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Why Is Low Humidity Such a Problem in the Winter?

We live in the Salt Lake City, UT area, which means that none of us are strangers to the problems caused by low humidity. A desert atmosphere, high elevation and cold winters combine to make our air dry as a bone, and here in the middle of January, you can feel it more than ever. Why is low humidity such a problem in the winter, and what can you do about it? The answers can be found below.

Family warming up hands over electric heaterRelative Humidity

We measure humidity in terms of relative humidity, a percentage charts the amount of ambient moisture in the air. At 100%, you’re looking at rain. At 0%, there’s no moisture in the air at all (something that almost never occurs on Planet Earth). Human beings are usually comfortable when the relative humidity levels sit between 30% and 50%. When it drops lower than that, it becomes a problem.

Salt Lake City has two blows against it on that front. Our high elevation and desert environment means that our air is very dry to begin with. That gets worse in the winter, when low temperatures cause the ambient moisture in the air to coalesce into droplets, leaving the air itself much drier. The issues that creates can have devastating ramifications for your home.

What Kinds of Problems Does Dry Air Create?

The problems associated with dry air are numerous, and usually involve the following:

  • Dry, itchy skin. Low humidity levels can pull moisture from our skin, resulting in that dry, itchy feeling, as well as chapped lips.
  • Static electricity. No one likes that nasty shock when we touch a piece of metal in the winter. Static electricity gets worse when the air gets drier.
  • Greater risk of illness. Low humidity levels will dry out your sinuses, leaving your body more vulnerable to colds and flu bugs. This is compounded by the fact that we leave our homes closed tight in the winter, allowing those germs to circulate through the home.
  • Greater strain on your heater. Dry air feels cooler than it actually is, which means your heater will have to work harder to warm up your home. Not only will that raise your monthly bills, but it will increase strain on your system which raises the risk of a breakdown in the future.

Whole-House Humidifiers Are the Solution

The good news is that there’s a “magic bullet” for dealing with low humidity levels: a whole-house humidifier installed in your HVAC system. It’s a simple system: a wick or pad connected to a water reservoir, with a fan that blows across the surface to send moisture vapor into your home. That cuts down on the problems caused by dry air tremendously, and restores your home to the comfort levels your family deserves. Humidifiers are easy for a trained professional to install and can last a long time provided you keep the reservoir filled.

The friendly technicians of At Your Service are standing by to install a new humidifier in your home. Give us a call today!

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Salt Lake City HVAC and Plumbing Contractor | At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air

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Salt Lake City, UT Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing Services

At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air provides excellent heating, air conditioning, plumbing, indoor air quality, water treatment and water heater services throughout the greater Salt Lake City, UT area, including the installation of new systems and components, and the replacement of the old, as well as ongoing repair and maintenance. Established in 1980, we have served the home comfort needs of our local community for over 30 years. Whether you need your stop and waste valve replaced or a new "green," energy–efficient HVAC system installed, we can make sure that the job is completed properly. Our HVAC contractors are NATE–certified and we employ Master and Journeyman plumbers. We are confident in our ability to satisfy any issue that may arise in your home, 24 hours a day. Give one of our friendly staff members a call today to learn more about what we can do for your home.

At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air offers quality heating, air conditioning and plumbing services throughout the Salt Lake City, UT area, including repair, installation and maintenance.

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When it comes to ensuring that you are comfortable during the winter months in Salt Lake City, you need to make certain that you have an excellent heating system. We offer comprehensive heating services in Salt Lake City, including installation, replacement, repair and maintenance services for a wide variety of equipment, including boilers, furnaces, and radiant heat systems. Whether you’d like to save more on your energy bills from month to month with an energy efficient heater or you want to retrofit a zone control system into your existing furnace setup, we provide heating solutions.

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For truly year–round comfort, your home needs an excellent air conditioner. At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air offers excellent air conditioning services throughout the Salt Lake City, UT area, from AC repair to maintenance, installation to replacement. We can make sure that your entire home is cooled to your satisfaction, no matter how hot and unpleasant it gets outside. We want you to feel comfortable in your home, and we have the experience and expertise to make sure that this is the case.

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Our services go well beyond HVAC, however. In addition to providing heating and cooling solutions, we provide a wide range of plumbing services throughout the Salt Lake City, UT area. From whole–house repiping to drain cleaning, water line installation to leak detection, sprinkler system timer repair to kitchen plumbing, we have got you covered. We can make sure that you are able to use water safely, effectively, and efficiently in your home.

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During this very unusual time, we have put a plan in place to do our part to help keep our community safe. First and foremost, we are going to stay CALM, PATIENT, KIND, and POSITIVE!

There is much to consider regarding the COVID-19 virus (Coronavirus) and its possible transmission in your home. While there are various and effective indoor air quality measures available to help protect your safety, including duct sanitization, ultraviolet (UV) germicidal light treatment, and HEPA air filters, they alone cannot protect from all forms of COVID-19 transmission. It is important to follow all official guidelines for preventing the spread of this virus.

Because we have a direct impact on the indoor environment, here are practical steps we are going to take to keep people safe:

  • Wash our hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water
  • Cover our nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing
  • Wash our uniforms every day including cleaning our belts
  • Stay home if we are feeling sick
  • Offer a warm smile and friendly greeting instead of a handshake
  • Wear shoe covers and latex gloves in homes and businesses
  • Wipe down surfaces and equipment touched in a client’s home with disinfectant wipes
  • Wipe down door handles, steering wheels, gear shift lever every day
  • Wipe down pens, clipboards, tablets, cell phones, and anything else passes between techs and clients.
  • We have masks on each truck and will wear them at client’s discretion (Currently the CDC does not recommend that people wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19)
  • We are complying with all recommendations and guidelines from state agencies and will be proactive in our efforts to see that our team members and clients are protected.

As the situation unfolds, we will take each day one at a time and ensure we are being smart, supportive, and helping all those we can in our community.

Thank you for your continued support!