Choosing a Humidifier for Your St. Louis Home This Winter
October 28, 2015
Reduce energy and save money by installing a humidifier in your home.
Humidity levels drop during the winter months because cold air holds less moisture than warm air. As a result of dry air, you may experience a number of problems in the winter months, including:
- dry skin and/or an itchy throat
- nasal congestion resulting in cold or flu
- static electricity
- wallpaper peeling at the edges
- hardwood floors separating out at the seams
- difficulty in growing houseplants
Indoor air should have a humidity level of 30-35 percent, but during winter months, the humidity level in the air drops to 13 percent or lower. One way to resolve this problem is by using a humidifier to add moisture to the indoor air.
Type of Humidifiers
You’ll find humidifiers in a wide variety of shapes and designs, including furnace/heat pump mounted units, floor models, and table models. Furnace/heat pump mounted units work as by-pass, steam, wick, mist, and powered. You can mount some of these models to the duct or attach some of them to the furnace or heat pump. You can easily install a humidifier while replacing your furnace. It is also possible to have one installed to your existing heating system. It is important to make sure that the humidity level does not exceed a certain limit. Some signs of high humidity levels include excessive fogging, mold growth, and moisture build-up.
Consider having a flow-through humidifier installed in your home. This type of humidifier is less prone to mineral, mold, and bacteria buildup, because the water constantly flows through the system. This also helps achieve even distribution of moisture throughout the house.
Warm Moist Air and Cool Moist Air Humidifiers
Warm air humidifiers work by heating the water. This type of humidifier consumes more electricity and may make the air unpleasantly warm and humid. In comparison, cool air humidifiers do not require heating the water. They consume less electricity, humidify a larger area, and do not make the air feel unpleasantly warm and humid. However, cool air humidifiers may produce a louder noise than warm moist air humidifiers.
Two types of warm air humidifiers are available in the market. Steam humidifiers work by boiling water and thus releasing steam in the air. This type kills the bacteria and mold while boiling the water, but carries the risk of burns. If you have kids in your family, you may want to avoid using steam humidifiers. Alternatively, you can use warm mist humidifiers.
Cool Air Humidifiers
- Evaporation wick – This type of humidifier uses a filter to soak up water, which is then evaporated by a fan. This helps increase the humidity level in the air. Once the humidity level reaches a certain point, the evaporation rate slows down naturally.
- Impeller – This type works by running a spinning disk in the water. The process does not produce as much noise as an evaporation wick produces.
- Ultrasonic – This type uses ultrasonic sound waves to vibrate the water and thus helps increase moisture in the air. Ultrasonic humidifiers operate silently and are highly efficient.