Heat is so essential for our comfort, especially if we live in an area with chilly winters. We’re so grateful for our furnaces when the weather gets cold, and it’s so cozy to curl up in front of a fireplace!
But be careful you don’t have too much of a good thing! Heat also removes needed moisture from the air. For this reason, you may wish to consider a whole house humidifier to keep the people in your house—as well as the physical structure of your house—healthier.
How so? Let’s start with you and your loved ones. Maintaining a proper level of humidity has been shown to:
• reduce illnesses due to airborne viruses and bacteria;
• reduce chronic sore throats, dry coughs, and nosebleeds;
• reduce allergies and asthma symptoms due to dust and dust mites;
• help dry, itchy skin and dry eyes;
• improve sleep quality.
During cold weather, when people spend more time indoors and the indoor air is drier due to furnaces and fireplaces, the value of the right level of humidity for your health can hardly be overstated.
Next, your house itself is also crying out for proper humidity. When the air in a home becomes too dry, it can cause wood flooring and cabinets to dry out and warp or crack, leading you to invest time and money in repairing problems that might have been avoided. Healthy humidity levels also reduce static shock—and can even help lower your energy bills!
DIFFERENT TYPES OF WHOLE-HOUSE HUMIDIFIERS
There are three basic types of whole-house humidifiers. Although they work differently, they all get the job done quite well.
1. Drum Humidifiers: the bottom of a drum rests partially in a tray of water. The drum rotates, wicking air through a sponge, and creating water vapor that hot air from the furnace then disperses through your ductwork.
2. Flow-Through or Moisture Pad Humidifiers: the water source moisturizes an evaporator pad and hot air from the furnace picks up moisture from the pad to add to the warm air. This type has no moving parts and uses no electricity, but does require an additional drainage outlet, usually to a floor drain, utility sink or sump pump.
3. Steam Humidifiers: connected to your home’s water supply and electrical system, it heats water until it becomes steam and then injects it directly into your heating ducts to spread throughout your home.
If your home does not have a forced air HVAC system with ductwork running throughout the house, there are stand-alone humidifiers that use fan units to disperse humidity throughout your home.
WHOLE HOUSE VERSUS SINGLE ROOM HUMIDIFIERS
Many people use portable, single room humidifiers to add humidity to their home. These are fine, as long as they are scrupulously maintained. Their tank of standing water, which can often lead to the growth of microorganisms, must be dried and cleaned out frequently. Otherwise, you may be spraying your room with a fine mist that contains mold spores or bacteria. For the same reason, they require frequent changing of their filters. Whole house humidifiers, on the other hand, are designed to be low-maintenance.
And, hate to say it, but whole house humidifiers may be smarter than the humans who manage portable, single room humidifiers! Too much humidity can be just as bad as too little. Condensation from humidity can once again lead to the formation of mold and bacteria in the house. Sensors in whole house humidifiers detect temperature and humidity levels and automatically activate or deactivate the humidifier as needed. One less thing for you, as the homeowner, to think about!
IS A WHOLE HOUSE HUMIDIFIER FOR YOU?
As with any purchase for your home, there are various factors to consider and it’s best to discuss your situation with an expert. Consult your local, trusted HVAC technician at Frontier Heating and Cooling today to see how a whole house humidifier might benefit you—and your home!