It’s winter in Nashville and our coldest days lie ahead – days where we keep the heat running constantly to stay nice and warm. That means it’s also time to break out the humidifier. If you don’t own one see our checklist below.
Top 4 Humidifier Benefits
- Add Moisture Back Into The Air
- Prevent Colds & Flu by Improving Air Quality
- Save Energy on Your HVAC Unit Bill
- Get A Better Night’s Sleep
Is It Good to Use a Humidifier in the Winter?
#1 – Add Moisture Back Into The Air – A lack of moisture in the air during the winter wreaks havoc in several ways. By using a humidifier, you put moisture back into the air to prevent dry skin, eyes, nasal passages, and throat. In addition to being uncomfortable, this could increase your chance of getting a cold or could aggravate already present conditions such as asthma or bronchitis. Drier air can also cause headaches and nosebleeds. WebMD talks about just a few of these symptoms.
Really dry air is not only hard on you but also the things in your home. On the other hand, moister air prevents the cracking and warping of wood furniture, floors – even instruments! Your plants will also benefit, particularly those that are near a heat source or that need more moisture to maintain growth and health.
Can a Humidifier Make a Cold Worse?
#2 – Prevent Colds & Flu by Improving Air Quality – And speaking of breathing, it’s that time of year when a lot of us get stuffed up due to colds and flu. By using a humidifier to add humidity to the air, you can actually help prevent the flu virus and cold germs from taking hold and putting you down for the count. Sinus infections caused by dryness are another common winter symptom that can be prevented by using a humidifier.
By reducing air-borne pathogens, humidifiers improve overall air quality. In this way, they share the same benefits as your air filter. (It’s important to keep changing your HVAC’s air filter during the winter and all year long.) Air quality should be a year-round concern. It’s something you can discuss with our expert technicians when they visit your home for HVAC unit maintenance.
Does Running a Humidifier Use a Lot of Electricity?
#3 – Save Energy on Your HVAC Unit Bill – More importantly, moisturized air can actually help reduce your electric bill. Dry air doesn’t retain heat as well as moist air, which means your HVAC is working just a little harder to maintain warmth.
A humidifier uses electricity but will still generate more savings on a monthly basis. In an extensive report, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has calculated the energy savings per year from using portable and whole-house humidifiers.
Can You Sleep with a Humidifier On?
#4 – Get A Better Night’s Sleep – One of the primary reasons to get a humidifier is to improve the quality of your sleep. Just as a slightly cooler room promotes better, deeper sleep, so does a humidifier. Combating that particular dryness in the air can make breathing a little uncomfortable during the winter months.
So Which Humidifier Should I Buy?
You can look into purchasing a portable humidifier or a whole-home humidifier.
Portable humidifiers come in two basic types: warm mist and cool mist. Warm-mist brands heat the water inside the humidifier, generating the highest moisture saturation when the air is emitted into the room. Warm-mist models greatly reduce bacteria and are great for colds.
If you don’t want the extra heat, cool-mist humidifiers are the better option and safer for use with children because they don’t contain hot water.
There are several types of humidifiers:
- Ultrasonic – These include a high-speed agitator that vibrates the water inside the humidifier and a small fan that pump the mist into the room. Ultrasonic humidifiers can be warm-mist or cool-mist.
- Cool-Mist Evaporative – Unlike other types of humidifiers, these models involve a fan that pulls warmer air in from the room, then pushes it back out in a cooler form.
- Cool-Mist Air Washers – Like evaporator units, these humidifiers also involve two-way air flow. Unlike evaporators, they filter the incoming air via spinning plates (impellers) inside the unit that help send cleaner, cooler air back into your environment.
- Vaporizers – These humidifiers include an internal heating element that helps destroy bacteria in the water before pushing it into the room. Because they involve heating, these models are warm-mist only.
Consumer Reports cites other factors to consider when choosing a humidifier including size (based on your room’s square footage), how easy it is to move and clean, automatic shut-off features based on target humidity, and timers. Lastly, there are also whole-home humidifiers that provide a single unit versus smaller, room-specific model to keep moisture in the air.
Whether your home needs an HVAC system replacement or simply a minor repair, we’re here in Nashville to serve you and your family. Contact one of our friendly representatives for a free estimate today. No matter which kind of humidifier you use or why you’re using it, you’ll be sure to reap the benefits.
Custom Indoor Air quality Installation
Jewell offers custom home installations for humidifiers and other air quality products. Contact us for more information.