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.
Why Do I Need A Humidifier In The Winter? Three Big Reasons
- Makes Your Home More Comfortable
- Prevents Dry Skin And Nosebleeds
- 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.
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.
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.
Three Benefits of Whole House Humidifiers
Why consider a whole house humidifier over a portable model? Here are the top three benefits:
- Treats Your Entire House
- Works On Its Own
- 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).
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!
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:
- Upfront Cost
- Risk Of Mold And Mildew
- Can Hide Other HVAC Problems
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.
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.
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.