July is the hottest month of the year, and it's over. You did it: you survived another blistering summer, and September has aarrived. Soon it'll be fall, and frost will start forming at night. In a few more weeks, you'll have to turn on your heater for the first time since spring.
As the temperatures fall, you need to think ahead about your winter HVAC needs. As the air cools off, it will carry less water, meaning your indoor humidity levels will plummet, especially in a dry place like Colorado.
Keep Your Skin Healthy
Dry air will leach the moisture from your skin. In past winters, you may have noticed problems with your skin chapping, cracking, feeling tight, or flaking. These are all the results of low humidity levels.
While you can't change Colorado's outside humidity, you can change the humidity levels in your house. If you get a humidifier, your skin can get a break from the harsh, dry outdoor air and recover. You'll notice that your skin is softer, more vibrant, and healthier than it was last winter.
Reduce Your Risk of Disease
When the air dries out, germs have a better chance of thriving in it. If your home has low humidity levels, germs will have an easier time traveling and getting passed to you.
You already risk getting sick if you interact with sick coworkers or go to public places that people with colds have also visited. But you don't need to make your home an infection zone as well. If one of your family members gets sick, you'll have a better chance of stopping the cold or flu virus with him or her if your humidity levels are optimal.
Soothe Your Airways
When you breathe air that is too dry, your throat and sinuses can get irritated just like your skin does when exposed to very dry air. They may feel tight or scratchy. If you keep a humidifier running, or at least run the device while you sleep, your airways will feel much better.
If you do get sick, a humidifier will ease your suffering. The extra moisture will keep your airways lubricated, which will speed up the healing process and soothe your throat in the meantime, especially if you have a dry cough. People who suffer from asthma can also feel relief from symptoms when they use a humidifier.
As a bonus, sleeping with a humidifier running can help in two other ways: (1) you can reduce the volume of your snoring, and (2) you can prevent some nosebleeds. When your throat and nose are dried out, you are more likely to make a lot of noise when you snore and to break a blood vessel in your nose. Prevent these issues with a humidifier.
Reduce Your Heating Bill
If you've visited a hot, humid place before, you'll know that humidity makes the air seem warmer than it actually is. You can reap this benefit in your home by using a humidifier in the winter. If the air is at a comfortable humidity level, then you won't have to turn your thermostat up as much to feel warm. You'll save on your power bill.
Protect Your Furniture
If you have wood furniture or even wood doors or paneling, dry air can harm them. You may see the wood crack or split, which means that you'll have to either live with the damage, repair it, or replace the wood. For very expensive items, such as a wood piano, the costs can be very high.
Prevent the damage by using a humidifier. The moisture in the air will keep the wood in peak condition, and the device will save you money in the long run.
Prevent Static Electricity
When the air is dry, you may find that you get shocked by static electricity more often. Petting your cat or dog, wearing socks on the carpet, and grabbing a fuzzy blanket can all give you a jolt. To save your sanity (and your pet's sanity), get a humidifier. You'll see and feel fewer blue sparks.
Keep Your Plants Healthy
In the winter, you may love to keep houseplants thriving to give you some greenery while everything outside sleeps. However, if your air is very dry, your plants might not be as happy. The dry air will quickly leach moisture from the plants' leaves and the potting soil. Keep your plants happy by taking care of their air.
If you get a humidifier, look for one that comes with a built-in hygrometer, or a device that measures the indoor humidity. If your humidity levels get about 25 to 40 percent in the winter, you'll have too much moisture, which can cause mold and encourage insect infestations. But if you keep your humidity at the right levels and take care of your humidifier, you'll reap all the benefits listed above.
As you look forward towards summer ending, make sure to contact HomeSmart from Xcel Energy and arrange for a FREE estimate on a new home humidifier. We can help you make your home's air as comfortable for you as possible all year-round!