During the cold months of winter, when your house’s furnace is running on full blast all day and night, you probably notice the air gets uncomfortably dry. You’ll find yourself with dry and itchy skin, cracked lips, increased allergy symptoms and nosebleeds. You’ll also find that your house is charged with static electricity, so every time you touch the doorknob, it will be a shocking experience.
Luckily for you, there’s an easy fix for dry air in your house. Humidifiers increase the humidity in your home by heating up water into a fine mist. They are simple to use and incredibly effective. The added humidity will make your home much more comfortable while your furnace is running.
Do I need a humidifier?
This depends on several factors. If you live in an area that gets cold enough to require a furnace, then you probably need one. Or, if you want to be more scientific about it, if the humidity level in your home goes below 30 percent, then a humidifier can be a life-changing piece of technology.
Let’s say you do need one. There are whole house humidifiers and smaller portable humidifiers that can humidify only one or two rooms.
Whole house humidifiers
These units are installed directly into your house’s heating system. The best part is that once they’re installed and properly set up, you can forget about it and move on with your life. Modern whole house humidifiers can be set to a specific humidity level to suit your comfort. Anywhere between 30 to 50 percent humidity is considered the “comfort zone” in most homes.
As good as whole house humidifiers sound, they do have their drawbacks. For one, they are prone to collecting mineral deposits. Since they draw water directly from your waters supply, the amount and severity of mineral deposits will depend on the type of water you use. Because of this, they do require some maintenance. Your main job will be to clean out the mineral deposits once a year to prevent them from hardening.
These are small units you can use in whatever room in the house you choose. They’re not hooked into your home’s plumbing system. These are great for temporary use, or if one part of the house is drier than the rest.
However, before you get too excited, there are some drawbacks to portable humidifiers. The first is that the water tank has to be filled daily. Some units allow you to remove the tank to fill it, and others make you bring water to the humidifier. Also, portable humidifiers can be noisy. Unlike a unit installed directly into your heating system, these smaller units have the heating element and blower all in one. Many people say they’re about as noisy as a window air conditioner.
Finally, the big drawback to portable humidifiers is that if not properly maintained, you run the risk of bacterial build-up, which can be blown all over the room if not cleaned. To prevent this, one must clean the tank every few days; change the filter (according to the manufacturer’s specifications, and only use fresh distilled water. Taking these precautions will ensure your portable humidifier stays in good working condition and you stay healthy.
The choice is yours
If you’re not sure what kind of humidifier will best fit your needs, call us and we can help you decide. If a whole house humidifier is what you want, we can have it up and running in no time.