A whole-house humidifier is the comprehensive solution to dry winter air. It’s a scientific fact that cold winter air holds very little water vapor. But you don’t need a laboratory experiment to feel the effects inside your home: dry, scratchy skin, chapped lips and cracked heels, sore throats — even an increase in colds and flu as airborne viruses survive longer in dry air. You may notice shrinkage in hardwood floors and get annoying zaps of static electricity every time you touch a doorknob.
Portable room humidifiers only address the issue in single, enclosed spaces. Unfortunately, dry air doesn’t restrict itself to one room; it pervades your entire home. That’s why a whole-house solution is the best approach.
Here are some of the benefits:
Mounted directly inside your heating ducts, a whole-house humidifier automatically adds water vapor to the entire air content of the home as it circulates through the ductwork. A humidistat senses humidity the same way a thermostat monitors temperature and continuously fine-tunes humidity to meet the precise setting you input. Humidified air is conveyed to all living spaces in a consistent, balanced process. (Note: It is a good idea to opt for a unit that will adapt its performance based upon outside air conditions. This will avoid inadvertently adding to much humidity to your space and potentially damaging/annoying condensation.)
At a signal from the humidistat, the whole-house humidifier dispenses a thin sheet of water over a perforated panel exposed to airflow in the duct. The system is permanently plumbed to the house water supply and excess water is automatically conveyed to a drain. Unlike portable room humidifiers, no daily user intervention is needed to fill, clean or maintain the unit. In fact, most whole-house units require only a single annual maintenance procedure.
In addition to keeping you more comfortable, humidifying household air can actually save money. Indoor air with the EPA-recommended moisture content between 35 and 50 percent holds heat more efficiently. This allows you to lower your furnace setting without sacrificing comfort. For every degree you lower the thermostat, you can cut heating costs by as much as 4 percent.
Since 1936, P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling has kept Greater Cleveland in year-round comfort. Ask us for more information about maintaining optimum winter humidity levels with a whole-house humidifier.
Paul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.
The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.