Winter’s here! The air is dry!
By now you’ve noticed the dryness. Perhaps you’ve begun using Chapstick. You might have started wearing fuzzy socks or run across the carpet to “shock” someone. Whatever it is, it’s evident that the air isn’t retaining a lot of humidity. Does this mean you need to install a whole house humidifier? If there were an easy answer to that question, we wouldn’t have to write this article. Yet here it is.
Whole house humidifiers are widespread today. They connect to your ductwork and drive moist air into your house, increasing your relative humidity and enhancing your total comfort.
However, just like dehumidifiers aren’t always the best choice for reducing humidity during the summer, humidifiers aren’t the top choice for improving moisture during the wintertime. Moreover, humidifiers can create just as many issues as they resolve.
If You Really Want a Whole House Humidifier…
Air sealing should forever be your first course of action to relieve issues created by dry indoor air. With that being said, there are situations when you might want a humidifier regardless. For example, it could be your household activities don’t produce enough humidity to make you comfortable, even after air sealing your house. You need a humidifier, basically, to even things out.
Whatever your reasons for getting a whole house humidifier, these tips will assist you in preventing mold and indoor air quality problems:
Get a steam humidifier: Steam humidifiers boil their water. Unlike bypass humidifiers, which rob some hot air from your supply duct to produce water vapor, steam models are more effective. Mostly, you get more humidity with shorter run time. Bypass models also put hot air directly back into your return plenum, which can raise the temp of incoming air and make your system overheat.
Only operate the humidifier when the furnace is on: If your ducts are located in an unconditioned space (most are), working the humidifier while the ducts are cold raises your risk of mold. By putting the humidifier to only work when the furnace is calling, you can be pretty sure that the hot air is driving the moisture out of your ducts and into your house.
Every house is different, so your whole house humidifier installation might require a distinctive approach. Always contact experienced heating and cooling contractor who uses perfected installation techniques and stringent quality control measures.