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(BPT) - Dry, winter air causes numerous problems that can adversely affect the health and comfort of your family. Many of these issues materialize indoors, where countless people suffer from dry noses, cracked, itchy skin and sore throats. These health and comfort issues arise because the relative humidity (RH) of cold, outdoor air drops significantly when brought into your home and heated, resulting in dry and potentially damaging indoor air.
Dry indoor air can cause myriad problems, including:
* Increased likelihood of colds, flu and other upper respiratory ailments. Viruses that cause colds and flu thrive in low humidity - dry indoor air can spread airborne viruses more easily than air that is properly humidified. And dry air can make people more susceptible to infection, according to The American Society of Otolaryngology. In addition, dry air can aggravate allergy and asthma symptoms.
* Home damage. Dry air causes walls, woodwork and hardwood floors to crack. Electronics can fall victim to static electric charges, requiring expensive repair or replacement.
* Higher energy costs. Dry air can make you feel cold at normal temperatures, leading you to turn up the thermostat. This leads to higher energy bills.
"Dry air is also responsible for many of the physical discomforts we experience during the winter including a sore, scratchy throat, nose bleeds and dry lips and skin," says Mike Rimrodt, product director at Aprilaire, a leader in the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) accessories industry since 1954. "The best way to alleviate these symptoms and prevent home damage is by controlling the humidity levels in your home with a whole-home humidifier."
A whole-home humidifier, installed as part of your heating and cooling system, is designed to deliver the perfect amount of moisture to your home without constantly making adjustments or refilling the water. Whole-home humidifiers are uniquely efficient and effective because they accurately measure the outdoor temperature and indoor humidity levels to automatically provide the ideal amount of indoor relative humidity - meaning home owners don't have to constantly adjust humidification settings. Simply set it and forget it.
"In the winter months, the average household needs upwards of 400 gallons of water to properly humidify the air," says Rimrodt. "Unlike a portable room unit, a whole-home humidification system is connected directly to your home's HVAC and water system, saving you hundreds of trips to the faucet, and hours of messy cleaning over the season."
Whole home systems deliver proper humidity levels throughout your entire home and require simple, inexpensive and infrequent maintenance by simply changing an internal water panel once a year.