Whole House Humidifiers
Not only does winter bring cold air, it also brings dry air into your home. Dry air makes you uncomfortable, and can also damage wood floors, musical instruments, artwork and other objects.
The key is to keep the humidity in your home between 25% to 50%. You can do that by purchasing a whole house humidifier
Whole house humidifiers make sense if your entire home is dry for several months of the year (if that is not the case, you may be OK with one or several portable humidifiers). Whole house humidifiers are easy. They are integrated into your furnace, so you install them, set them to the desired humidity level, and don’t have to monitor anything as they keep your entire home set at the fixed humidity. Since they draw water from your plumbing system, there is no need to fill them with water. They are also quiet, cost only pennies a year to operate, and not as expensive as most portable units.
On the downside, they do require expertise to install. They may also collect water deposits depending on the local water supply, so they should be cleaned with diluted white vinegar at the end of the heating season, or have it serviced professionally once a year.
There are two types of whole house humidifiers. Evaporative humidifiers allow warm air to pass through their evaporator pad. The hot air absorbs the moisture and moves it through the home. Since these are powered by your furnace’s fan, they must be installed in the ductwork. A good unit may cost $250, but also you will need to spend $200 – $400 for installation.
Steam humidifiers operate by heating water in a canister and converting the water to steam that is forced through your ductwork. These units are generally more expensive, starting at $600 and going up to $1,000 or more, with another $300 – $600 needed for installation.
When purchasing a whole house humidifier, you will need to know your home’s square footage to ensure it provides enough moisture for your entire home. Approximately 12 gallons a day can humidify up to 3,000 square feet.
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