If the air in your home always feels dry in the winter, you may be weighing your options in humidifiers. You can choose a portable model, a freestanding whole-home unit, or a whole-home unit that connects to your HVAC. Here are ways a humidifier benefits you and why a whole-home option might be best.
Benefits Of Humidifying Your Home
Winter air has less humidity than warm, summer air. Plus, when you run your furnace, the air dries out even more. When the humidity in your house drops too low, it can affect you and your house. Your skin may feel dry and itchy. Your lips and hands may get chapped, and your facial skin may look dry and older.
While your skin will still be assaulted by dry air when you go outdoors, the inside of your home can be a comfortable retreat when you have a humidifier installed. You may notice an improvement in your dry skin, chapped lips, and dry nasal passages.
Your home and furnishings respond to changes in humidity too. Wood flooring and wood furniture can get too dry and crack. A humidifier helps your furniture and flooring have a longer life and need fewer repairs due to long periods of low humidity over the winter.
Advantages Of A Whole-Home Humidifier
A portable humidifier adds humidity too, but these usually can't treat your entire house. You might need more than one portable humidifier to keep all your bedrooms and living areas comfortable, and that can drive up your electric bill. Plus, you have to remember to fill and clean the humidifiers, and that can be a lot of work.
A home humidifier that hooks up to your HVAC is connected to your home's plumbing so it has a continual source of water. The humidifier can be set to run only while the furnace runs. This prevents over humidification.
Plus, the units have humidistats so they can keep the humidity at the level you want. This reduces the risk of too much humidity causing problems with mold. While low humidity is bad, high humidity isn't good either, so you need a humidifier that has precise controls.
A home humidifier you hook up to your HVAC distributes the humidified air through the duct system in your home. These come in steam and bypass models. An alternative is to buy a whole-home humidifier that has its own fan so it doesn't need to rely on the furnace fan.
Talk to a home air quality professional, like those at Steele Brothers Heating Inc and other companies, when making your decision on the right type of humidifier to buy. Some factors to compare are initial cost, operating cost, square footage of your home, maintenance needs, whether you want a freestanding model or connect to your HVAC, and amount of noise the equipment makes.