Ever notice how much drier the air in your home gets around this time of year? It’s not your imagination. In fact, it’s quite common – particularly in areas like the Northeast due to the combination of cold, outdoor air and forced hot air indoors.
To combat this, some home owners choose to use small, portable humidifiers. But while these can certainly help, a much more effective solution is furnace humidification.
Let’s take a closer look at what whole-house humidification is all about and, more importantly, why it’s something you might consider for your own home.
The Dangers of Dry Air
Dry itchy skin, chapped lips and a flaky scalp are just a few of the minor issues that can result from dry winter air. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. Dry air can be linked to a whole host of illnesses and ailments, including sore throats, nose bleeds, perpetual colds and the easier spreading of viruses such as the flu. Dry winter air can also trigger dust allergies and exacerbate asthma symptoms in some people.
Then there’s the potential structural damages that dry air can cause throughout your home. It’s not uncommon for walls, hardwood floors and woodwork to crack due to lack of adequate moisture. What’s more, increased static electricity can wreak havoc on your electronic equipment.
And let’s not forget about your energy bill. Because dry air makes it feel colder than it actually is, many people end up overheating their homes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), your energy bill will increase by 4% for every extra degree you use to heat your home.
In other words, dry air is more than just a nuisance. It’s actually a danger to your family’s health, your property value and your budget.
What is Furnace Humidification?
Unlike standalone humidifiers, which pump moisture into only a small area, furnace humidification is designed to keep your entire home warm and comfortable. As the name indicates, furnace humidifiers are installed right onto the main HVAC system, typically in the ductwork.
Warm air is pushed out of the furnace and through the ducts. From there, it flows past the humidifier before it is finally pumped into the living areas of your home. This keeps the humidity levels perfectly balanced throughout your entire house, rather than room by room.
Benefits of Whole-Home Humidification
There are many benefits to investing in a furnace humidifier. As mentioned, dry winter air can cause damage to your family’s health, your home’s interior and your wallet. Whole-home humidification is an easy, effective way to create a healthier home environment. In fact, according to an article in the New York State Journal of Medicine authored by Dr. Joseph Lubart, proper regulation of humidity is “the most important prevention measure” for many common illnesses, such as colds and the flu.
Balanced moisture in the air will also prevent damage to your furniture, floors and wooden structures. And because the proper humidity helps you feel warmer, even in cooler temperatures, you can keep your thermostat at a lower temperature, making your heating bills much more affordable.
Finally, furnace humidification much more convenient than using portable humidifiers, which take up space and aren’t aesthetically pleasing. You can enjoy all the benefits of warmer, more comfortable air throughout your home without having to deal with boxes cluttering up your living areas. And unlike portable humidifiers, which must be filled and cleaned regularly, whole-home humidifiers only require annual maintenance.
Do you need a furnace humidifier?
There are a number of ways to tell if the air in your home is too dry. The obvious signs include:
- Excessively dry, itchy skin
- Persistent dry, scratchy or sore throat
- Increased susceptibility to colds, respiratory infections or the flu
- Worsening symptoms of allergies or asthma
- Constant “shocks” from increased amount of static electricity throughout your home
- The need to crank the thermostat in order for your home to feel warm
- A spike in your energy usage
To be sure, your best bet is to enlist the help of an experienced professional. At Wilson Brothers, we are experts in furnace humidification. We’d be happy to come out, measure your home’s humidity levels and, if necessary, provide you with a free, no-obligation estimate. Get your free estimate today and let us help you enjoy a healthier, more comfortable and much more affordable winter season.