air pollutants and remove health risks. Call Townsend Energy today to schedule a heating system tune-up.
Poor indoor air quality is common during winter. That’s a shame since this is the season when most people are forced to stay inside by the weather. If you have noticed some of the signs of dry air mentioned in this article, then act quickly to remedy the situation. Apply the fixes if you can. Seek out the help of experts for better results. It’s never too late to get things fixed. Do what you can to make these cold months bearable or even enjoyable for the family.
Call Townsend Energy To Improve Your Home’s Comfort
Townsend Energy is a respected name in the heating and cooling industry throughout Northeastern Massachusetts, Southern Maine, and Southern New Hampshire. We take care of our reputation by hiring experienced HVAC certified technicians that have experience and advanced training. They are certain to provide the best HVAC services for residents in the area. We back all of our work with a guarantee.
Our team can install new HVAC systems and repair existing ones. They can also pay regular visits for long-term heating and cooling maintenance. Don’t worry about the cost as our rates are highly competitive. If you want to improve your indoor air quality and solve dry air issues, then give Townsend Energy a call. We can schedule a free estimate as soon as possible.