Using Humidifiers to Improve Heating at Home

By Mark Watola on 01/25/2021

Humidity. It’s a strange thing. On one hand, an 80-degree July day in Georgia may feel like a waterfall pouring out of your forehead. On the other hand, 80 degrees in Colorado provides lovely temperature for a stroll on the trail without a drop of sweat, although the high altitude might take your breath away.

Humidity plays a large role in how we perceive temperature, as two similar temperature readings can feel drastically different due to moisture levels. The use of a humidifier in the home to increase moisture levels can improve comfort, as well as other benefits we will share with you.

Why should I use a humidifier?

Adding a humidifier to a frequently occupied room offers a cost-efficient way to improve room temperature and save on energy bills during winter. Because a humidifier makes the air feel warmer, you won’t need to crank up the heat as high to achieve the same effect.

For homes in humid regions, low moisture can still present an issue during winter. As temperatures drop, air becomes dryer. Using a humidifier in the southern states during colder months can increase comfort and warmth.

How do humidifiers affect heating?

Warm air holds more moisture than cold air, so cold air feels dryer. A humidifier can boost the moisture content in the air, making cool air feel warmer than it is.

What are the different types of humidifiers?

  • Evaporative humidifiers use evaporation with a wick or filter to increase the moisture in a room.
  • Impeller humidifiers use rotating disks to disperse water droplets into the air.
  • Steam vaporizers boil water, then cool the vapor before dispelling it into the air.
  • Ultrasonic humidifiers use vibrations to produce water particles which spread through the room.
  • Central or whole-house humidifiers increase the moisture throughout an entire home in conjunction with an existing HVAC system.

How do I determine humidity in my home?

Devices like hygrometers and humidistats measure moisture levels within rooms.

What is the ideal humidity for my home?

The ideal home humidity levels range between 35-50%. Too much or too little can make a big difference in health and comfort.

Dry air can lead to dry skin, lips, throat, or sinuses. It also allows bacteria and viruses to travel more easily through the air. The house can also suffer, as hardwood floors tend to crack when the air drops below 35% humidity.

Wet air breeds mold and mildew, affecting those with allergies or asthma. Wet spots develop on the ceiling and wall due to the excess moisture. Hardwood floors also warp when the air exceeds 50% humidity.

One indication of high humidity involves excess condensation on windows. Some moisture near the bottom corners usually signifies a safe level.

Make sure to regularly clean the humidifier to maintain efficiency and cleanliness.

Often overlooked, humidity plays a vital role in temperature control. By using a humidifier to supplement your heat system in the winter, you can improve health, comfort, and save on your energy bill.

Resources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/humidifiers-and-health#types https://www.doitbest.com/resources/articles-and-buying-guides/how-tos/how-heaters-and-humidifiers-work-together https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/in-depth/humidifiers/art-20048021

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