With the threat of a colder than normal winter looming over the Northwest due to La Niña and increasing crude oil prices impacting people using oil to heat their homes, many Americans are searching for ways stay warm this winter without breaking the bank. One solution that often goes overlooked is the addition of a humidifier.
Most people think of a humidifier as simply a way to treat uncomfortable conditions caused by dry air, such as nosebleeds, dry and scratchy throats, allergy symptoms, itchy skin, and respiratory issues. However, these versatile appliances can also be used to help your home feel warmer at a lower temperature.
Have you ever noticed how 70 degrees in the winter is colder than 70 degrees in the summer? That’s because dry wintry air whisks away any moisture on your skin and in your environment, throwing the area’s relative humidity off balance. By adding moisture to your environment and restoring the relative humidity, humidifiers can help you feel warmer at a lower temperature. Balancing the humidity in your indoor environment also helps reduce the spread of cold and flu viruses and it protects your home’s foundation and wood furnishings.
There are a wide variety of humidifiers currently on the market, so familiarizing yourself with the different kinds will help you determine the best humidifier for maintaining the comfort of your home. Using a whole house humidifier or a cool mist humidifier is a great way to add moisture to your entire house, multiple rooms, or large areas. The Honeywell HE360 Humidifier can be installed directly to your furnace to work directly with your existing HVAC system, ensuring that your environment has the most comfortable balance of warmth and moisture. If you are interested in a similarly high-efficiency humidifier, but don’t want the hassle of ducting, try the Bemis 821-000 Multi-Room Humidifier. This cool mist humidifier comes with EZ-Roll casters to make moving it simple, plus it only requires a standard wall outlet to deliver moisture to areas as large as 1,900 square feet.
A warm mist humidifier, like the Vicks V790N Germ Free Warm Mist Humidifier, heat the water to a boil and release a warm, soothing fine mist into your environment. Perfect for adding moisture to smaller areas, warm mist humidifiers are considered exceptionally healthy because the boiling process eliminates waterborne bacteria and mold, which prevents these contaminants from entering your air.
If you are looking for a humidifier to use in your bedroom or other areas where quiet operation is a must, an ultrasonic humidifier is the perfect choice for you because these humidifiers are considered the quietest. Their quiet operation can be attributed to the mist-creation process. Ultrasonic humidifiers use high-frequency sound waves to vibrate a metal diaphragm until it reaches an ultrasonic frequency. This motion creates tiny water droplets that are released into your room as a fine, moisturizing fog. Like the Germ Guardian H1500 Ultrasonic Humidifier, many of these units can emit both cool and warm mists, which makes them perfect for keeping your indoor environment perfectly humidified year-round.
Using ultraviolet (UV) light technology to sanitize the water stored in the humidifier’s tank, a UV humidifier, such as the Enviracare EWM-211D Warm Mist Humidifier, eliminates up to 99.9% of germs, bacteria, viruses, fungus, and mold. This process prevents the recirculation of these airborne contaminants and protects you from respiratory problems, like allergies and chronic sinusitis, which can be triggered by continued exposure to unclean air.
For more information about humidifiers, including a helpful humidifier buying guide, tips for maintaining your humidifier, and an in-depth look at relative humidity, visit our Learning Center. If you are ready to add a humidifier to your home, contact one of our knowledgeable air treatment specialists at 1-800-934-9194 for help finding the perfect solution to your indoor air needs.