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