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

There’s a reason why air feels drier during cold weather than in the summer. That’s since warmer air retains more moisture, or humidity, than colder air. 

The same is true for your the U.S. residence. Starting your gas furnace makes your house feel warmer but can also dry out the indoor air. Dry air can transport a whole host of ailments, including dry skin, cracked lips and make you more vulnerable to getting 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 Part of the Trouble 

The fuel your furnace consumes isn’t the culprit responsible for making your home’s air feel dry. Rather, it’s the combustion process. 

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

A standard furnace, also known as an atmosphere furnace, takes air from inside your house to work. Because the furnace continuously depends on air to burn, it will also use cold, dry air from outdoors, which in turn affects your residence’s humidity. 

High-efficiency furnaces, also known as a sealed combustion furnace, are best for keeping your humidity balanced. They take all their combustion air from your home’s exterior, but it stays trapped within the sealed furnace. As an additional perk, they keep your residence more cozy while needing less energy. Upgrading to an ENERGY STAR® furnace from an old furnace might save you as much as 40% on heating costs, according to Lennox®. 

Other than combustion, cold air also naturally flows into your home during colder weather. Lower humidity means the air will snatch moisture fast from your skin, lips, nose and throat. It also causes static electricity. 

How to Balance Humidity in Your Residence 

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 residence. 

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

Better Health During Cold and Flu Season 

It’s no surprise cold weather is the worst time for colds, flu and other ailments. That’s because you’re more likely to end up sick when your nose and throat are dry. Under particular airflow conditions, air at the correct humidity level may also restrict the spread of some viruses. In addition, it can alleviate year-round allergy symptoms. 

Relief from Dry Skin 

If you have chronically dry skin or eczema, you realize just how irritating those conditions make you during winter. Installing a whole-house humidifier will help your skin retain more moisture. 

Better Sleep 

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

Defends the Wood in Your Home 

Cabinets, flooring, furniture and generally anything in your residence that’s wood doesn’t like it when humidity is too low. This is because of the fact dry air pulls moisture from the wood and causes it to fracture. Having your residence’s humidity at the proper level will keep your home’s furnishings looking their best. 

Little Maintenance Needed 

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

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

Book Your Free Home Comfort Consultation Today 

If your house’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 residence’s humidity at just the proper level. And, like our other services, our work is backed by our legendary 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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