Whole-House Humidifier

Humidity levels start dropping in fall. While many North Carolinians welcome this change of weather, dry air isn’t necessarily in your best interest. Ideally, indoor humidity should hover between 30 and 50 percent.

If your home is too dry, the easiest way to restore moisture is by using a humidifier. A whole-house humidifier offers significant benefits over other humidification methods.

Whole-House Humidifier vs. Portable Humidifier

There are two main types of humidifiers: whole-house and portable. Portable humidifiers are independent units, typically on wheels, that humidify one or several rooms at a time. They plug directly into the wall and distribute moistened air throughout your room via an internal blower. Some people consider portable humidifiers inconvenient because they require constant cleaning and must have their reservoir refilled daily with distilled water.

Whole-house humidifiers, on the other hand, are installed directly inside the ductwork of your HVAC system. The furnace blower fan distributes the moisture throughout your house. A plumber will connect the existing water supply to a water panel or a rotating evaporator pad, depending on whether you have a flow-through or drum humidifier. Then, air either passes through the water panel or water is introduced to the air with the rotating evaporator pad, increasing the overall humidity of your home.

Whole-House Humidifier

• Maintenance a few times a year
• White mineral buildup over time from water
• Never needs manual refilling
• Precise humidity control based on humidistat setting

Portable Humidifier

• Daily maintenance and cleaning
• Potential mold and mildew growth
• Daily refills of distilled water
• Imprecise and somewhat uncontrollable humidity level

Whole-House Humidifier Benefits

While excessive moisture can lead to condensation, mold, mildew and potential damage to possessions like books, a moderate humidity level keeps you and your home healthy.

Better Health

Dry air can wreak havoc on your body. In fall and winter, people often experience:

• Itchy, flaky skin
• Chapped lips
• Sore, scratchy throat
• Minor nosebleeds
• Worse asthma and allergy symptoms

Adding moisture to the air and adequately hydrating yourself can remedy many of these discomforts.

There is also a growing body of evidence that some viruses like the flu thrive in cold, dry air in the northern hemisphere. One study found that the flu virus spread quicker among guinea pigs kept in colder, less humid conditions. Another found a historical correlation between drops in humidity and flu outbreaks.

If you’re particularly susceptible to winter viruses, a whole-house humidifier can reduce the lifespan of the airborne virus and potentially curtail the spread of illness.

Reduced Energy Bills

Humid air makes us feel warmer because there is less room for our sweat to evaporate. This holds true indoors just like it does outdoors on muggy summer days. Indoor air at 70 degrees with 50 percent humidity will feel warmer than air at the same temperature with 20 percent humidity.

Some homeowners get into a vicious cycle of increasing the temperature on the thermostat to stay warm, which causes the humidity to plummet further. They use excess energy to power their heater when they could be using a humidifier to achieve the same effect.

When you start using a whole-house humidifier, you won’t feel the need to crank up the heat as often, which will ultimately save you money on energy bills. Compared to a heater, a humidifier is extremely inexpensive to operate – it costs only a few cents a month.

Protection of Items in the Home

While most people buy a humidifier to make themselves feel more comfortable, the increased humidity can also preserve your house as well. Many materials are prone to cracking, splitting, chipping and warping under arid conditions, such as:

• Wood
• Plaster
• Paint
• Wallpaper
• Instruments
• Art pieces
• Books
• Electronics

By increasing the humidity, you increase the longevity of your items and your home. Just be careful not to oversaturate the air, as this could lead to pesky mold and mildew growth.

Have a Whole-House Humidifier Installed by Kay Heating and Air Conditioning

If you tend to feel dry and uncomfortable during the fall and winter, a whole-house humidifier may be able to solve your problems. The CFC-certified technicians at Kay Heating and Air can easily install a humidifier or a whole new HVAC system in your home for better energy efficiency and improved performance.

Call us at (336) 274-6323 today for your FREE estimate!

Importance of Air Flow Quality

importance of air flow qualityThe air you breathe indoors should be a vital respite from the harsh air outside, which is full of allergens, dust and pollutants (especially if you live in a big city). You would like to think the air being circulated indoors is cleaner than the air outdoors, making it better for the respiratory health of you and your family. Unfortunately that’s not necessarily the case, with certain types of pollutants potentially being up to two to five times more concentrated inside your home than they typically are outdoors.1

Air ducts and vents are prone to acquiring dust, germs and bacteria if they’re not thoroughly cleaned. Attempting to clean your vents and ducts yourself can exacerbate the issue, further polluting your home with harmful contaminants. An effective solution to killing harmful bacteria and germs is using the power of UV light.

