During the winter months, your heating system is working hard to keep your home comfortable. However, the combination of a tightly insulated home and heated air creates a very dry environment. When your indoor air becomes dry and staticky, it can leave you with a sore or scratchy throat, dry skin and even frequent nosebleeds. You and your family may become more susceptible to colds, and the dry air can aggravate existing sinus problems and allergies.
The dry air is not only bad for your body – overly dry conditions and low moisture levels can actually damage your home. Wood floors and furniture can crack or warp, paint can dry out, flake and chip, and wallpaper may even begin to peel.
When you start up your furnace for the season, it begins to remove moisture from the air in your home. Dry air actually feels colder than moist air, so it requires you to set your furnace at a higher temperature to make your home feel comfortable.
So, what is the solution to improve your comfort this winter? The answer could be a simple as adding a whole home humidifier to your furnace. While many homeowners are familiar with single room humidifiers, which make use of warm air, steam vapour or cool mist to increase the levels of humidity in a room, there are also whole home humidifiers that can be integrated right into your heating system. These types of humidifiers are great for increasing the humidity levels throughout your entire home during the colder months. By adding humidity back into your home via a whole home humidifier, you can alleviate the dryness you feel, set your furnace to a lower temperature and still feel comfortable throughout the winter.
There are various types of whole home humidifiers, which typically use a humidistat that detects the moisture in the air, and allows you to set the exact level of humidity you desire. When choosing a humidifier to be integrated into a forced air heating system, experts will usually recommend a drum humidifier. A drum system features a sponge that is attached to a drum, which rotates slowly through a water reservoir. Warm air from the furnace will pass through the sponge, pick up moisture, then flow throughout your home delivering moist air.
Another type of whole home humidifier is a bypass humidifier. These systems are connected between hot and cold air return ducts. Using the pressure difference between the ducts, heated air is forced to pass through the humidifier and back to the furnace. These humidifiers do not use a drum and foam, but use a water tray to add humidity back into dry, heated air.
The amount of humidification and the type of whole home humidifier you require is determined by factors such as the square footage of your home, its construction and insulation. It is recommended that you consult an HVAC expert like Evam Canada to find the right humidifier for your needs this winter!