Combine Your Heater and Humidifier During Winter
As winter sets in, most people change filters and make sure that their HVAC systems are up to snuff. However, one crucial element that people often overlook is that of the humidifier. Your heater and humidifier should actually work together to make your home comfortable during the cooler months.
Why Cooler Temperatures Require a Humidifier
To understand how your heater and humidifier must work together in winter, you must understand how moisture and air temperature correlate. In short, higher temperatures mean the air can hold more moisture. This is why it's easier to deal with "dry heat" versus "wet heat" and also why some people prefer not to use relative humidity rating. On a hot day that's 75% humidity, the air contains much more moisture than a cool day at the same relative humidity. On cool days, the air feels dryer because it can hold less moisture, and many of those days have lower relative humidity, to begin with.
When you turn on your HVAC to keep your home warm enough, you increase the temperature. The moisture stays the same. With increased temperatures, the relative humidity drops. This is why winter brings with it drier skin, hair, and eyes, and why static can suddenly become a problem. Some people also experience dry throats in cooler weather for the same reason. The throat, like the eyes, works best when properly moisturized. In addition to these symptoms, some people experience worsened breathing conditions; asthma and sinusitis are two.
Benefits of Using a Humidifier
Using a humidifier can increase your comfort, however. Even if you don't previously have a respiratory condition to take into consideration, increasing the moisture in your home can reduce static shocks and itchy skin when temperatures drop outside.
An added benefit of using a humidifier to raise the relative humidity in your home is that it will feel warmer because of the moisture in the air. You may be able to turn down your heat and save a little money!
Types of Humidifiers
Some homeowners opt for an in-duct humidifier, which may be something to consider if you are installing a heater. Your HVAC professional can do both so that you do not have to consider heat and humidity separately. However, it's not always necessary. A powerful, stand-alone humidifier can do the trick. There are several types of humidifiers to consider.
- Evaporative mist humidifiers use a saturated wick through which air is pulled to add moisture.
- Warm mist humidifiers boil water as you might on the stove to increase humidity in the air.
- Ultrasonic humidifiers actually use vibrations to create water droplets in the air.
An HVAC professional at Harwich Port Heating and Cooling may be able to suggest which type of humidifier is best for you. Contact us today if you need more information!