Humidity Isn't All it's Cracked Up to Be

January 25, 2008 // // WACO, Texas – The sure sign of winter's arrival is seen when a homeowner begins to mimic their home. The dry air causes both to crack and go out of whack. As heating systems keep running this winter, your home may begin to dry out. Low humidity dries out your skin, plants and furniture. Skin irritation and cracked drywall can develop, as well as loose joints in wood furniture.

"To avoid dry-home syndrome, consider adding a humidifier to ease problems like dry skin and respiratory illness," said Doyle James, president of Aire Serv Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. "Depending on a home's age and construction, humidity can escape through walls and ceilings, reducing overall humidity in the air and making the home feel colder than it really is."

Humidifiers – equipment used to raise the relative humidity or moisture in a room – protect furnishings, reduce static electricity and the frequency of asthma attacks by adding necessary moisture in the form of vaporized water back into dry air.

Maintaining humidity levels in a home between 30 and 50 percent can help to keep a home more comfortable. Adding humidity helps you keep the thermostat set at a lower temperature, therefore lowering electric usage too.

When deciding to purchase a humidifier for comfort, health and a home's longevity, consider the type of heating unit you have, the home's cubic footage and the hardness of the water. Aire Serv recommends the following:
* Power humidifier. This type of humidifier is installed in your existing heating system, directly introducing humidity into your ductwork's air stream and increasing moisture throughout the home.
* Evaporative humidifier. Often a free standing unit holding water, this type of humidifier is for individual rooms or areas. This is a solution for older homes or homes that experience large humidity variances in particular homes.
* If you currently have a humidifier, clean it as the manufacturer directs. This involves changing disposable filters regularly, keeping water clean and surrounding surfaces dry to avoid microorganisms from developing and spreading.

About Aire Serv®:
Established in 1992, Aire Serv is a global franchise organization providing installation, maintenance and repair of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and indoor air quality systems. Recognized by Entrepreneur magazine among its "Franchise 500," Aire Serv franchisees provide these services to both residential and commercial customers at more than 140 locations in the United States and Canada. Aire Serv is a subsidiary of The Dwyer Group, Inc. For further information or to find the location nearest you, visit


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