Winter Humidification and the Need for a Whole-Home Humidifier


Do you need a whole-home humidifier?

Is the dry air in your home making you miserable? Are you looking for an indoor air quality expert (IAQ) who can install humidifiers? Do you take your home comfort for granted?

Now I know why most homeowners in the Northern Virginia area install a humidifier when replacing their home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC).

After moving into a new home that does not have a whole-home humidifier, I realized why most homeowners in this area install a whole-home humidifier when replacing their HVAC system. Yes, this is the time of year when the HVAC installation department is busy adding humidifiers to existing HVAC systems and installing humidifiers on new replacement systems.

Yes, I’m guilty of taking my home comfort for granted! I recently moved from a house that had a whole-home humidifier and now I’m spending my first winter without one. I’m experiencing firsthand the signs and symptoms created from the dry air.

How we get dry air in our homes and the problems associated:

The combination of cool, outdoor air and heated indoor air creates the dry air. Low humidity from the dry air in the home can have adverse effects on your comfort, health and your home and furnishings.

Health–Low relative humidity (RH) can make you more susceptible to catching a cold or flue viruses. Chronic asthma is aggravated by cold, dry air.

Comfort–Static shock, dry skin, itchy eyes and sore throat can all be symptoms of air that’s too dry.

Protection— Dry air can also create costly damage to a home by causing hardwood floors, molding and walls to crack.

Energy Savings-– Higher heating bills. According to ENERGY STAR, having proper humidity levels will reduce the energy use of your heating system because you will feel warmer at a lower thermostat setting.

Since over a third of our time is spent inside — it is important for everyone to weigh the options when designing a replacement heating system. It is comparable to passing on heated seats or a self starter when buying a new car in this cold climate. Replacing and designing your heating and cooling system requires more than buying a box and installing an air conditioner, furnace or boiler. It should include working with an ACCA contractor, a contractor who understands the building science of your home and applies design principles, to bring real comfort and a healthy indoor environment to your home.

When you live in our area, it only makes sense to include a whole-home humidifier when installing a new HVAC system. Unfortunately, in my case here in Leesburg, I moved into a new condo where space is limited! I will work with an indoor air quality expert at M.E. Flow to find a place to install a whole-home humidifier—maybe even a steam humidifier!

Thanks for reading. M.E. Flow is a heating, cooling and indoor air quality contractor with office locations in Leesburg, Alexandria, and Winchester. We cover the entire Northern Virginia area and offer free in-home estimates for HVAC replacement. We offer solutions to problems created by poor indoor air quality and we sell high quality, made in the USA, humidifiers by Aprilaire.

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