What do dry eyes, cracked lips, itchy skin, irritated nasal passages, increased respiratory infections, and static electricity all have in common?
Each is a sign that your indoor air lacks humidity.
Winter here in Canada can be pretty hard on your body and health.
Humidity is typically plentiful during the hot summer season. But like many animals (and also many humans), humidity tends to go into hibernation during the winter season as everything dries out and shuts down.
So where can you find a source of restorative humidity when the whole country has become cold, dry and frozen?
We know a way — it’s called a whole home humidifier!
Even better, you have a selection of types to choose from so you can find the year-round humidity control solution that works best for you.
How to Know Your Indoor Air Is Too Dry
Often, the first indication your indoor humidity levels are too low comes in the form of a mid-winter cold or bout of the flu.
But there are other signs to watch for as well. When windows and doors start refusing to close (or open) properly, hardwood floors begin to develop ghostly creaking sounds or you see newfound warping or cracking in wooden furniture or musical instruments, these are all signs your air has become dangerously dry.
Static electricity is another sign to watch for. Static electricity is not only uncomfortable, as it sparks across conduction surfaces, but it is also a fire risk. A single static spark can sometimes be enough to set a home ablaze, and sadly it happens every year.
2 Main Types of Humidifiers
There are two main types of humidifier units: portable and whole home.
Portable humidifiers can be a great choice when just one family member requires a bit of extra humidity.
For example, if someone in your family has severe seasonal allergies or suffers from asthma or chronic respiratory issues, sometimes physicians will recommend adding a small portable humidifier to that family member’s bedroom to ease symptoms.
Sometimes portable humidifiers are recommended in rooms storing valuable and rare items such as antique wooden furniture or musical instruments.
Portable humidifiers, as their name suggests, can be easily picked up and moved from room to room or space to space as needed.
Whole home humidifier
A whole home humidifier, as the name implies, is designed to evenly distribute steady humidity to each room throughout a space, whether a home or workplace.
This type of humidification systems works with your central duct system, so it is permanent and cannot be moved easily.
One of the best perks of whole home humidifiers is that adding some judicious humidity back into your indoor air in wintertime can make the air feel warmer by as much as several degrees. This, in turn, can help you keep your thermostat lower and save potentially hundreds of dollars in winter heating costs!
2 Main Types of Whole Home Humidifiers
For general purposes, a whole home humidification system uses the same ductwork that your HVAC system relies on to distribute temperature-controlled air throughout your space.
Depending on your seasonal humidification needs, you can choose a humidifier that operates only when your heater is running or as needed.
There are two main types of whole home humidification systems.
A steam-powered whole home humidifier heats water until it turns into vapour. The system fan then blows this vapour (steam) through your ductwork and out the air registers in each room.
This type of system can operate as needed all year long, whether your HVAC system is running or not. Steam humidifiers are generally acknowledged to provide quick, efficient, balanced humidity levels. Because they don’t need the furnace blower to run, they also tend to be more cost-efficient to operate.
A bypass whole home humidifier, sometimes called a “furnace mount humidifier,” connects directly to your HVAC furnace. This type of system uses the furnace blower to blow pre-warmed air across a water panel or pad so that it can absorb moisture. This humidified air is then distributed through your central air duct system to each room in your space.
This type of humidifier does require a bit of extra ducting to work properly, which means you will need adequate space to install it. It also features a bypass damper to shut off the humidity when it is not needed.
Choosing the Right Humidification System for You
Here at Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, we proudly carry both Coleman and Aprilaire whole home humidification systems.
Our Aprilaire whole home steam humidifier is capable of fully automatic operation (although manual operation is always an option if you prefer).
This unit has the capacity to provide humidity-balanced air for spaces of up to 6,200 square feet.
We offer a variety of bypass whole home humidifiers for different needs.
Whether you are seeking a whole home bypass humidifier for a small, medium or large space or your priority is water conservation, our Coleman and Aprilaire models will be able to meet your needs.
Preparing Your Home for Your New Humidifier
While there is no doubt your new whole home humidification system will work efficiently and effectively right out of the box, there are a couple of things you can do to get the most benefit out of your new system.
- Schedule a regular annual inspection and maintenance service; it’s key to keeping your humidifier operating efficiently.
- Regularly doing an energy assessment to identify and seal, caulk or weatherstrip air leaks and insulate ductwork will minimize heat, energy and humidity loss.
Get in Touch
Do you see signs in your home or in your health that your indoor air is too dry this winter? We can help!
Contact us online or give us a call at 905-544-2470.