Why a Gas Furnace Dries Out Your Homes Air and How to Fix It

There’s a reason why air appears drier during cold weather than in the summer. That’s because warmer air holds extra moisture, or humidity, than colder air. 

The same is true within your the U.S. home. Starting your gas furnace makes your home feel warmer but can also dry out the indoor air. Dry air can bring a whole host of ailments, such as dry skin, cracked lips and make you more likely to get sick. 

Here’s why your gas furnace dries out your home’s air and what you can do to counter it. 

Your Furnace’s Combustion Process is a Portion of the Problem 

The fuel your furnace consumes isn’t the source responsible for making your residence’s air seem dry. Rather, it’s the way it combusts. 

There are two different styles of gas furnaces, standard and high efficiency. With an older standard furnace, you can detect light from the burners when it’s working. A newer, high-efficiency furnace is completely sealed. 

A standard furnace, also known as an atmosphere furnace, pulls air from inside your house to work. Because the furnace constantly uses air to burn, it will also use cold, dry air from outdoors, which in turn affects your home’s humidity. 

High-efficiency furnaces, also called a sealed combustion furnace, are ideal for keeping your humidity even. They pull all their combustion air from your home’s exterior, but it stays contained within the sealed furnace. As an additional bonus, they keep your home more comfy while using less energy. Upgrading to an ENERGY STAR® furnace from an old furnace could save you as much as 40% on heating costs, according to Lennox®. 

In addition to combustion, cold air also naturally flows into your home during the winter. Decreased humidity means the air will rob moisture fast from your skin, lips, nose and throat. It also contributes to static electricity. 

How to Stabilize Humidity in Your House 

Using a humidifier. While a portable humidifier can only make one room comfortable at a time, a whole-house humidifier will spread that comfort across your house. 

These are just a small number of humidifier benefits you’ll acquire when you install a whole-home system. 

Better Health During Cold and Flu Season 

It’s typical that cold weather is the worst time for colds, flu and other illnesses. That’s due to the fact you’re more apt to end up sick when your nose and throat are dry. Under specific airflow conditions, air at the right humidity level may also restrict the spread of some viruses. Also, it can help with year-round allergy symptoms. 

Soothes Dry Skin 

If you have consistent dry skin or eczema, you realize just how uncomfortable those conditions can be during winter. Installing a whole-house humidifier will help your skin keep more moisture. 

Enhanced Sleep 

Preserving your bedroom at the right temperature and humidity level will keep you cozy at night. It can also reduce loud snoring, since your throat and nose will be better hydrated. 

Protects the Wood in Your Residence 

Cabinets, flooring, furniture and basically anything in your home that’s wood suffers when humidity is too low. This is due to the fact dry air pulls moisture from the wood and causes it to crack. Having your house’s humidity at the correct level will keep your residence’s furnishings looking their best. 

Little Maintenance Needed 

Between frequent filter changes and continuous refilling, portable humidifiers rely on a lot of upkeep. A whole-house humidifier only needs maintenance about once a year, which can be done along with your furnace tune-up. 

A steam humidifier has the smallest amount of maintenance since it doesn’t use a pad. It stores water in a canister and boils it into steam that gets moved through your ductwork. As it’s independently powered, it can work when the furnace isn’t running. 

Request Your Free Home Comfort Consultation Right Away 

If your residence’s air feels less than pleasant during colder weather, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help. Call us at 866-397-3787 to schedule a free home comfort consultation. There’s no obligation, just free Expert advice on how you can maintain your home’s humidity at just the proper level. And, like our other services, our work is supported by our famous 100% Satisfaction Guarantee for one year.* 


*Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions. 

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