Homeowners often wonder why the humidity in their homes seems to drop in the winter months, making their skin dry and itchy. Many point to their new furnace for answers, claiming that the heat is reducing the humidity. However, it’s not quite that simple.
The Furnace and Indoor Humidity
While a furnace can make the air drier, the burners that heat the air aren’t to blame for decreased humidity. Standard furnaces, or atmosphere furnaces, are open to the air inside your home. You have an atmosphere furnace if you can look into it and see the light from the burners.
Standard furnaces draw air directly from inside the house into the combustion chamber, supplying air to the flame to keep it burning. Because air is being combusted from inside the house, an air deficit occurs inside and causes outside air to be pulled inside. Winter air is generally very dry, so the humidity in your home decreases.
Other Causes of Dry Air
While a standard furnace can cause the humidity in your home to drop, there are several other factors that could be causing your indoor air quality problem. These include:
- Leaks around windows, doors and other seams
- Duct leakage
- Leaving doors or windows open for too long
- Vents, fans and other dehumidifying appliances
All of these things could be throwing off the balance of humidity in your home. By sealing leaks and keeping the cold air out, you can help maintain a higher humidity level in your home. If there still isn’t enough humidity, consider investing in a dehumidifier. However, be careful to find the right balance of humidity to avoid unwanted condensation.
Sealed Combustion Furnaces
If you’re certain that your furnace is the biggest cause of dry air in your home, replacing it with a sealed combustion furnace will eliminate the problem. These furnaces aren’t open to the air inside the home, instead pulling outside air in through a pipe to keep the burners running. Not only does a sealed combustion furnace prevent low humidity, but it’s also more efficient and safer.
No one wants to replace their furnace after only a couple of years, but it might be worth it to consider furnace replacement if your current heating system is already on its way out. Contact Lee’s Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing to schedule your furnace replacement service today.