In this article, we’ll discuss whether or not you should invest in a whole-house humidifier for your home in Dover, PA. These are the models that attach directly. On the one hand, these systems make your home more comfortable and help keep you healthier than smaller options. But, are they overkill?
Not necessarily. It depends on whether you or your family suffer from some typical winter ailments. And if you need to be especially concerned with virus transmission or are caring for immuno-compromised family members.
We’ll look quickly at home humidifiers and how they differ from the smaller, portable models most people are more familiar with. We’ll then look at the pros and cons of forced air humidifiers, a humidifier for a heat pump, and any other whole-house setup.
Meanwhile, if you want to learn more about how a setup like this could fit into your Dover, PA home, please call or email us at Air Comfort Technologies for a free consultation.
Why Use A Home Humidifier?
Even though plenty of people plug in a small humidifier in the winter, most aren’t aware of just how vital humidity control is to your home’s overall indoor air quality. The amount of water vapor in the air affects your comfort and health and even plays a role in virus transmission.
The big deal is that cold winter air is naturally less humid than in the summer. Then your heater gets involved: It warms up that dry air but doesn’t add moisture. So, now you’ve got air that’s abnormally dry.
It’s why people get dry, cracking skin and bloody noses in the winter: Your skin doesn’t get enough moisture, and capillaries in your nose dry out and burst. Not only is it uncomfortable (and messy), but it makes you more likely to catch a virus or infection. Those tiny breaks give microorganisms a way into your body.
Then, there are viruses themselves — a topic that’s much more on everyone’s minds now. Virus particles don’t travel as far in humid air because they attach to water droplets that weigh them down. When the air is dry, they can get much further before dropping to the floor.
Of course, you probably know most of this already — after all, you’re looking for a humidifier. So, why go with a whole-home solution?
Benefits Of Whole-House Humidifiers
The benefits of getting a whole-house humidifier are that they:
- Treat the Entire House.
- More Effective Than Portable Models
- Work On Their Own
Let’s break these down.
Treat the Entire House
This is the big advantage: you’re not just adding moisture in the air for your bedroom or living room. Instead, you’re controlling the humidity for your entire house in one shot. Sure, maybe that portable one worked well in a dorm or apartment. But, if you have many rooms and spend a lot of time at home, you’re better off addressing the entire house.
As we mentioned, these models attach directly to your HVAC system. You can get forced air humidifiers that work with ductwork or a humidifier for a heat pump if you have ductless heating and cooling.
Generally, you don’t need one with radiator heat because they use hot water for warmth and add moisture.
More Effective Than Portable Models
Just by addressing your entire home, these models are more effective than the portable ones. But, they are also stronger. With even a high-end plug-in selection, the water vapor only reaches so far. These permeate every nook and cranny of your home.
Work On Their Own
Here’s the next significant advantage: It’s a set-it-and-forget-it proposition! Well, mostly — we’ll go into the exceptions in our next section.
But, by and large, you let the system do all the work on its own — just like your heater. Instead of a thermostat, you’ll use a humidistat to track the humidity. Or, if you have a smart thermostat, that one device handles it all.
From there, the system turns on and off as needed. And, we attach it directly to the house’s water supply. So, there’s no refilling a tank or anything like that.
Drawbacks of Whole-House Humidifiers
Of course, nothing’s perfect — and there are some potential drawbacks to consider, too. Whole-house humidifiers:
- Cost More Than Portable Models
- Require Upkeep
- Risk Of Mold And Mildew
Cost More Than Portable Models
The biggest stumbling block is cost: They run from $300 to $1,000 before installation. And no, DIY isn’t a good idea: You can end up with water damage in the house or at least invalidate a warranty by doing unlicensed work on your HVAC system.
Sure, they work way better than portable models. With the expectation of the most high-end models, you’ll get one of those for less than $100.
Next, you do need to keep tabs on a forced air humidifier or even a humidifier for a heat pump more than one you plug in for a few months out of the year. It’s not much, but it’s worth mentioning.
Specifically, there’s a pad inside the humidifier that traps minerals and other deposits from the water. You need to clean that out at least once a season. This is something you can do yourself, but only if you’re comfortable taking apart the unit.
If you’re not handy or don’t want to risk breaking something, you can get your HVAC tech to do this on a service call.
Risk Of Mold And Mildew
Mold and mildew thrive in dark, damp places. Adding more moisture to your home in the winter increases the chances of this stuff taking hold. It’s not something that happens all the time. But, you need to be more aware of it in the cold weather since your home is usually much less humid this time of year.
Despite some drawbacks, a whole-house humidifier is a solid choice for people who want to improve their indoor air quality or just make their home more comfortable in the winter. Since humidity affects so many aspects of your life at home, investing in ways to control it can go a long way.
Whole-House Humidifiers In Dover, PA
Call or email Air Comfort Technologies for a free consultation. We’ll help you determine if a whole-house humidifier is a good investment for your Dover, PA. If it is, we’ll help you get the best model. If not, we’ll help you build the right indoor air quality strategy for your home.