If you’ve been looking into HVAC improvements for your home this winter, you’ve likely heard or read something about whole-home humidifiers. In fact, you may have even read about home humidifier service or whole-home humidifier installation a number of times on our blog.
Still, there are a lot of questions to be answered about whole-home humidifiers: Are they just a luxurious expense, or are they essential? What difference do they actually make for home comfort? Do they really save you money?
Let’s begin by tackling five common misconceptions about humidifiers:
Misconception #1: “I Don’t Need A Whole-Home Humidifier”
During Pennsylvania winters, the air is dry enough already, but when your furnace heats the air in your home, it dries it out further. This ultra-dry air irritates skin and nasal passages, aggravates respiratory problems, builds up more static electricity and makes you more vulnerable to colds.
A whole-home humidifier dramatically improves the level of moisture in your home’s air, which is more comfortable than hotter, dry air. In the end, this moisture difference translates into a lower thermostat setting and lower utility bills.
Misconception #2: “I Don’t Need One That Automatically Adjusts To The Outside Temperature”
It’s a fact of science: the colder air becomes, the drier it gets. So when winter temperatures plunge lower, there’s less and less humidity in the air, including the inside of your home. A whole-home humidifier that’s left at the same setting isn’t able to keep up with the increasing dryness in the house.
Whole-home humidifiers aren’t something you “set and forget” – you need a humidifier that varies according to temperature and outside humidity levels. A suitable home humidifier automatically adjusts as outside temperatures dive and adapts to put the right amount of moisture into your home’s air.
Misconception #3: “Whole-Home Humidifiers Grow Bacteria”
The horrifying part about this humidifier misconception is that it was actually true for older whole-home humidifiers. If your home has an older humidifier, it could be a breeding ground for bacteria or other microorganisms and spreading them through your home’s ventilation system.
The good news is that new humidifying units don’t allow for bacteria growth in their updated design, and they’re more environmentally friendly overall. If you’re concerned your old unit might be growing bacteria, then consider a home humidifier upgrade.
Misconception #4: “Home Humidifiers Don’t Need Servicing”
Your whole-home humidifier is just like any other HVAC unit in your house: it needs a regular tune-up in order to maximize its lifespan and your investment.
Have your unit inspected, cleaned and serviced once a year, preferably in the fall, before usage ramps up to combat dry, winter air. Proper humidifier maintenance includes a full tune-up by an HVAC professional to ensure you’re getting maximum usage and comfort from your unit.
Misconception #5: “One Size Fits All”
When purchasing an HVAC unit such as a furnace, you would take careful measurements and consider of what makes your home unique – such as size, age, utility costs and number of rooms. Also, you would consider budget concerns and desired comfort level, as well as talking over your choice with an HVAC professional.
The same consideration level applies to whole-home humidifiers – one type or size of humidifier doesn’t work in every home. Just like any other HVAC unit you own, humidifiers require finding the right fit and the consultation of an HVAC professional.
With these humidifier misconceptions out of the way and some of your questions answered, you now have a better picture of what a whole-home humidifier does for your home comfort. However, home humidifiers aren’t just an issue of comfort or luxury – their ability to keep your utility bills lower means they’re a budget imperative.