Beating the Dry Heat of Winter

Staying warm and cozy through the blustery winter months is easy when you have a reliable HVAC system, but it can also wreak havoc with your skin and sinuses. Raising wintry air to a comfortable temperature inside your home invariably dries it out, leaving the relative humidity in many homes hovering somewhere below the comfortable end of the scale. Fortunately, there is a solution to dry, irritating winter air inside your home.

In addition to making the air in your home easier to breathe, a humidifier can put an end to dry winter skin and hair. Also, a humidifier can actually keep you healthier during the winter cold and flu season, because viruses proliferate more in dry air than in a humid atmosphere. Installing a humidifier can also make a positive difference for those prone to winter nosebleeds. Because heating dry air is less efficient, the installation of a humidifier can also make a noticeable difference in your winter energy bills.

There are several makes and models of humidifiers on the market. There are smaller, portable units that can be easily purchased through a big-box retailer, but they’ll have to be moved from one room to the next and carefully maintained throughout the season. Whole-house humidifiers, on the other hand, work with your forced-air heating system to change the moisture level in the air throughout your home. Contacting a local HVAC professional to discuss your options for whole-house humidifiers is a great way to determine your needs and discuss a plan of action. Call a licensed professional in your area to make arrangements for a humidifier installation before the winter heating season hits, and you’ll be able to stay warm without suffering the effects of dry heat.

Posted on behalf of James Smith, ClimateSmith LLC


Humidifiers and Electronic Air Cleaners

Humidifiers and electronic air cleaners are two HVAC accessories that can easily be retrofitted to almost any existing HVAC system.  Both are economical and will vastly improve the comfort of the occupants, as well as the indoor air quality of the home, which impacts the health of the occupants, especially those with allergies, asthma and other respiratory health issues. 

Many HVAC systems dry out both the occupants of the home, as well as the home itself because the air is dry.  This is especially true with gas fired furnaces, where the air is very dry.  It impacts people by drying out the mucus membranes in the nose and nasal passages, which leads to nose bleeds and dry skin during the winter.  The wood materials in the home are also impacted as the moisture is drawn out of the materials leading to moldings cracking and gaps opening up on hardwood floors.  The installation of a humidifier reintroduces moisture into the air, which results in the occupants of the home being more comfortable and the building materials staying stable. 

Electronic air cleaners are an excellent way to further eliminate germs, dust and other pollutants that exist in the air in a home.   As with humidifiers, there are number of different types on the market, with some being better than others on the size of the particles captured.  All electronic air cleaners will need some periodic maintenance such as cleaning or replacement of the filter media. 

A qualified HVAC technician can easily install both of these products within a day.  The humidifier will require a small line to be run from a water pipe to the unit, as well as a power supply.  The air cleaner will require some minor modification to the ductwork as well as a power supply.  Both will dramatically improve the indoor air quality in the home!

Why Install A Whole House Humidifier

Keeping adequate and even moisture level in the air in your home is important for both health and comfort. Too much moisture can lead to mold and other spore growth while too little can cause irritation to health conditions and even can be hard on surfaces within the home. A whole house humidifier helps homeowners adjust and control the moisture in the air, creating a healthy, warm environment.

How Whole House Humidifiers Work

When the weather turns colder and homes need to be heated to stay warm, devices such as furnaces can remove the moisture from the interior air. When air is dry, there is increased static electricity, wood surfaces can dry out and crack and it can become drying on nasal passages and sinuses. While smaller humidifiers may help bring moisture into one area, whole house humidifiers work with the heating system to maintain an even humidity throughout the home.

Most of these large humidifiers are connected in with the furnace or heat source and add moisture to the warm air being distributed through the home. The water they use can be in a large reservoir or hooked into the homes water supply system. The type used can often be determined by the quality of the tap water in a home, as some tap water can cause build up in the system as the water evaporates and leaves minerals and other residue.

Improved Air Quality

Adding a whole house humidifier can improve the air quality in your home, especially for those who sufferer from sinus and respiratory ailments. It can also stop skin and wood surfaces from becoming dried out during the winter months. Consult with a professional to determine what type is best for your home and to understand what maintenance is involved.

Humidify Your Home for Winter Comfort

Using a humidifier in your home during the winter can be beneficial to you and your family’s health and comfort.  Even in areas of the country that have relatively high humidity throughout most of the year, a humidifier may be necessary indoors during the winter months to keep your home in the ideal humidity range.

According to most experts, the humidity in your home should be between 30 percent and 60 percent.  Low humidity can cause or aggravate many health problems including respiratory problems and can increase the risk of catching colds.  Low humidity causes dry, cracked skin, and chapped lips.  In addition, if the humidity in your home is too low it can cause problems with wood furniture, trim, and floors.  The wood can get too dry and crack or split.  Low humidity levels also increase the risk of static electricity that can harm computer and other electronics.

A humidifier can help you keep your home at a comfortable humidity level throughout the winter.  Portable humidifiers can do a good job, but most are only designed to humidify one room at a time.  You will need to move the humidifier frequently to keep the humidity in your home even from room to room.  Portable humidifiers also need frequent attention.  They have to be kept filled with water and also have to be cleaned carefully.  Mold, mildew, or any other organic growth in the water tank can aggravate allergies.

Whole house humidifiers are an excellent alternative.  These work in conjunction with your HVAC system to automatically regulate the humidity level throughout your home.  A reputable local HVAC contractor that handles residential HVAC replacement and installation can help you select and install a properly sized whole house humidifier that works well with your HVAC system.