The purpose of your HVAC system is to provide a comfortable environment in the living and working areas of your Eagan home or business. The primary method of maintaining comfort is in heating and cooling (furnace repair) the air circulated through the conditioned space. However, humidity control can have a significant effect on both the comfort provided and the cost of operating the HVAC system.

How home heating & cooling works

The moisture content in air is expressed as relative humidity (how much moisture the air holds in relation to how much it could hold at its current temperature). It is expressed as a percentage. Air with a relative humidity of 50 percent has half as much moisture in it as it could hold. Warmer air can hold more moisture than cold air. High relative humidity makes us feel warmer, while low humidity produces a cooling effect.

During summer weather, the air is warmer and contains a lot of moisture (humidity). Your heating and cooling system operates in the cooling mode to lower the temperature. Cold air cannot hold as much moisture as warm air, so in the process of lowering the air temperature, a lot of the moisture is condensed out of the air, resulting in lower humidity. When the air is relatively dry, you’ll feel more comfortable at a warmer temperature, so your heating and cooling system does not have to run as long.

Effects dry air has on your home

During the heating season, the air is usually quite dry. In order to feel comfortable with low relative humidity air, the temperature will need to be warmer. Along with making you feel colder, low humidity air tends to dry out wooden furniture, resulting in cracks and loose joints. Excessively dry air can also contribute to respiratory problems.

Dry air also results in annoying static electricity being produced when you walk on carpets with certain kinds of shoes, or when different types of fabrics rub together, such as when you remove a sweater. To increase the relative humidity in winter, your heating and cooling system needs to have a humidifier.

Should you have a humidifier installed?

Many Eagan homes and businesses have heating and cooling systems which do not have a humidifier installed. This is usually done by the builder in order to keep costs lower. If your HVAC system does not have a humidifier, one can be installed in your existing system.

When a humidifier is installed, the temperature of the conditioned space can be set much lower in the winter and it will be quite comfortable. Breathing will be easier. Your furniture won’t dry out. And, your heating and cooling system will operate less frequently. The savings in energy will often pay for the installation cost of a humidifier in a reasonably short time.

There are several types of humidifiers available that can be easily installed in existing HVAC systems. A qualified heating and cooling contractor like Aabbott Ferraro can explain the advantages and options of the types available for you.

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