Why Are Whole Home Humidifiers Important?
July 17, 2017
Whole home humidifiers are so important because they keep humidity levels balanced throughout the entire home. Balanced humidity improves comfort, lowers HVAC system energy consumption, and boosts the health of a home’s occupants.
Why Are Whole Home Humidifiers So Important?
Whole home humidifiers are so important because maintaining balanced humidity in the home is critical to occupant comfort and health, as well as the health of the home itself. Indoor relative humidity levels should be kept between 30 and 50 percent – depending on the weather conditions and certain aspects of your home, this cannot always be maintained naturally, and a whole home humidifier is necessary.
When relative humidity falls below 30 percent, which can easily happen in the winter when air is drier or in dry climates, occupants suffer.
- Low humidity causes airways in the body to dry out, becoming irritated.
- Skin dries and may crack when exposed to prolonged low humidity levels.
- Asthma sufferers may experience an increase in symptoms or asthma attacks when exposed to low humidity levels in the home.
In addition to negative health side effects, low indoor humidity can also take a toll on the home. Homes contain many wood fixtures and products. Wood is sensitive to moisture – dry air pulls moisture from wooden fixtures and furniture, causing them to crack. The damage caused by low humidity in the home can lead to expensive repair or replacement needs.
Personal comfort is also largely affected by low indoor humidity levels. When air is dry, occupants will notice greater static electricity in the home. Static shocks are common when the body comes into contact with charged surfaces.
Lower humidity also affects how warm the body feels. When air is properly humidified, the body retains warmth more efficiently due to moisture in the air surrounding it. This makes it possible to feel warmer at lower temperatures and can help reduce heating energy consumption. When air is dry, the body feels colder, which leads many to turn up the thermostat and use more heating energy – this could be prevented if humidity levels in the home were kept properly balanced.
Whole Home Humidifier Options
Whole home humidifiers are installed to work with the home’s HVAC systems to treat air across the entire living area. They add moisture to air, which is circulated back into living spaces. Below, find the three basic options for whole home humidification:
- Bypass humidifiers are installed on a bypass duct stemming from the supply or return ducting of your home’s HVAC system. These systems use the air handler’s blower motor to force air through a water panel where moisture is added. The blower motor then circulates treated air into living areas. Bypass humidifiers only operate when the HVAC system is in use.
- Fan-powered humidifiers are installed directly on the HVAC system’s supply or return ducting and do not require bypass ducting. Their built-in motor pulls air into the unit and through the water panel where humidification is added. Fan-powered humidifiers can operate stand-alone without the need to run the home’s HVAC system, lowering energy consumption.
- Steam humidifiers produce steam that is added to indoor air. They produce more humidification than other options, making them an excellent choice in homes where more humidity is needed to maintain balance. Steam humidifiers can operate without the use of the home’s HVAC systems to conserve energy.