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Dry air is a problem in the wintertime — but you don’t need to tell that to the people who suffer from nosebleeds, dry, itchy skin, or just don’t feel comfortable inside when it’s cold out. A whole house humidifier can make a big difference. 

Low humidity is always a problem in the winter. Cold air is naturally less humid than warm air. When a furnace heats that dry air without adding moisture, it becomes too dry for comfort. 

Adding that water vapor balances things out and makes your home feel comfortable, along with staying warm. 

To do it, plenty of people have used small, portable humidifiers to treat one room at a time — usually their bedroom or maybe the living room during the day. 

But, what if you could take care of the whole house in one shot? 

That’s the topic we’re exploring in this article. We’ll go through the reasons you need to add humidity in the first place. Then, we’ll look at the pros and cons of a model that treats the entire house. Indoor Air Quality: Keeping Your Home Healthy All Year-Round

Why Do I Need A Humidifier In The Winter? Three Big Reasons

  1. Makes Your Home More Comfortable
  2. Prevents Dry Skin And Nosebleeds
  3. Helps Reduce Virus Transmissions

Makes Your Home More Comfortable

This is the reason you’re considering one in the first place, right? Adding moisture to the air in your home will make your home more cozy and comfortable in the wintertime. 

In large part, that’s why radiator heat is still popular. Since most models use steam for warmth, they add moisture. But, forced-air furnaces, baseboard heat, and even ductless heating and cooling don’t account for that. So, you need to add an extra humidification step. 

Prevents Dry Skin And Nosebleeds

If you’ve ever used a portable humidifier in your room to prevent nosebleeds, this section is for you: Imagine getting that same treatment, only all the time in every room of your house! 

That unnaturally dry air we talked about before is the reason you get nosebleeds (and dry, cracking skin) in the winter. The capillaries in your nose dry out and rupture without enough moisture. And, you get a similar problem with your skin drying out. 

Adding humidity to your home in the cold, dry winter prevents this. 

Helps Reduce Virus Transmissions

We’re not touting humidity as a magic cure for viruses. But, its role in keeping you from getting sick doesn’t get enough airtime. 

Virus particles on a bannister

This benefit plays out in two ways. First, virus particles bond to water droplets. The water weighs them down, so they don’t travel as far before falling to the ground. 

Next, those particles can enter your body through cuts, tears, or other “chinks in your armor.” Keeping your skin from cracking and your nose from bleeding reduces the openings where viruses can enter. 

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Three Benefits of Whole House Humidifiers

Why consider a whole house humidifier over a portable model? Here are the top three benefits: 

  1. Treats Your Entire House
  2. Works On Its Own
  3. Requires Little Maintenance

Treats Your Entire House

Portable models work fine — for one room at a time. When you install a whole-home model, you’re treating the entire house in one shot. That makes the effects more powerful and effective. 

Works On Its Own

Just like you don’t manually turn your furnace on and off, a whole-home dehumidifier is a set-it-and-forget-it proposition (well, mostly — we’ll come back to this). 

When we install one, we hook it up to a humidistat and your home’s water supply. This way, you have a gauge controlling it. And, you never need to refill the water. 

Requires Little Maintenance

Just as you don’t have to worry about an empty tank, you don’t need to do much, if anything, to keep your whole house humidifier working the way it should!

All you need to do is replace an evaporator panel a few times a year. It’s just as quick, easy, and inexpensive as putting in a new furnace filter. 
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Three Drawbacks of a Whole House Humidifier

No household appliance is a magic cure-all, and there are some drawbacks to consider for whole house humidifiers: 

  1. Upfront Cost
  2. Risk Of Mold And Mildew
  3. Can Hide Other HVAC Problems

Upfront Cost

The biggest roadblock for people here is the upfront cost: You’re looking at $500 to $1,000 just for the appliance itself. 

Now, installing one is easy and straightforward, but all in all, it’s still a lot more than the $250 tops you’ll pay for a portable model. 

Risk Of Mold And Mildew

Mildew and thrive in dark, moist places, and every home has some spots and corners that never get any light. When you add extra moisture to the air, you risk creating the perfect conditions for this stuff to take hold. 

Fortunately, you won’t necessarily run into this problem. But, it’s important to keep your relative humidity at a reasonable setting. The recommended range is 40 to 60 percent no matter what the season.

And, if you’ve never treated for this in the winter, then you should be vigilant for the first season when you’re using the humidifier.Prevent Mold In Your Vacation Home In The Off-Season

Can Hide Other HVAC Problems


A humidifier won’t create any heating and cooling problems in your home, but it can mask air leaks and similar circulation problems. When the air is more humid, you may not notice drafts or cold spots.

 

That means you’re more comfortable, of course. But, you also may not notice a problem that’s worth fixing. If you know your house gets drafty, consider getting an energy audit for installing your humidifier.

That way, you’ll get a report showing everywhere you’re losing heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. Then, you can choose what to address.5 Fall & Winter Energy Solutions

Whole House Humidifiers In Ocean City, NJ

Despite the drawbacks, the advantages of a whole house humidifier outweigh the drawbacks for many people. 

If you’ve benefited from smaller, portable models in the past, then treating the entire house will be even better. And, if you’re looking in general for ways to improve your indoor air quality, this is a strong step. 

Call or email us here at Broadley’s with any questions or a free consultation for your home in Ocean City, NJ, or anywhere in South Jersey.