A whole-house humidifier is one of those conveniences that has become a household staple. Over the years, homeowners have experienced the benefits of having their homes made more comfortable through the use of humidifiers.
Dry air in a home can be more than just the nuisance of static electrical shocks. It can aggravate breathing conditions, cause bloody noses and damage your possessions. Preventing these issues is an easy fix when you use your furnace to humidify the air throughout your entire home.
It is a good idea to know the humidity level in your house, and the best way to test for that is with a hygrometer. This device looks much like a thermometer but will measure the amount of moisture in the air.
You can purchase a hygrometer at a local hardware or home improvement store. If you are getting a whole-house humidifier, consider purchasing one that has a built-in hygrometer (humidistat) that will keep humidity in your home at a healthy range of between 30% to 50%.
A Humidifier is Different From a De-humidifier
Maintaining the right level of humidity in your house can be challenging at times. Depending on the time of year, you may have more humidity than you need or may need to add more to prevent the air from being too dry.
A de-humidifier strips moisture from the air when it is too humid. Very often, a homeowner will need a de-humidifier in their basement, which is an area that typically needs one.
A humidifier, on the other hand, will add moisture to the air in the house when it is too dry, most often in the winter months.
Both of these devices do the opposite of each other, and both can be essential to keeping your home comfortable.
Here is a list of seven reasons why buying a whole-house humidifier is a must.
1) It is very easy to maintain.
A whole-house humidifier should come with a maintenance guide, but in case yours did not, they really only need your attention once a year at the end of the heating season.
There are three main types of furnace-mounted humidifiers, a reservoir, a flow-through drip style, and a steam humidifier.
A reservoir humidifier uses a rotating drum-styled foam pad that picks up water from a float-controlled reservoir.
Flow-through drip-style humidifiers use a metal or plastic screen that has a small amount of water that constantly drips across it while the furnace is running.
Steam humidifiers inject the steam directly into the airflow. These types of humidifiers may require special filtration of the water along with a specific range of hardness and quality.
All of these types of humidifiers can be maintained by the homeowner. It is best to contact the manufacturer or search online for the how-to guide to your specific model.
2) It eliminates static electricity.
Static electricity is almost always present in dry air. Static electricity can cause frizzy hair and clingy clothing. It is also responsible for that annoying mild “shock” when touching clothes, your hair, and home appliances. You can also get that static when touching or hugging someone else.
The ideal indoor humidity level is in the 30% to 50% range, and when your home is in that range using a whole-house humidifier, it eliminates static electricity.
3) Helps ease skin and breathing symptoms.
Fortunately, whole-house humidifiers can soothe dry sinuses, bloody noses, and cracked lips. It can also help to ease symptoms of a cold and other respiratory conditions.
Having low humidity in your house can cause dry skin, irritate your nasal passages and throat. It can also make your eyes itchy if there is not enough humidity in the air.
Those people with partners will be glad to hear that adding moisture to your home’s air can reduce snoring. When a person’s airways are dry, snoring can get worse.
4) Keeps skin softer and more moisturized.
Low levels of humidity during dry months can cause dry, flaky skin and exacerbate conditions like eczema. When the barrier protection on your skin becomes damaged, as it can in dry conditions, it creates tiny cracks in the skin.
These small cracks allow even more moisture to escape from your skin’s surface. This leads to dry, itchy skin and can cause roughness and flaking. Having a humidifier to add moisture to the indoor humidity level can help ease these conditions.
5) Protects wooden floors, furniture and more.
When the humidity levels in the air drops, anything made out of wood, including floors and furniture, can tend to dry out as well; this can lead to cracking or splitting of the wood.
Even the experts at This Old House tell us that moisture-deprived air can harm wood furniture and floors. It can also take its toll on books, musical instruments, wallpaper, your stamp collection, wall art, electronics, and even that wine you have been saving for a special occasion.
Your piano or guitar can suffer cracks because of contracting wood or the drying out of glue joints. And if you are wondering about how wine is affected by low humidity, it dries out corks. This causes them to crack, shrink, and let in air that ruins the wine.
6) It helps you get a good night’s sleep.
Dry air can affect the quality of our sleep. Families often rely on home humidifiers to improve their sleeping. A humidifier increases moisture in the air, which in turn keeps your nasal passages and throat from drying out. That helps improve your breathing and can ease any congestion that you might have.
7) It gives you peace of mind.
Knowing that a whole-house humidifier can give you and your family that extra health boost will definitely provide you with peace of mind. Your home will be a more comfortable place, and those conditions like dry skin, nosebleeds, and respiratory irritations can be alleviated.
The humidity provided by a whole-house unit can also protect the house itself and your belonging within it by keeping wood from drying out and giving the proper moisture level your possessions need.
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