Midwesterners have come to expect the dry skin, warped wood, and increased static shocks we endure every winter. The colder the day, the worse these problems get, as the process of heating our homes removes moisture from the air moving through our ductwork and into every room of our homes. Many of us will choose to stock up on chapstick and moisturizers and purchase a portable humidifier for the living room or bedroom while we hope for an early Spring.
However, there is another solution. A whole-house humidifier, unlike the smaller, portable, water-filled version you can pick up at your home-goods store of choice, will distribute a controlled amount of moisture throughout your entire house and provide relief through the winter months.
Humidity for Comfort
Cracked lips, peeling skin, nosebleeds, and an itchy throat have come to be accepted as unavoidable winter trials, but they don’t have to be. The proper level of moisture in your indoor air can provide relief to your dry skin and eyes, and can even alleviate the mouth- and throat-dryness that contributes to loud snoring. Dry indoor air can be bad for your home, as well. Increased static shock, cracking or warping wood, bubbling paint–dry air can cause a lot of damage.
In addition to saving you from discomfort and costly home repairs, a whole-house humidifier can save you in energy costs! When your wood door and window frames warp in dry air, gaps can form that let cold air into your warm house. The lack of moisture in the air can also make your house feel colder than it really is. Moisturized air feels warmer, so you can stop cranking up the thermostat and save on your energy bills.
According to the Mayo Clinic, whole-home humidifier can also prevent the spread of airborne illnesses, provided that the level of humidity in the air is well regulated, and that the humidifier is clean and well maintained.
A whole-home humidifier also lessens winter illness symptoms like itchy eyes, coughing, and sore throat.
Completing your Comfort System
When considering a whole-home humidifier, it’s important to take the size of your furnace into consideration. Your humidifier should only be running when your furnace is on, which means that if your furnace is oversized for your home it won’t run as often as it should. Experts have recommended variable-speed furnaces and heat pumps, which run more often and at lower settings, which can also save you on your energy bills.
In addition to a whole-house humidifier, indoor air quality systems such as the Patriot UV and REME Halo purifiers can help prevent bacteria and mold from developing and further restrict the spread of illnesses in your home.