During winter, indoor air quality is not always great, due to the fact that we apply heating. It's a quandary, since we need heating to survive the brutal cold of winter. You must have heating to survive, but dealing with the dry air can be uncomfortable, which is why experts at Anta Plumbing recommend a whole house humidifier.
Humidity levels affect human comfort levels. While summer's humidity can be heavy on the hair, low humidity during heating season can cause itchy skin, sore throat, cracked lips, sinus congestion, irritable nose, and much more.
It is important to maintain a temperature of between 68-75 degrees, and to manage humidity between 30% to 60% during winter, as that can also help maintain the integrity of wooden panels and prevent wallpaper from peeling.
Whole House Humidifier vs. Individual Humidifiers
Many people (probably you included!) use individual humidifiers in every room during heating season. While individual humidifiers provide some moisture to the air, it is not enough to provide sufficient moisture, as can be provided by a whole home humidifier. Likewise, it is much easier to manage a whole home humidifier than individual ones.
How to Fix Your Home's Humidity Levels
Getting an accurate measure of your home's humidity level is the first step to determine whether you need to humidify your indoor air quality. You can buy a hygrometer from any hardware store and this will provide an objective indication of just how dry the air is. You should measure the humidity at different times of the day in order to create a baseline for the improvements you may need.
People who live in ultra-modern, perfectly insulated homes generally do not need humidifiers, however, older homes generally dry out during winter. Understanding your home's construction practices will help you identify the required methods to introduce more moisture into the home, in order to improve the air quality. If you're not interested in DIY, you may want to speak to a professional HVAC contractor, who will be able to recommend remedies to locate leaks in the envelope of your building, and propose methods that will prevent unwanted air from infiltration the building.
Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality
For small improvements in air quality, you could add a few living houseplants. This is a very economical option, and it will work if you need a simple solution. However, if you wish to see a drastic improvement, you might consider investing in a whole house humidifier. There are several different types, including:
Flow-through humidifiers are mounted to the air return duct on your furnace.
Reservoir humidifiers combine a reservoir and a rotating drum.
Spray-mist humidifiers work on oil or gas furnaces only, but are compact and efficient.
Be sure to do your research before choosing, or, if you're unsure, speak to our heating experts here at Anta Plumbing, who will be able to advise you on the best whole house humidifier for your unique circumstances.