It’s quite common that, in winter months, people tend to suffer more from dryness of the skin, scratchy throat troubles, nasal congestion, and static electricity buildup inside their houses. All these problems are the result of low humidity levels created from leaving heaters running constantly inside.
It’s quite normal for everybody to opt for the comforts of a warm home, especially in the frigid air of winter, but lack of proper ventilation leads to dry air that starts to negatively affect your body and indoor environment. The best way to control these humidity levels, especially in fall and winter, is by using a whole house humidifier.
Dry air is not only irritating to your skin but can also cause serious health issues related to your respiratory system. Due to the dry nature of the air you breathe, your nasal passages tend to overwork to counter the air’s effect on your body by moistening themselves, thus creating nasal congestion.
This process was once thought to be just a natural byproduct of the winter season and increased illness rates, but in reality it is related to the internal heating systems installed in buildings everywhere to keep the outdoor chill at bay.
For a healthy atmosphere inside your house or workplace, it is recommended that the relative humidity level sit between 30 to 50 percent. Apart from having an effect on your health, dry heat can lead to some serious problems, such as:
- Static electricity generation, which results in painful shocks to people and animals along with damaging effects upon electronic equipment such as computers
- Contraction and discoloration of wood products, especially hardwood floors, due to lack of moisture in the air. Floorboards tend to contract and separate from each other, while furniture becomes disjointed and cracked because of varying humidity levels
- Rough impact on indoor plants, as they tend to lose moisture and wilt
- Peeling of wallpaper due to lack of moisture in the air
How to Control the Humidity Level in Your House
Now that you know the full extent of the problem, it’s time to do something about it. There are some options that you can use for humidifying individual rooms, and they do not require much work. These options include:
- Using multiple sponge pieces soaked in water placed in the room where you want to humidify the dry air
- Using spray bottles to dampen the curtains of the room, thus creating some moisture in the air
- Drying wet laundry in the house
- Adding house plants and placing them in different rooms, thus allowing the transpiration process of plants to create some moisture
- Placing a pan of water on the radiator in the room or placing a container full of water near any heat source in the room
- Using the steam generated by a hot shower to humidify the air of the adjoining bedroom
- Using boiling water in a kettle or using steamer to generate evaporation
If you go through all the above options, you’ll note that they are not only quite cumbersome but also require a lot of time and energy to initiate. Some of the options seem almost berserk, such as drying your laundry in the living room or keeping a kettle boiling if you have a toddler in the house.
In comparison to these options, buying a whole-house humidifier is a much better choice for keeping your peace of mind intact.
Opting for a Suitable Humidifier
If you are considering buying a whole-house humidifier for your home, then you should first study the price, operational costs, and level of maintenance required by the different models available on the market. Some models consume more power but are much cheaper to buy.
If you buy a model that’s little bit more expensive than the others but consumes less energy by producing same level of humidity, then that will be a better choice, as it’s going to pay the price difference by saving on energy bills in the long run. There are many types of portable air humidifiers available on the market, including:
When opting for the first three humidifiers listed above, keep in mind that these machines are quite good in single rooms or for individual usage in an area up to 450 square feet or so. The console humidifiers, on the other hand, consist of some models that have the ability to humidify up to 2,500 square feet.
These are the whole-house humidifiers that’ll keep your entire residence at an optimal level of humidity throughout the entire season.
Apart from the portable whole-house humidifiers available for purchase, there are some models, such as the Honeywell Whole House Bypass Humidifiers, that are specially designed to be installed with the ductwork that directs the heating system installed in your house, such as your home furnace.
This humidifier model provides the exact level of humidity you desire, as you can set your own percentage rate and the system will bring your entire home to that level and automatically keep it there. There’s always the option of choosing a humidifier while installing a new furnace, but you can also mount one on your existing furnace system.
The basic concept behind the working of most common models consists of absorption of moisture from pads present in the humidifier. Usually these pads, known as evaporator pads, are ceramic coated and kept drenched with water, thus releasing moisture into the hot air passed through them.
These types of whole-house humidifiers are much better suited for large homes or office areas.
Benefits of Using Whole-House Humidifiers
This equipment increases the level of humidity in your home or workplace to make it healthier as well as more comfortable.
The other benefit of having the appropriate amount of humidity in the air is indirectly related to saving money on your power bill, as the more humid your home’s air is, the higher the level of warmth you can feel.
By humidifying your air, you can opt to lower your thermostat and save money during the most expensive months of the year.
A final benefit of whole-house humidifiers is that all members of your household, including your pets and plants, will be much more comfortable and healthy with the appropriate level of humidity in the air.
The Five Questions You Should Ask Before Purchasing A Humidifier
Humidifiers have a lot of risks and benefits, which have been debated for years. On one hand, people find that raising the moisture level around them makes the air more pleasant and has little side effects. On the other, there is the argument that there is a greater risk of mold and bacteria growing with the use of humidifiers.
To help you answer whether or not you should purchase a humidifier, we put together five questions to ask before adding one to your home or office.
#1 – What Are The Available Humidifiers?
Currently, you can find three main types of humidifiers in a store. They are steam humidifiers, ultrasonic humidifiers, and wick evaporation humidifier. Although they will all put moisture into the air, they will all do so in different ways.
#2 – How Do You Take Care Of A Humidifier?
Before purchasing anything like a humidifier, you should know what is expected in the upkeep of them. In order to keep a humidifier clean of mold, bacteria, and fungi, you should follow the following tips from the Mayo Clinic.
– Use only demineralized or distilled tap water so you can prevent mineral deposits from building up inside the humidifier. These deposits cause bacteria to grow.
– You should change the water in the humidifier every day by emptying the tank, drying off the inside surfaces, and refilling it with clean water. Make sure you turn off the device first.
– Obtain a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution and use it to clean your humidifier about every three days. Make sure you rinse it out to get rid of any remaining chemicals.
-Does the humidifier have a filter? Change it often.
– Always keep the area around the humidifier clean and dry. If you discover that the furniture and other items near the humidifier are often one, then turn down the power to limit how much you use it.
#3 – Are There Health Benefits To Using A Humidifier?
The main use of humidifiers is to help you with medical conditions that are fueled by dry air. This includes frequent bloody noses, dry eyes, sinus congestion, and other respiratory illnesses.
If you are a child or an adult that has difficulty breathing in dry conditions, then your allergy and asthma symptoms may decrease with humidity. Just keep in mind that having too much humidity will make mold and bacteria grow faster. This will make your allergy and asthma worse. You should consult your physician before you bring a humidifier or dehumidifier to your house.
#4 – Are There Any Risks?
The number one thing you should worry about is creating fantastic conditions for bacteria and mold to grow in. Inhaling too many bacteria and mold can give you respiratory problems. Always be sure to read the instructions of the device and follow them.
You can also be burned by the hot steam that comes from humidifiers. Water is boiled in vaporizers, which means the steam being released can cause severe burns. Always keep a humidifier in a safe place away from anyone around it.
#5 – Is There More Information About Adding A Humidifier To My Office Or Home?
If you are interested in acquiring a humidifier, you should talk to your healthcare provider first. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
If at any time you have questions or concerns about humidifiers, be sure to contact your local air and heating contractor.