Improving Indoor Air Flow and Quality with UV Lighting

Ultraviolet technology has been used in water purifying treatment applications for its ability to eliminate bacteria and germs. UV treatments can also be used on air ventilation systems to achieve the same effect. UV lamps are great for use in residential, industrial and commercial buildings.

Mold and its spores love to grow in dark, damp places, and your ventilation system is one of its favorite spots to grow. UV technology utilizes germicidal UV lamps to disinfect vents through low-pressure mercury vapor tubes which are inserted into your ducts to emit UV light at a wavelength that is deadly to microorganisms like mold.

The lamps treat both the air and surfaces where bacteria and organisms reside. Lamps are installed by boring a hole in the duct wall and inserting brackets that the lamps attach to. The lamps work best when your system is on and filtering air past it, ensuring bacteria in the air is eradicated as it passes.

UV lamps need to be installed by professionals, as each HVAC system is different. A professional will examine your system and note the following when developing your UV light solution:

  • The size of your ducts or plenum
  • The length of the duct or compartment where the lamp will be inserted
  • Air speed flow measured in cfm (cubic feet per minute)
  • Average air temperature

UV room sanitizers are an alternative to UV lamps. Sanitizers can be fitted to ceilings or walls with options for portable and mobile use. UV sanitizers work by drawing air into the device through a washable electrostatic particulate filter where it is exposed to germicidal UV light. Purified air is then dispersed out of the exposure chamber through a louvered exhaust panel.

Breathe Clean Air with Kay Heating & Air’s HVAC Services

Kay Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. is your leading provider of clean air solutions with certified HVAC technicians and the latest clean air technologies. We provide quality indoor air cleaning solutions designed and installed by our professional technicians. In addition to indoor air quality services, we also offer comprehensive HVAC services, including:

  • Air conditioning systems
  • Heat pumps
  • Gas furnaces
  • Package units
  • HVAC maintenance and repair

Our technicians are on call 24/7 to ensure you receive quality, affordable repairs, installations and servicing. Contact us today to schedule service or an installation estimate!

1https://cfpub.epa.gov/roe/chapter/air/indoorair.cfm

Indoor Air Quality Improvements

Is the air in your home safe to breathe? Most people fail to realize just how important their house’s indoor air quality (IAQ) is to their overall wellness. Indoor air pollutants and allergens can cause a number of health problems, especially for residents with asthma or allergies. Here are a few ways to help you breathe easier and keep your loved ones healthy.

Watch for Moisture

Mold and mildew are both common asthma triggers and allergenic compounds. Some varieties can be particularly damaging to even a healthy person’s lungs. Mold commonly grows in damp environments such as your kitchen, bathroom or inside the walls. The spores that are released help the fungus grow and spread throughout the home. The easiest way to reduce and remove mold or mildew is to keep your house dry. Invest in a dehumidifier to keep humidity down in problematic areas and don’t let condensation sit for too long.

Keep Pests Out

Rats, cockroaches and other rodents and insects are more than just unwanted pests; the waste they leave behind can cause health problems long after they’re gone. Roaches naturally carry a protein that is a common allergen as well as an asthmatic trigger. This can be especially problematic for indoor air quality if these pests get in your air ducts, as the contaminated air will then circulate throughout your home. Dust mites that live on carpet and furniture leave behind droppings and microscopic shell pieces that are similarly allergenic.

Vacuum and dust regularly to keep insect debris to a minimum. If you suspect pests have been in your ducts it’s also a good idea to have them professionally cleaned and sealed to prevent future incursions.

Monitor Indoor Gas Levels

Not all air pollutants are as easy to detect and handle. Carbon monoxide (CO) gas is often referred to as a “silent killer” due to the fact that it can so easily go undetected. Symptoms of exposure can vary depending on a person’s age, the levels of CO and the length of exposure. Extended periods of exposure to even low CO levels can lead to flu-like symptoms, while high levels can result in death. Carbon monoxide sensors are inexpensive pieces of equipment that you can likely find at your local hardware store. Similar to smoke detectors, the sensors will activate a siren when dangerous CO levels are detected.

Keep Your HVAC Maintained

The air in your home is filtered through your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. AC systems, in particular, contain powerful filters designed to remove pollutants from the air before it is spread throughout your home. It’s important to regularly maintain your HVAC system, replacing AC filters at least once every other month. Families with members who are allergic or asthmatic might consider replacing their AC filters on a monthly basis.

HVAC Services in Greensboro, NC

Kay Heating & Air Conditioning is committed to meeting the needs of our North Carolina HVAC customers. The safety of your family is a high priority for our company, which is why we’re committed to educating our clients on the importance of indoor air quality and how to improve it. We’re proud to offer heating and air conditioning repair, as well as installation services. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!