Whole house humidifiers

Whole house humidifiers

When it comes to feeling comfortable in your home, the old saying “it’s not the heat (or cold) – it’s the humidity” rings true. Keeping your home’s humidity between 30-60% can make your home healthier and more comfortable, and can prevent damage to your home and belongings.

A healthier home

Too little humidity actually can increase the symptoms of allergies and asthma, as well as other respiratory illnesses such as cold and flu. If you experience symptoms such as sore throats, dry/itchy skin, nose bleeds or sinus irritation, it may mean the air in your home is too dry.

Conversely, too much humidity can enhance the presence of mold and mildew. This not only can make the symptoms of your asthma or allergies worse, but removing mold is expensive and inconvenient.

A more comfortable home

If there is not enough humidity, you will experience electrical shocks. Conversely, too much humidity can cause a musty, unpleasant odor. Too much humidity can also make your skin clammy and sweaty.

Prevent damage to your home and belongings

Too little humidity can cause wood floors to shrink and crack. It can also diminish the appearance of your home with peeling wallpaper and cracking paint and plaster. Joints in wood furniture also may become loose, and your piano and other musical instruments may also fall out of tune.

On the other hand, too much humidity can cause wood floors, trim and furniture to warp, and paint to peel. It can also foster a welcoming environment for termites and other pests.

Selecting the right whole house humidifier

Keeping your entire home’s humidity at the right level requires a whole house humidifier. You should consult with an HVAC company to determine the right unit for your home. But here are some things to consider.

  1. Home size. You want a unit that will humidify the entire home. You should also consider whether your house is drafty or tightly sealed. Draftier homes require higher-output humidifiers.
  2. Standalone or connected to the HVAC system. Generally, systems connected to the HVAC system require less maintenance than standalone humidifiers, which must be refilled with water regularly.
  3. Evaporative capacity. Higher capacity is better, as units with higher output will moisturize the air more quickly and effectively.
  4. Automatic or manual control. Automatic controls let you set the humidity level once. Manual units must be monitored.
  5. Maintenance and cleaning. Some units have filters that need to be replaced, while others have permanent filters that just need to be cleaned once or twice a year. Some units have panel indicator lights that indicate when maintenance is necessary.

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*Based on research conducted January - August 2016