Humidity Control, Not Just Heat and Air, From Your Programmable Thermostat

programmable thermostat, Long Island, New YorkDuring a Long Island winter, probably the only blast of humidity that you may feel is after someone takes a shower and forgets to turn on the bathroom fan to circulate the air.

Cranking the whole-house humidifier isn’t the answer to infusing your home with some much-needed humidity. Nor is turning down the thermostat; doing so will make your home feel too cool and the air too moist.

So what is the answer to this indoor climate challenge? Installing a programmable thermostat with humidity controls — a feature available on higher-end programmable thermostats, also known as setback thermostats.

A humidifier increases the moisture level in the air, allowing you to feel comfortable at a lower heat setting. In other words, a home with a thermostat set at 69 degrees with a relative humidity of 35 percent will feel just as warm as a home whose thermostat is set at 72 degrees with 19 percent relative humidity.

And this is where a programmable thermostat with humidity controls can save you money, too. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that for every degree you lower your thermostat, you can save up to 4 percent on your heating bill. And this can add up to significant savings.

The importance of humidity in a home can have physical repercussions, too. In addition to causing electrical shocks, dry air can trigger dry and itchy noses and skin and sore, scratchy throats. Worse, dry air can instigate respiratory and bronchial problems, not to mention elongate the duration of that lingering head cold. While it may be tempting to blame outdoor temperatures, such conditions are most likely caused by dry indoor air and the lack of humidity.

Choosing the right programmable thermostat for your home is more science than art, and this is where the experts at T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating  can help. Contact us and we’ll help you make the best choice. Serving the Long Island area, we’re happy to help.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).   For more information about programmable thermostats and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Thermostat image via Shutterstock