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Why the Air in Your Home Is Dry—And What to Do About It


Last year, before winter arrived, we wrote a blog post about why you should consider installing a whole-house humidifier in time for winter. In this post, we want to address a connected issue, which is answering the questing, “Why is my house too dry?” There are a number of reasons for a home suffering from low humidity that will make it necessary to have a whole-house humidifier integrated into the HVAC system. Below are the most common causes of a winter-time decline in humidity levels.

The furnace

People often point out the furnace as the main culprit behind an excessively dry air home interior. The case for the furnace as the source of low humidity is a bit exaggerated, but it can have some effect. If you have an atmospheric furnace (one with an open combustion chamber, rather than a sealed one) it draws on air from inside the house. As it pulls out this air, air from outside the house replaces it—and in general, outside air in winter is drier than the air inside.

Air leaks in the house

Poor insulation and places where outdoor air can find a way inside will create dry conditions in a home. Making sure a house is properly sealed up will not only help with dry air, it will increase energy efficiency. Scheduling a blower door test will help find air leaks in your home.

Leaking ductwork

If the return air ducts have leaks in them, the furnace will draw in unconditioned air and then send it into the ventilation system. The result is a drop in pressure inside your house, which will cause the dry outdoor air to rush in. Leaky air ducts create many other problems as well, so having professionals seal them is a good ideal all around.

Call Raleigh Heating & Air, Inc. for indoor air quality and energy efficiency services (humidifiers, duct sealing, blower door tests, etc.) in Cary, NC.

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