Humidifiers: Good or Bad for Improving Air Quality?
Do humidifiers improve air quality? This is a question many people have been asking themselves lately, and for good reason.
The simple answer is yes. When used correctly, humidifiers can make the air in your home more comfortable and lead to better air quality. Springtime means dry air, as well as high pollen counts, which can worsen allergy symptoms.
Dry air is a problem for your health. It can cause coughing, make you more susceptible to colds and flu, and aggravate allergies. Dry air also causes static electricity, which may seem like an annoyance, but can actually be dangerous — it’s a fire hazard.
How Humidity Affects Health
Humidity affects health when it’s either too high or too low. Dry air causes dry skin, sinus problems, and sore throats, among other issues. Extremely dry skin can lead to bleeding; extreme dryness of nasal passages can cause nosebleeds.
Too much humidity in the summer can lead to mold growth and damage to furniture and home structures.
A Healthy Solution
Humidifiers can solve these problems. They help people breathe easier when they have colds and congestion by loosening the mucus in their respiratory tract so it drains more easily. This helps those with asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory ailments.
Moist air is healthier for you. In fact, doctors often recommend using humidifiers to improve indoor air quality as part of their treatment for respiratory illnesses and allergies. Airborne contaminants in dry air can make it harder to breathe, get sick more often, and stay sick longer. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) even found that using a humidifier in the winter can reduce your heating bills by up to 4%.
Increased moisture alleviates dry skin and eyes; chapped lips; cracked furniture; warped floors, window sills, and peeling paint. Humidifiers can also increase the efficiency of furnaces in the winter because moist air feels warmer than dry air at the same temperature.
How Humidifiers Work
These devices are designed to raise moisture levels in the air. They come in various sizes, from portable units to whole-house systems. The most basic models have a reservoir that holds water to be vaporized slowly into air by a fan. Cool mist models spray water into the air, while warm mist types use steam to raise humidity levels.
Different Types of Humidifiers
Humidifiers come in many types: tabletop humidifiers, whole-house humidifiers attached to your furnace or HVAC system, portable room humidifiers with large tanks that need refilling every day or two, ultrasonic humidifiers that create a mist using high-frequency sound waves, and cool-mist humidifiers that use fans or impellers to move water from the tank into a fine mist.
Maintaining Humidity Levels
The air quality in a home can be greatly improved by using a humidifier. However, it is important to remember that humidity levels should be monitored at all times so that mold, mildew and bacteria don’t grow from over-humidification.
Maintaining the proper humidity level in your home is important. When the air is too dry, it can cause skin irritation and lead to colds, coughs and other upper respiratory problems.
However, if you over-humidify your home, it can lead to mold growth, which will worsen any allergies you have and cause respiratory problems for everyone in your house. This is why it’s important to monitor the humidity levels in your home and ensure they are not too high or too low.
The key is to maintain moderate humidity levels, which vary depending on the area of the country you live in. For example, people in the Southwest, where the climate is hot and dry year round, should aim for 30% humidity, while those in the Northeast should aim for 40 percent.
A whole house humidifier is installed directly into your HVAC system (built into the ductwork of your home’s heating and cooling system) and will dispense water vapor throughout your entire house. This helps maintain a proper humidity level in every room of the house. Portable humidifiers offer a lot of flexibility, but they’re not as efficient as whole-house systems, particularly if you’re using multiple units throughout your house.
If you’re dealing with humidity issues in your home and are concerned with your indoor air quality, contact Dugan Air. Our team will come out and assess your home and suggest the appropriate system that will keep humidity levels comfortable for your family.
We provide service for Franklin and the surrounding areas: Greenwood, Bargersville, Martinsville, Nineveh, Morgantown, and more. We also offer services such as new installations, repair, maintenance, and emergency services for your heating and cooling systems.