The unit introduces moisture into the air as it passes through the heating system
Because of the length and severity of local winter seasons, I run the furnace for approximately eight months. The outdoor temperature is below freezing the majority of the time. It’s not unusual for conditions to drop into the negative digits with brutal windchill and excessive amounts of snowfall. Cold air doesn’t hold as much moisture as warm air. Because of this, the air inside the home gets especially dry. Insufficient humidity causes a lot of health concerns. The air can dry out nasal passages and increase the risk of cold, flu and respiratory infection. Low humidity can be blamed for lengthy recovery times, headaches, difficulty sleeping, sore throat, itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing and congestion. Chapped lips, frizzy hair and static shock are signs of insufficient moisture in the home. Dry conditions can irritate symptoms of allergies and asthma and worsen problems with psoriasis and eczema. When the dry air pulls moisture out of wood furnishings, such as hardwood floors, antiques or musical instruments, it can cause cracking and gaps. Portable humidifiers don’t provide enough moisture to make much of a difference, and they are a great deal of work. There are three different styles of whole-house humidifiers, including bypass, fan-operated and steam-style. I chose a steam humidifier because it runs independently from the furnace and allows customization of moisture levels. The unit introduces moisture into the air as it passes through the heating system. The whole house feels warmer at lower thermostat settings, improving comfort while lessening demands on the furnace. The savings on my energy bills has paid for the investment into the humidifier.