Is your skin constantly feeling dry and scratchy, no matter how many times you slather on lotion? Maybe your throat is always a bit scratchy, and your eyes feel dry, too. While you should certainly consult with your doctor to ensure you are not suffering from any underlying health condition, there's a good chance that the air in your home is to blame.
Why is dry air such an issue in the winter?
During the winter, the outdoor air becomes a lot dryer, since lower temperatures cause less water vapor to be suspended in the air. If you have forced air heating, the problem is worsened when your system heats up the dry air and circulates it past your face and skin all day.
Why is dry air worth addressing?
The number one reason to address dry air in the home is, of course, your health. Not only is itchy skin and a dry throat annoying, but breathing in dry air can cause respiratory ailments like bronchitis, sinusitis, and nosebleeds. A dry mouth can lead to increased tooth decay and gum disease, since oral bacteria proliferate in these conditions.
There is another reason to take care of dry air: it can increase your energy costs. When the air is dry, you need to keep the home at a higher temperature in order to feel warm. Add moisture back to the air and you'll find you can turn the thermostat down a few degrees to save energy without feeling so chilly.
What are your options for addressing dry air?
The best choice for adding moisture back into the air in your home is a whole-home humidifier. This is an appliance that integrates with your furnace and adds humidity to your air as it is circulated through your ducts. Once you have this system installed, you never really have to think about it again. It will kick on automatically when the air in your home starts to feel too dry, and it will ensure that the air in every room has a good level of moisture.
If having a whole-home humidifier installed is not in your budget, you could invest in a small, portable humidifier. This type of plug-in unit can be placed in any room where you need it. While it won't likely keep your whole home moist, it will at least make you more comfortable. Most homeowners choose to place such a unit in their bedrooms so they are more comfortable sleeping at night.
For more information and installation options, talk with a professional HVAC service.