Static electricity is a buildup of electrical charges on the surface of something. When the air is very dry and cold during a typical Gurnee, IL winter, static electricity can accumulate indoors and deliver those annoying static shocks to your fingertips. Static electricity can also cause your clothing to stick to itself (static cling) and your hair to stand on end. The drier your indoor air, the more static electricity you’ll encounter. The good news is that you can do something about it.
Increase Humidity Levels to Combat Static Shocks
Relative humidity compares the amount of moisture in the air at a given temperature to the amount of moisture that air could be holding at the same temperature. You can measure your indoor humidity with an inexpensive device called a hygrometer. A relative humidity of 50 percent means that the air is presently holding only half of the moisture it could hold. Static electricity develops when relative humidity dips below 30 percent. In other words, the air is only holding 30 percent of the air it could hold.
Humidity levels are usually lowest in the winter. Cold air holds less moisture than warm air, and heating your home causes indoor humidity to drop even more. The easiest way to increase indoor humidity is to invest in a home humidifier. When you raise indoor humidity levels, moisture particles in the air will break up the static charge and minimize static shocks. Higher indoor humidity levels will also help to protect high-tech equipment like computers from building up a static charge that could damage these devices.
Invest In A Furnace Upgrade
Adding a humidifier to your HAVC system may not be enough to get rid of static electricity. Furnaces lose their ability to clean and moisturize indoor air the older they get. If you have an aging furnace, and your indoor air is always stale, stuffy, dry and full of static electricity, your furnace may be to blame. Furnaces have a lifespan between 13 and 20 years depending on how well they are maintained. However, even well maintained furnaces operate less efficiently every year. If your heating bills are getting higher and your Lake County home has consistently dry indoor air, it may be time to find a furnace replacement.
To examine some options for balancing indoor humidity levels in your Gurnee IL home or to learn more about how replacing an aging furnace with an energy-efficient heater can correct indoor humidity levels and save you money too, visit the indoor comfort specialists at Herchenbach Mechanical or call (847) 260-9335.