I have all sorts of complaints with the air quality of my house. The winters in this area tend to last for approximately six months, and the temperature frequently dips into the negative digits. The air is naturally very dry at this time of year and blasting the furnace makes it worse. The lack of adequate humidity causes a long list of problems. We deal with chapped lips, frizzy hair, dry skin and sore throats. Because of overly dry nasal passages we are more at risk of respiratory infection and it takes longer to get over colds and flu. In the summer, we have the opposite problem. The excess humidity creates the ideal habitat for bacteria, mold, mildew and dust mites. We rely heavily on both the air conditioner and furnace, forcing us to keep the home sealed up tight for the majority of the year. This eliminates ventilation and results in a stale and musty living environment. I’ve been looking into all different types of indoor air quality accessories, and I don’t know which would be best. A humidifier would be ideal for the winter conditions, but a dehumidifier would be better in the summer. We could definitely use a ventilator to bring in fresh air all year round, but I’d also like to filter out air contaminants. An air purifier captures dust and other airborne allergens and kills viruses and bacteria. I’ve also considered the benefits of a germicidal UV lamp that would disinfect the air and protect the efficiency of the air conditioner. I’m planning to consult with an HVAC professional, explain the situation and ask for a recommendation.