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The importance of proper humidification

There is a fast and easy way to make the air in your home healthier.

The humidification in a home can be easily overlooked, and many homes we have worked in have no source of humidification. When a home is heating correctly, people tend to ignore the humidity of the air, and look for a solution only when the air becomes noticeably dry. The effects of low humidity will present as

  • Dry noses and dry hair,
  • Dry itchy skin and eyes
  • Cold and Flu symptoms
  • Itchy Throat
  • Static Electricity
  • Allergy and Asthma Flare-ups
  • Splitting wood in furniture, hardwood floors, and musical instruments.
  • Wood contracting from a lack of moisture can cause startling pops and cracks, an audible symptom of low humidity.

Ideal Humidity

The ideal humidity in a home is between 30% – 40% When a home’s humidity is at 35%, it will feel approximately 2° warmer than the thermostat reads. Because the house will feel warmer and more comfortable, the home’s HVAC system will work less to achieve this, killing two birds with one stone. Increase comfort, and lower the energy bill. When the humidity in a home drops below 30%, it allows for an increase in respiratory illnesses, colds, and sinus infections. Viruses live in super dry or super humid environments, so keeping 35% humidity is essential to a healthy home for many reasons.

Increase Humidity

There are several ways to increase the humidity in your home in the winter. The reason the air in your home will become dry in the winter is that the cold air outside cannot hold much humidity. When this cold air eventually moves into your home, the small amount of moisture becomes less since the warmer air in a building can hold more water. The relative humidity as a percentage drops dramatically. You must then add water to the air via manual means. Boiling water on a stove can raise the moisture in a home very well, but it is impractical as a permanent solution.

Types of humidifiers

Three main types of humidifiers are bypass, powered, and steam.

  • A bypass humidifier uses air from the return on your furnace to push air across the water panel inside the humidifier. The water panel is fed a slow trickle of water via a 1/4″ water line similar to a refrigerator water line, connected to the hot water line from the water heater. Hot water aids in evaporation. As the water drips across the water panel, the air from the return blows across it, causing the water to evaporate into the supply air of the home. This type of humidifier is suitable for about 1500 square feet.
  • A power humidifier uses a fan instead of the return air to move air across the water panel. It is suitable for up to 2500 square feet.
  • A steam humidifier is best for anything over 2500 square feet. The steam humidifier pumps steam directly into the supply air ducting, much like boiling water in a pot, except it is permanent and distributed evenly throughout your home.

Monitor Humidity

The best way to monitor humidity in your home is to have a thermostat that reads humidity and controls the humidity right from the thermostat. The most common way is to have a humidistat reading humidity at the air in the furnace. The humidistat is installed in the return ductwork of the HVAC system, reading the humidity coming back to the furnace. The humidistat will turn the humidifier off once the desired humidity has been achieved. One can also buy temperature and humidity monitors from Amazon

Save energy and make your home more comfortable this heating season by giving OneStop Pro a call.

Author: One Stop Pro

OneStop Pro Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, & Electric has been serving residential and commercial customers in Wheaton and the surrounding communities in DuPage, Kane and Cook Counties since 2007.

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