Reasons to Invest in a Whole-Home Humidifier

Unless you have allergies, asthma, COPD, or another respiratory condition, you might not notice the dry winter air in your Monroe, NC, home. Nevertheless, low humidity can pack an unpleasant punch when it comes to your well-being and that of your home.

What Is Relative Humidity?

Relative humidity tells you how much moisture is present in the air compared to how much moisture the air could hold. Optimal relative humidity levels are between 35 and 50 percent.

An excessively hot and dry environment might have a relative humidity of only 10 percent. On the other hand, sauna-like conditions might generate a relative humidity of 95 percent.

What Is a Whole-home Humidifier?

In wintertime, a furnace can strip the air of moisture as it generates heat. The upshot can be an extremely dry indoor environment. A whole-home humidifier is a workable solution that can easily be added to an existing HVAC system.

The unit allows you to adjust indoor humidity levels using controls on the thermostat. With a whole-house humidifier, you can choose your preferred humidity level, and the system will manage the rest. Humidifier maintenance is typically performed during regularly scheduled HVAC maintenance visits.

Benefits of Humidifiers

Balanced humidity levels are good for basically everything. Here are some of the benefits you’ll enjoy with a whole-house humidifier:

  • Helps prevent dried-out nasal passages: Dry air can irritate your nasal passages as well as your eyes, skin, mouth, throat, and nose. It can make existing respiratory conditions like asthma and COPD even worse.
  • Reduces the risk of illness: Winter is cold and flu season because viruses and bacteria thrive in cold, dry environments. These seasonal bugs die faster in warm environments with higher relative humidity.
  • Helps to reduce snoring: Dry indoor air can cause inflammation and dryness in the nose and throat. It can interfere with the airflow to the lungs, increase congestion in the throat and cause the tissues to vibrate while breathing.
  • Plumps up dry skin: Low humidity can cause chapped lips and rough, itchy, and flaking skin. Dry air can make acne and eczema worse, weaken the skin’s barrier function, and reduce the skin’s elasticity.
  • Helps lower energy costs: Humidity makes indoor air feel warmer at a lower temperature. When the air can capture more moisture, it can also hold more heat. By contrast, low humidity makes the air feel cooler. You’ll need to increase heating output to feel comfortable.
  • Reduces static electricity: Dry air is notorious for generating mini-shocks. It can also make your hair and clothing stick together. Balanced humidity levels eliminate this problem.
  • Protects your furnishings: Dry air can harm items made of wood and furnishings with a wood finish. These items can warp, shrink, and crack. Low humidity can also make paper products like books, photos, and posters more brittle.

What About Single-room Humidifiers?

One-room solutions for dry indoor air are an inefficient way to humidify a whole house. Portable humidifiers can also be dangerous. If you don’t keep them squeaky clean, unchecked organic growth can potentially cause illness.

Are There Different Types of Whole-house Humidifiers?

There are three basic types of whole-house humidifiers:

  • Bypass units pull warm air from the furnace and direct it through the humidifier’s water panel. The warm air absorbs moisture from the panel and circulates it through your ductwork.
  • Fan-powered units use a fan to increase the amount of moisture the air can absorb. That, in turn, increases the amount of circulated humidity.
  • Steam units heat water to the boiling point to generate steam. They run whether the furnace is on or off. The blower pushes steam through the air vents and into your home.

To learn more about whole-house humidifiers and other indoor air quality products, visit the team at Byrum Heating & A/C, Inc.

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