The Pros and Cons of Air Humidification

Winter. A time when artificial indoor heat sucks the moisture out of the air, making your skin as dry and cracked as a French pastry. But what’s your alternative? Stock up on hand lotion and just deal with it? There’s another option you probably haven’t thought of before now – an air humidifier for your home.

Home humidification has gone beyond the days of just placing a noisy machine with a bucket of water in the baby’s nursery so she could sleep without a stuffy nose. Today there are many options for humidification, from small one-room units to systems that humidify the entire house. Is it something you should consider? Weigh your pros and cons to see.

Pros

Health
Moisture in the air can help alleviate symptoms of asthma and allergies, as well as helping to prevent bloody noses and dried out sinuses. Also, because viruses thrive in dry air, they are more likely to attack and cause colds in a home with too little moisture.

Comfort
Our bodies, specifically our skin, where not made for dry air. The thin lining of the nose can crack and cause nosebleeds without enough moisture, not to mention dry skin on your hands and feet. Unless you’re already stocked up on lotion, adding water to the air can be a helpful solution.

Electronics
You’ve probably noticed the electric shocks that can be transferred from person to person after walking over a carpet in a dry room. Imagine the damage those shocks can cause to your electronic devices!

Plants
Plants love water! Most plants are happiest and grow the best when their surroundings contain at least 23% moisture. Once the air outside dips below freezing, the water from the air has been changed to solid and the moisture level dips below that.

Furniture
Dry air can cause damage to wood furniture and wallpaper. Using a humidifier can help to keep your whole home happy.

Cons

Health
If the water tank isn’t properly maintained, fungi or bacteria could build up along the walls and enter the water. These organisms can then be sent into the air with the water droplets. If breathed in, there is a possibility of becoming sick.

White Dust
If the water you are using for your humidifier has a high mineral content, those minerals will break down and be included in the water being dispersed through the air. The broken down minerals show themselves as white dust.

Refilling
If you are using a stand-alone humidifier unit, you will need to remember to refill the water in it as often as once a day (possibly more for a smaller unit with a high production yield.) You’ll also need to check for leaks or cracks to make sure water does not soak into a carpet and lead to mold. An in-home model would bring water directly from the home water system and not require this consideration.

Servicing and Cleaning
Stand-alone units need regular changing of filters, not to mention cleaning of water tanks to prevent bacteria from collecting. In-home models would just require a service appointment or filter change.

Noise
Depending on the unit you select, another machine in your home might contribute to additional noise. However, noise from in-home units may simply fade into the background.

After reading the above, you may have come to the conclusion that whole house air humidification is definitely for you. You next step is to talk to your favorite HVAC company (Allied Heating and Air Conditioning, of course!) to discuss options and make an appointment. Breathable air is helpful throughout the year, so don’t wait until next winter. Have your system installed now.

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