Many of us are now taking every possible measure to keep our homes as warm as possible during this bitter winter. When we make the air warmer, it becomes drier, and this can lead to other problems. Some people add a whole home humidifier to their HVAC systems to make humidity more comfortable. Let’s take a closer look at winter heating, indoor humidity levels and how to deal with dry air.
The Ideal Indoor Humidity
The healthy indoors humidity range for your home should be 35-40% to stay comfortable. During the winter months, the furnace can strip the air of its moisture content as it heats the home. This air in the house will feel very dry and uncomfortable for the occupants. If you want to have a comfortable indoor environment and a more energy efficient system, it’s essential to control the indoor humidity by adding a whole home humidifier. This will allow the homeowner to alter the humidity levels with the thermostat without turning the system on or off. When the heating season is over, the humidifier is drained, cleaned and powered off until the weather gets cold again. Because it’s a part of the HVAC system, the humidifier can be maintained with regular servicing.
3 Reasons Why is Humidity so Important
The indoor humidity levels can have a dramatic effect on the air quality and comfort levels in your home. Below we will examine three reasons why a whole home humidifier is a worthy investment for the colder months.
- Healthier Indoor Air
When the air is too dry, it can easily dry out nasal passages, which can lead to health issues, such as skin irritation, dry eyes, nasal irritation and it extreme cases it could exacerbate a respiratory illness. When you install a whole home dehumidifier as part of your HVAC system you can produce air that warm and yet still has the moisture that you need.
Breathing air in the 35-40% humidity range will provide an adequate amount of moisture for your nasal passages. This will ease your breathing and help to keep your sinuses clear. Many humidifier users experience less snoring when the air they breathe as they sleep contains an adequate level of moisture. Adding a little moisture to your indoor air will help to improve your general health because bacteria and viruses don’t thrive in a moist air environment.
During the winter months, some people find that they use far more skin moisturizing products. This may be caused by an indoor environment that’s too dry for your skin. When the air is too dry, it can dry out your lips and skin, causing cracks, itchiness, and dull spots. When the air has more moisture, you may notice that those dry and flaky patches of skin that seem to arrive with winter are less of a problem.
- Saving Money on Energy Bills
A whole home humidifier is great for your health, and it’s also fantastic for your bank balance too. When there is more moisture content in the air, it will often feel warmer even when the thermostat is set to a lower temperature. This will allow you to stay warm while using less energy to heat your home. When the indoor humidity is too low, the air is dryer, and this will lower the efficiency of your heating system. When air has more moisture, it will retain more heat, and the home will feel warmer. So, if the air is too dry, it’s far more likely that the heat will get turned up higher than necessary to feel warm enough. Over an entire heating season, even a few degrees of extra heating can add up to a significant amount of wasted money.
- Protecting Home Furnishings
If the indoor air is too dry, it can affect your home furnishings and even cause damage to them. Any furniture or items made from wood are especially at risk from an environment that’s too dry. Wood can warp, shrink and crack under these types of conditions leading to extensive damage that in some cases may be irreparable.
Another material that’s at risk is paper and paper like surfaces, such as books, posters, and photos. When they are exposed to very dry conditions paper materials will become fragile and brittle. Obviously, this can be a devastating blow if you have precious photos, historic family documents and rare books in your home. If you want to protect your furnishings and paper based items, it’s a great idea to add a humidifier to your HVAC system.
A Single Room or Whole Home Humidifier?
When you decide to improve the indoor air quality by adding some much needed moisture, there are two different humidifier options available to choose from. The first option is a small single room humidifier unit that you can find in many stores. The second option is a whole home humidifier that you can add to a new or existing HVAC system. Let’s take a closer look at each method so that you can make an informed choice.
A Single Room Humidifier
This is a portable albeit bulky unit that you can place in a room to increase the humidity level. It can be effective, but there are four main drawbacks to using a single room humidifier.
The water in the unit has to be changed every day to ensure that the humidity level is maintained at the correct level and to avoid mold and bacterial growth inside.
The unit must be regularly cleaned to avoid mold and bacterial growth that could be sent into your indoor air.
If the unit is used in a bedroom or a quiet living space, it can be distracting because it generates a bubbling noise.
It may seem like a less expensive option, but a single room humidifier will use more energy than a whole home system, and it will only treat one room at a time.
A Whole Home Humidifier
The is a system that will allow you to control the humidity levels in your entire home with your thermostat. There are four main advantages to choosing this type of humidifier system.
Because the water for the system comes directly from your water supply, there is no need to refill a water reservoir. The water panel may need to be changed once or twice throughout the entire heating season.
A whole home humidifier is a healthy option, the system stays clean, but you need to clean it at the end of each heating season.
Because the system is so clean, it’s extremely unlikely that mold or bacteria will grow inside and then be released into your air supply.
A whole home can be humidified for the same amount of energy that a single room unit would use.
If you want a controllable humidifier that’s easy to clean, requires little maintenance to use and it can humidify your entire home, it makes good sense to install a whole home humidifier.