Doing Your Part to Keep Your HVAC System Running

A few months ago, my air conditioner completely died. I woke up in the middle of the night covered in sweat, and I didn't know what to do. The next day, I called an HVAC expert, and they came out to inspect my system. It turned out that it had failed because of filthy filters and a clogged return duct, which made me sick to my stomach. I had caused the problem, and I needed to learn how to fix things. My HVAC professional taught me a few easy maintenance techniques that I didn't know before, so that I could maintain my new system. Check out this blog to learn more about HVAC yourself.

How Does Dry Indoor Air Affect You?


As the temperature drops going into winter, so does the level of humidity in the air. Dry indoor air in the winter is more than an annoyance. It can cause health problems, and it can also be taxing on your HVAC system. Here's a closer look at how dry indoor air impacts you and your furnace, and what you can do about it.

How does dry indoor air affect you?

Indoor air that is too dry can lead to irritated eyes, nasal passages, and sinuses. If you have allergies, the dry air can make your symptoms worse, not only because it makes your nasal passages sore, but also because it allows more dust mites, pet hair and mold spores to become airborne. Your skin is also likely to feel dry; you may need to use a lot of lotion and moisturizers.

How does dry indoor air affect your furnace?

When the air is dry, your home does not feel as warm. For instance, 71 degrees will feel nice and toasty in a home with moist air, but chilly in a home with dry air. If your air is dry, you're going to be tempted to push your thermostat temperature up, causing your furnace to work harder and suffer more wear and tear. Plus, all of the dust that floats around in dry air will build up on your furnace filter quite quickly. If you don't keep up with changing the filter regularly (and many homeowners don't), this can lead to dust buildup on the heat exchanger, which decreases furnace efficiency. Your furnace also has to work harder to push air through a dirty filter – which again increases wear and tear.

How do you know if your air is too dry?

If your nose, mouth, skin and eyes feel dry, your air is probably too dry. However, if you want to be sure, you can purchase a tool called a hydrometer at your local home improvement store. This tool measures the moisture levels in your air. The ideal level is around 45 percent. If your humidity levels are much below this, your air is too dry. If the level is below 30, your air is really dry, and you'll want to act quickly to add moisture.

What can you do about dry air in the winter?

The easiest solution is to invest in a whole-home humidifier, which integrates with your heating system and adds moisture to the air as it is blown through your ducts. However, whole-home systems can be expensive. Setting up a portable humidifier in the rooms you spend the most time in is a cheaper alternative that can make certain rooms feel more comfortable. However, since these units are not designed to humidify an entire home, your furnace may still be exposed to some degree of excess dust and dirt associated with dry air.

For HVAC services, contact a company such as Chappel's Heating & Cooling.


9 February 2016