Why You Should Install a Whole-House Humidifier | Perks and Benefits
Yes, your home's humidity can make you sick. And winter makes it much worse.
While people usually notice high humidity more than low humidity, if the air is too dry, it can cause serious health and home problems.
Do these winter ailments sound familiar? Dry eyes, rough skin, cold/flu symptoms, sinus problems, and bloody noses.
In addition to health and comfort issues, dry air also causes paint to chip and wooden furnishings and instruments to warp and crack.
Although you can partially combat the problem of low relative humidity (RH) with a portable humidifier, the best way to ensure a healthy home and protected possessions is with a whole-house humidifier.
The Low Humidity, Dry Air Problem
Dry air becomes a much more significant problem in the fall and winter when temperatures drop and we're running our heating systems more often. Running HVAC systems actually contributes to the low humidity problem. When the air in our buildings dries out, the air begins to pull moisture away from everything around it, including skin, hair, and furniture.
This is nature's way of trying to reach "equilibrium," when material neither gains nor loses moisture. Materials that seek equilibrium by retaining and giving up moisture are said to be hydroscopic.
Negative Effects of Dry Air:
- Increased risk of sickness
- Chapped and cracked lips
- Dry nose and nasal passages resulting in difficulty breathing, nosebleeds, and sickness
- Dry eyes, hair, and skin (meaning more lotion and conditioner)
- Static electricity
- Cracking woodwork (wood floors, wooden instruments, furniture, artwork, etc.)
- High costs associated with more skin/hair softeners, paint/caulk, artwork/print material damage/repairs, musical instrument damage/tuning, doctor visits/medicine, and more.
If you have valuable printed material and musical instruments, maintaining healthy humidity levels is essential to protect them from damage. Additionally, damage can occur to some plastics, textiles, wax, porcelain, and food that is left out, like fruits and vegetables. Most importantly, dry air can damage your health.
Benefits of Whole-House Humidifiers
There are 3 basic reasons why you should humidify your home with a whole-home humidification system:
Low humidity levels inside a home can cause skin dryness, respiratory infections, and the easy spread of the flu and cold. Your nose and throat need moist membranes to function properly. Sticky breathing passages help to trap bacteria and viruses before they make us sick. When they dry out, we are more susceptible to illness.
Additionally, a number of dangerous viruses thrive in a drier environment, but balanced humidity (around 30%-50% during winter) inhibits them. Healthy humidity levels (30-50% in winter) can help alleviate asthma and allergies while reducing the chances of sickness and infection.
If you've experienced a heavy and muggy summer day, you know that the increased moisture makes the heat feel worse. The same is true for dry temperatures, just in reverse - low humidity during cold weather makes the cold feel worse. Since humid air feels warmer, with a humidifier you can lower the thermostat a few days with no reduction in comfort.
Additionally, for those who suffer from asthma and allergies, dry air can make it a lot worse. Breathe easier and experience less jolting static shocks with a whole-house humidifier.
3. Home and Goods Protection
Dry air can damage your art, books, and wooden instruments and furnishings, especially wood floors.
Low humidity causes warping, splitting, shrinking, and splintering of wooden floors, furniture, and instruments. If you are constantly having to retune your instruments, you may have a dry air problem.
For instance, if you have a piano, you know how expensive it can be to get it tuned. When the air is dry, the wood holding the strings in place will warp and shrink, leading to different string tensions and wrong notes.
Additionally, canvases can shrink and stretch, causing paint to crack and flake. Humidity is so important to protecting artwork that sometimes you will see a humidified glass case around a painting at a museum. If you want to protect your artwork, the humidity has to be just right. Museums use 50% relative humidity (+/- 5%). For the less obsessive homeowner, keep the piece out of direct sunlight, away from cold temperatures, and maintain 40%-50% RH.
Maintaining healthy humidity will help protect your health, home, and belongings.
What is the ideal humidity level?
In order to prevent the negative effects of both high and low humidity, indoor relative humidity should be kept below 60% and above 25%. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the ideal indoor humidity level is somewhere between 30% and 50%.
If you have expensive artwork in the home, maintain humidity levels in the 40%-50% range.
Portable vs Whole-House Humidifiers
Portable humidifiers and dehumidifiers can help, but sometimes people go overboard and end up over- or under-humidifying their home. Additionally, they only work for one room at a time, and require space and a plug.
Whole-home humidifiers and dehumidifiers, on the other hand, are able to detect moisture levels and remove or add moisture as necessary to maintain an ideal humidity zone for the entire building.
Dry air causes many problems for your home and health, including irritated skin, increased illness, aggravated sinuses, damaged wood, and static electricity. These problems are magnified during the winter when your heating system causes reduced humidity in your home.
Whole-house humidification systems eliminate these problems by adding and moisture from the air as necessary. Gold Medal Service offers multiple options to achieve ideal humidity levels in your home all year long.
We carry a wide variety of humidification equipment, and with the help of our experts, we'll help solve whatever problems with dry air you are experiencing in your home.
Reach a live, friendly representative at (732) 365-3199 (available 24/7) schedule an appointment online!