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Humidifiers in Your Calgary Home. Why It Might Not Be the Best Idea.

If you live in Calgary, then I don’t need to explain the weather (It gets cold). We also live in a dry climate. So, what do you do when you keep waking up with dry lips, cracked heels, and even nosebleeds? Well, you can invest in Some lip balm or like most people you get a humidifier.

So, a humidifier should be a perfect solution? Right?  Well, it can often cause more problems, especially with your roof! Typically, when solving one issue, we sometimes create more issues.

  1.  First, let’s look at why your home becomes dry in the first place
  2. Secondly, let’s look at ways you can help combat a dry home in the winter.
  3. Lastly, we will explain the dangers that humidifiers can have on your roof and home.

Why Does the Air Get Dry in My Home in Winter?

Are you walking around your house, shocking your family members or roommates with static electricity? Are you constantly dealing with dry lips and skin? Perhaps you’re getting more nosebleeds and a stuffy nose?

If the answer is yes, then you have a low humidity level in your home.

But what causes this dry air?

COLD WEATHER!

Hopefully, I don’t lose you here, but science tells us all that we need to know:

  1. Calgary becomes a freezing wasteland.
  2. As Temperatures decease, outside air cannot hold on to moisture, creating a drastic difference in humidity.
  3. You then turn on your heating system to combat the cold temperatures.
  4. You don’t realize that you have a poorly insulated house.
  5. Cold air replaces warm air through improper seals and insulation and starts making your home environment really dry.
  6. You buy a Humidifier to combat the dry air.
  7. Now you have Attic Rain.

Ok, so step six and seven don’t always happen, but attic rain is a problem that often happens due to humidifiers combating dry in your home in Calgary.

Humidifiers are great at getting your home back to being, well, nice and humid. But we should really look at solving the root cause.

Home in Calgary with roof condensation freezing

How Do I Fix the Root Cause of Dry Air in My Home?

When googling how to combat dry air in your home for your health, you typically come across these articles that suggest using a humidifier. The number one culprit unfortunately comes from cold air seeping into your home.

But how does cold air seep into your home?

Areas that are prone to having bad seals or insulation:

  • Windows and doors:
  • Attics and basements
  • Vents and ductwork
  • Exterior Walls
  • Chimneys
  • Ceilings

We can tackle these areas and make sure they are not contributing to the loss of heat or influx of cold air.

Well, a good investment for many homeowners is owning a FLIR camera. These things are great and detecting a host of issues beyond our topic of this article. The main benefit when looking at proper seals and insulation is that a FLIR camera gives you a quick look at where cold air is coming from, as well as where heat is being lost in the winter.

To be honest, to be 100% sure, it’s best to get a proper home inspection from someone reputable before you purchase a house. Unfortunately, some problems can still go unnoticed, and that’s why It’s also a good idea to get a roof inspection or other specialty inspections.

Through this process of sealing your home and making sure you’re addressing the root cause of the issue, you decrease the severity of dry air in your house. After this, you may get a humidifier as long as its set to a low setting 20- 25%, but be informed about the difficulties that can occur.

The Dangers of Humidifiers and Humidity on Your Home and Roof.

So, what’s the problem with using a humidifier?

Well, most often when you have dry air, you solve it by buying some humidifiers for each room. You then crank them up to 40% or higher humidity, and you finally get the dry air issue gone. The concern comes from what effect this humidity can have on your home.

In general, high humidity can cause damage to paint and walls, warp wood, cause mould and even contribute to making your home less airtight through the freezing and thaw cycle that water has.

The big danger in Calgary is attic rain. We won’t go into too much detail as you can read our post about attic rain, but in summary:

Attic rain can be caused from humidifiers. When all that moisture makes its way into the attic, it comes into contact with the underside of your roof. This causes ice to form, which melts when you have warmer temperatures and leads to mould, water damage and other costly damage.

So, before you crank those humidifiers, make sure you have proper attic ventilation and insulation. It’s not bad to use a humidifier, just make sure you have it set relatively low 20 -25%.

If you have any questions or concerts or need your home’s roofing system inspected, contact us!

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