I live in the northeastern part of the country, where the weather is cold and snowy for the majority of the year. During the winter months, humidity levels naturally drop. The cold air can’t retain as much moisture as warm air. Ideal levels of relative humidity during the winter should remain around 45 percent. Between the outdoor conditions and running the furnace, humidity levels in my home tend to drop down to 15 percent. This leads to problems with home furnishings, health, comfort and budget. The nose and throat are lined with moist membranes which capture dirt, dust, viruses and bacteria, preventing these contaminants from reaching the lungs. Insufficient humidity dries out these membranes, making a person more susceptible to infection. Overly dry air also causes issues with irritated nasal passages, nosebleeds, and sore throat. Skin can dry out, leading to itching, flaking, painful cracking, chapped lips and flare-ups of eczema, acne and psoriasis. When the air is too dry, static electricity builds up, causing clothing to cling together and ensuring painful electric shocks after walking across the carpet. As the house dries out, there’s potential damage to hardwood floors, moldings and furnishings. Since dry air feels colder, it encourages higher thermostat settings, greater wear on the heating system and higher energy costs. The best way to avoid the inconvenience, aggravation and expense of dry air is with a whole-home humidifier. A humidifier restores moisture, enhances comfort, and creates a healthier home. There’s several different types of humidifiers to accommodate different demand. I chose a bypass humidifier which uses the airflow created by the furnace to transport moisture through the home. It provides up to 17 gallons of moisture every day, runs quietly and requires very little maintenance.