Have you ever slipped your feet out of bed and touched icy cold hardwood floors that made you instantly recoil under the warm covers? Every year the winter season brings cold floors, chilly wind, rain and sometimes snow, making it hard to keep things warm. Aside from the trouble caused by tracking in these winter elements, the cold inside your home can wreak havoc on hardwoods. In addition to feeling pretty unpleasant under your feet first thing in the morning, cold hardwoods can create a larger issue.
What can you do to warm things up? Follow these recommendations from MTB Mechanical.
Assess the Humidity Level in Your Home
Start by measuring the humidity in your home. If you have a digital thermometer, you probably already have a humidity monitor. Measuring the relative humidity inside your home (at least, measuring it where your thermostat is located) is one of the primary functions of this technology. Odds are, you have a lot of wood inside your home aside from your hardwoods – moldings, door frames, etc. – that don’t like drastic swings in humidity.
As a general rule, you want to maintain a humidity level between 40-55% year-round in rooms that have hardwood flooring. If the humidity drops below that point, you risk warping your floors and opening up gaps and cracks between the slats. Conversely, if the humidity is too high, the increased pressure on your boards could cause cracking. When warming your home, you want to make sure you increase the temperature in the room without drastically decreasing the humidity levels at the same time.
Add Warmth without Changing the Humidity
There are several things you can do to warm your home without throwing off the humidity. Here are a few things to consider:
- Area Rugs: Decorate and warm up living spaces by placing area rugs over hardwood floors.
- Insulation: Invest in better insulation or guard-sealers to prevent incoming air drafts that may leak through doors and windows.
- Digital Thermostat: Install a digital or Wi-Fi thermostat so you can program your heating and cooling preferences, know your HVAC system stats and track the humidity level within your home.
- HVAC Tune-Up: If you’ve noticed your HVAC system is struggling to keep your home warm, this may be a sign that it is time for a tune-up.
If your HVAC system is having a hard time keeping up or your hardwood floors have separations, cracks, or warping during the winter, you may need a professional to help you get your humidity levels under control. Schedule an appointment online or call 704-321-9250 today.
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