It’s winter time, and your skin and sinus’s are dry. Did you know that this condition not only extends to yourself and your health but also to your home? The furniture, doors, and other wood products in your home are all affected by the level of humidity.
Ever notice in the winter time the doors don’t close just right inside your home? Ever get static-shock when you touch something or someone? This is caused by dry air. The solution is a humidifier. There are many types of humidifiers from portable to fixed. The prices for these humidifiers also vary. Naturally the fixed will cost more and you will most likely have to hire a contractor to install it, but the humidifier will definitely make a big difference not only for your health, but also for your home.
In the summer, a lot of the energy consumed by your air conditioner is used to de-humidify the air. In most geographical locations in the U.S. and Canada there is an abundance of moisture in the air. The process of heating your home in the winter time, especially for heat pumps, dries the air out in your home. It then becomes necessary to humidify the air (unless you choose to ignore it) to keep a comfortable level of moisture in the air. Ideally, you want the humidity level in your home to be around 30 to 50 percent. In the summer this is not a problem. In the winter it is a problem. This level of humidity will also help you feel more comfortable. If the humidity level in your home is high in the summer you will not feel cool. If the humidity level is low in the winter you will not feel warm when the thermostat is set at an average temperature. This will result in turning the thermostat up to compensate and you will use more energy to stay warm. A properly designed and installed system will keep the proper levels of humidity in your home.
Dust, Dust Mites, Pollen, Viruses, Bacteria, and Humidity
Aside from the comfort factors of having the proper humidity levels in our homes, there is another aspect of having proper levels of humidity in the home. Humidity affects what is in our air also and this is why a humidifier is an integral part of a system that maintains optimum indoor air quality standards. Too much humidity promotes the growth of molds and mildews. Low humidity levels promote bacteria, viruses, and other organic and non-organic things that can be hazardous to our health. Below is a chart that will help you see that keeping the proper humidity levels in your home will also keep out things that can affect our health and our home.
Those people who have forced air systems I usually recommend having the whole house duct mount humidifiers installed. These are generally maintenance free except for a water panel that needs to be replaced on an annual basis. It will require the installation of a humidistat so that the proper amount of humidity is maintained in the dwelling. This system is automatic with no worries about manually filling up a pan or moving a large appliance like you have with the portable humidifiers. All you have to do is set the humidistat and change the water panel annually (or have a service technician do it when you have preventive maintenance done). Remember, humidity in your living and work space is important for your health. The are many different brands to choose from when selecting a whole house humidifier. Generally, Honeywell Whole house Humidifiers and Aprilaire Whole House Humidifier are good brands to choose from but there are others. Check with your HVAC Contractor for what they recommend for humidifiers.
Whether you have a Honeywell humidifier, Aprilaire humidifier, or other brand, remember there is required annual maintenance to your humidifier. Typically, humidifiers have water panels inside of them that some people refer to as humidifier filters. These humidifier filters as they are referred to treat the water that is channeled into the humidifier. This humidifier water filter needs to be changed at least annually to have the proper effect. Your HVAC contractor can arrange a maintenance agreement with you to maintain the humidifer and change the water filter so you do not have to worry about it.
Whole House Humidifier Video