How the air quality in your home is set up can profoundly impact your health and comfort. A whole-home humidifier increases the air’s moisture content, making it feel more comfortable and reduces problems caused by dry air, such as static electricity and respiratory issues.
What Is a Whole-Home Humidifier?
A whole-home humidifier refers to a humidifier installed as part of your home’s heating and cooling system. This type of humidifier distributes moisture evenly throughout your entire home instead of humidifiers that are placed in individual rooms.
How Does It Work?
When you switch on the whole-house humidifier, a small amount of water flows evenly over a tray-like panel. Hot and dry air is pumped through the moisture-saturated panel. The water in the humidifier’s tank is then heated, which causes it to evaporate into the air. As a result, the heated air is distributed throughout your home.
Types of Whole-Home Humidifiers
There are two main types of whole-home humidifiers: evaporative humidifiers and ultrasonic humidifiers.
- Evaporative humidifiers– Most whole-home humidifiers are evaporative humidifiers that are installed on the return air duct above your furnace. You can also mount it on the supply side, but it is recommended to be on the return air duct so the furnace can humidify the air as it warms it. They work by evaporation, and they are very efficient and effective at adding moisture to the air.
- Ultrasonic humidifiers– These humidifiers use ultrasonic vibrations to create a fine mist that is distributed into the air. They are very quiet and do not require a filter, but they can be more expensive to operate than evaporative humidifiers.
Which Type Is Best for Me?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best type of humidifier depends on your specific needs and preferences. However, evaporative humidifiers are typically the most popular type because they are efficient, effective, and relatively affordable to operate.
Some of the factors to consider when buying one include:
- Size– You will need to buy a humidifier that is the right size for your home. Most whole-home humidifiers are designed to humidify homes up to 2,000 square feet.
- Energy efficiency– If you want to save money on your energy bill, you will choose an energy-efficient humidifier. Evaporative humidifiers are typically more energy-efficient than ultrasonic humidifiers.
- Price– Whole-home humidifiers can range in price from around $300 to $1,200. The price is relative to the humidifier’s features, brand, and size.
Benefits of Whole-Home Humidifiers
Installing whole-home humidifiers offers several benefits, including:
1. Help Prevent Dry Skin
When the air is dry and cold, skin conditions such as eczema can worsen. This means that you will keep on itching and the area will become inflamed, making you super uncomfortable. A whole-home humidifier can help to alleviate the symptoms by increasing the moisture in the air.
2. Reduce Dry Eyes and Sore Throats
If you constantly suffer from dry eyes and sore throats, it could be because of the dry air in your home. Dry eyes and sore throats are common complaints in dry, winter months. By using a whole-home humidifier, you can reduce these problems.
3. Reduce Static Electricity
Static electricity refers to the electrical charges that build upon the surfaces of objects. This can be very irritating and can cause sparks and shocks. When you increase the moisture content in the air by using a whole-home humidifier, it reduces static electricity.
4. Prevent Bloody Noses From Dry Air
Dry air can cause your nasal passages to dry out, which can lead to a bloody nose. The dry air causes the nasal passage to shrink, which can cause the blood vessels to rupture. A whole-home humidifier could be all you need to prevent this problem.
5. Protect Wood Floors and Cabinets
The furniture in your home can suffer from the dry air. Wood floors can shrink, warp, and crack, while wood cabinets can split and crack. When this happens, it not only makes your home look unattractive, but it can also be a safety hazard. Installing a whole-home humidifier means that you protect your furniture from the damaging effects of dry air.
6. Protect Against Airborne Viruses That Like a Low Humidity Environment
If your family is always suffering from runny noses, flu, and the common cold, the problem might be the air quality in your home. Airborne viruses like the flu or the common cold tend to survive and spread more easily in low-humidity environments. A humidifier increases the moisture level in your home, creating an unfavorable environment for viruses.
7. Saves Energy and Money
Dry air can cause your furnace to work harder to heat your home, which leads to increased energy bills. A whole-home humidifier makes the heated air in your home feel warmer, meaning your furnace won’t have to work as hard to keep you comfortable. Additionally, you won’t have to spend money in hospitals anymore, and you will be less likely to experience any respiratory health issues.
8. Reduces Drastic Temperature Changes
The temperature in your home changes more drastically when the air is not properly humidified. This is because dry air can suck the moisture out of your skin, furniture, and other objects in your home. In turn, it leads to an uncomfortable environment where the temperature is constantly changing. A humidifier can help reduce the drastic temperature changes in your home.