Why A Whole House Humidifier is the Best Humidifier for Your Home
Dry Winter Air Wreaks Havoc on You and Your Home
Once winter comes and the air gets cold and dry outside, the air inside your home becomes dry as well due a drop in the humidity. Cold air just can’t retain as much moisture as warm air. Dry air can cause any number of side effects including
- Nose bleeds
- Inflamed sinus passages
- Dry skin
- Increase in allergens/viruses in the air
- Cracked paint
- Cracked wood furniture
- Static electricity
In the winter it is not uncommon for a home to drop to humidity levels as low as 15%. The ideal relative humidity in your home year-round should be around 40-50%
The damage dry air does to your health and your home can be annoying and very uncomfortable.
How to Fix Dry Air Inside the Home
The easiest way to fix this dry air problem is to add moisture back into the air in order to increase humidity to proper levels. The best way to do this is with a humidifier. Your next question may be, “what is the best humidifier for my home?” There are numerous portable options for single rooms and small spaces such as Vicks humidifiers or the types you might find at Walmart. These small units work well if you only care about the comfort of the air in just one room. Otherwise, you will need to buy multiple to get the job done. These humidifiers are typically water-based steam humidifiers, so you will need to remember to keep the water supply filled and the units clean in order for them to work. You can expect your unit to last somewhere around 2-3 years max.
The Best Humidifier
There are also options that can help humidify your entire home. At Quality Comfort, we believe the best solution to keep your air healthy and moist is a whole house humidifier that is installed directly into the ductwork surrounding your furnace. There are numerous options available from top brands like Aprilaire and Honeywell. This much more long-term solution to your humidity problem will last up to 20 years.
How a whole home humidifier is installed and how it works
Quality Comfort (and many of our HVAC counterparts) typically installs a bypass whole home humidifier. This type of whole house humidifier is installed directly into your ductwork on the furnace’s cold air return duct and is connected to the hot-air supply ductwork on the other side of the furnace through a connector. The furnace humidifier works by using this connector to divert some of the heated air into the humidifier. There is an evaporator pad inside the humidifier that absorbs moisture from the heated air and returns it back into the air flowing into your home on the supply side. There is no manual assistance needed from you in order to make sure the humidifier is working, just adjust the humidity setting to the relative humidity you desire and the whole house humidifier does the work for you.
When to turn on your humidifier (and how)
Once the temperature stays consistently lower outside, 60 degrees or less, it may be a good time to turn on your humidifier. If you experience extreme cold during the winter, between 0 and 10 degrees, it may be good to adjust your humidity level settings to 25% so the humidity differential between the inside and outside is not so extreme as to cause window condensation. If you’re wondering, “how do I turn on my humidifier?” We can help! Locate your humidistat (as pictured in the photo above). It is probably set to “off” or “0.” Make sure your HVAC is set to heat mode, and then simply turn the dial to a higher setting to turn on your humidifier.
Types of whole home humidifiers
There are 3 types of whole house humidifiers:
- Bypass – this is the most common option and is what has been discussed in this post.
- Fan – this option blows air across a humidifier pad that is soaked In water.
- Steam – this type of humidifier heats water in a steam canister until it boils and then releases that steam through the ductwork. This is typically the most expensive option and has a much higher energy consumption than other types.
A bypass whole house humidifier comes in different capacities depending on the size of your home. The cost typically starts around $499. Other types of home humidifiers, like power and steam, are more expensive and start around $1,000.
You can expect to save on your energy bills each month when adding a furnace humidifier, however. Often when we are cold or uncomfortable we turn up the thermostat in the winter. By keeping moisture in your air you will be comfortable at lower temperatures, no longer needing to turn up the heat the extra few degrees in wintertime.
A bypass whole home humidifier only requires that you change the humidifier pad yearly, unlike its portable counterpart where regular water-filling and filter changes are needed.
Combat Dry Air with Quality Comfort
If your Cincinnati area home experiences the discomfort of dry winter air, reach out! We provide free estimates on new humidifier installations. You can call us at 513.620.4822 to schedule your quote or book online anytime.