Why You Need A Humidifier in the Winter
Are you tired of getting static electricity shocks every time you touch something inside your home? There’s a solution. You need a humidifier, and the Brooklyn heating experts at Petri Plumbing & Heating can tell you about your options.
The ideal indoor relative humidity level is 40%-50%, although it may need to be lower if it’s really frigid outside to minimize the amount of moisture frosting the windows. If your home has too much moisture, that water vapor can freeze inside your walls or cause mold growth when it’s above freezing, so indoor relative humidity needs to be controlled.
Why is the Air so Dry in Winter?
Cold air is dry air. The colder the air temperature, the lower the amount of water vapor it can hold. For example, if the outside air temperature is 32°F and its relative humidity is 100%, that same air heated to 70°F inside is at 20% relative humidity because the warmer air can hold so many more grains of moisture.
Air that dry can be harmful. It sucks the moisture out of your skin, throat and lungs. If you have a piano or antique furniture, maintaining an ideal relative humidity level is critical.
Why Small or Portable Humidifiers Don’t Work
You may have tried small portable humidifiers to add some moisture to the air, but they don’t have the capacity to do the job. One major national brand portable humidifier can hold three gallons of water in its tanks. By comparison, one of the best-known brands of duct-mounted whole house humidifiers can produce 17 gallons of water vapor, enough to humidify a 4,000-square-foot home.
Trying to use a portable humidifier to condition one room doesn’t work because water vapor in the air wants to equalize itself in the space. As soon as you open the door to the room, all that water vapor zips out the door with you to the low humidity rooms.
Types of Whole-Home Humidifiers
If you have a furnace, the most commonly used type of humidifier is called the bypass type that’s mounted in your ductwork near the outlet of the furnace. The humidifier is connected to a small water line that trickles a stream of water through a pad inside the device. When the furnace fan is running, air blows through the wet pad, evaporating the water and carrying it through the ductwork into your home. Whole house humidifiers like this have controls so that they only come on when the furnace fan is running. You can also set the control for your desired humidity level.
If you have a boiler and radiators, you can get a through-the-wall humidifier that can mount in a closet or laundry room where you have electricity and a drain. Humidified air is distributed into the living space through a grille on the humidifier.
Brooklyn Humidifier Pros
Humidified air is healthy air, so call Petri Plumbing & Heating to get rid of your scratchy throat this winter!