With cold temperatures comes dry air that can wreak havoc on your skin, throat, eyes, nose, and more. You may have heard of whole-house humidifiers that attach to your furnace and wondered if they might be a good solution to increase the comfort level in your home. There are many benefits to having one installed in your home. Here are some questions to ask yourself before deciding whether or not you should get one.
A Whole-House Humidifier Improves Home Comfort
- Do you need a whole-house humidifier?
Rather than a portable humidifier unit that gets placed in each room, a whole-house humidifier attaches directly to the home’s furnace to moisten the warm air delivered through the existing ductwork. It’s a central way of managing humidity levels for the entire home. If you’re looking for comfort in your entire home indefinitely, then a whole-house humidifier is a good choice.
- Is your home uncomfortable?
Dry air can cause a number of physical discomforts–itchy skin and eyes; dry, cracked lips; nosebleeds; and scratchy throats. In contrast, optimal humidity levels can lessen allergy and asthma symptoms, promote lung health, and decrease the spread of diseases such as cold and flu viruses.
- Do you have hardwood floors, own a piano or another valuable item that could be affected?
Dry air can cause cracking or separation of wood floors, furniture, and cabinetry. It can also affect the tuning of musical instruments. Maintaining proper moisture levels will help wooden items in the home last longer in good condition.
- Are you looking for cost savings?
People spend a lot of time indoors in the winter, and they want to be comfortable. When the air is more humid, your body will feel warmer. With humidified air, you can set the thermostat lower but still be comfortable, which saves you money. Humidified air also improves comfort by reducing static electricity.
- What type of whole-house humidifier is right for you?
Steam humidifiers: These are the most expensive and also the most reliable, efficient, and powerful type of whole-house humidifier. They consist of a unit in which electricity is used to boil water and create steam; the furnace fan then blows the steam through the home’s ductwork. Depending on your home’s water quality, water filtration may be required for this type of humidifier. These humidifiers require the least amount of maintenance.
Flow-through (or drip) humidifiers: These are less expensive and are commonly used. Warm air from the furnace moves through an evaporator pad that has water dripping across it, creating moist air that is then distributed to the home. Because water is always dripping across the pad, there is less risk for mold and bacteria to develop. However, a drain is needed, and there is some water waste–at least half of the dripping water is not vaporized.
Reservoir humidifiers: Typically the least expensive option, they work similarly to flow-through humidifiers except for a rotating drum with an evaporation pad dips into a reservoir that is filled with water. A stream of warm air from the furnace blows through, creating moisturized air that is distributed throughout the home. This type of humidifier requires the most maintenance and carries a higher risk of mold and bacteria due to the standing water.
Does it sound like a whole-house humidifier is right for you? We’re giving away an Aprilaire 800 Whole House Steam Humidifier including installation! Click here to enter.
If you’re still not sure, give us a call at 301-663-0300 and we can answer any questions for you!