Michigan winters can create a very dry environment in your house causing damage and health concerns. Install a humidifier, which can be used to increase the moisture levels in specific rooms or throughout the entire house. Indoor humidity levels of 35 to 50 percent are considered to be the most comfortable, depending on personal preference.
Most people are familiar with single room humidifiers, which use cool mist, warm air, or steam vaporization to increase humidity in a room. There are also a variety of whole-home humidifiers that can be installed directly in line with your heating system to increase humidity levels throughout the entire house.
While there are various types of whole-house humidification systems, nearly all are controlled by a device called a humidistat, which allows you to set the exact level of humidity desired. Depending on the type of system you choose and the size of your home, a whole-house humidifier will use from 1.5 gallons up to 12 gallons of water per day when the furnace is operating.
Drum humidifiers are commonly used with forced-air heating systems. Drum systems feature a sponge attached to a drum that rotates slowly through a water reservoir. Warm air from the furnace passes through the sponge and picks up moisture, then the moist air is distributed throughout the house.
Bypass humidifiers are connected between hot and cold air return ducts. They use the pressure difference between the ducts to force heated air to pass through the humidifier and return to the furnace. Such humidifiers don’t contain a foam drum but rather a series of plastic discs with small grooves on both sides that allow for sufficient evaporative surface area without requiring a great deal of space.
Increase Your Comfort Level This Winter in Michigan with a Humidifier.
In the winter months, when heating systems are really chugging away, indoor air can become dry and static prone. A whole-house humidifier is a great way to add back a little moisture.
Furnace humidifiers add water molecules to the air inside the home. They have variable rates of humidification, but it can exceed 1/2 gallon of water per hour. Water flows through the humidifier valve and soaks the evaporator pad. Hot and dry air from the furnace passes through the pads and absorbs the water. The ductwork distributes the moist air. The humidifier only needs a little maintenance; it’s important, though, and it’s easy.
Scratchy throats, frequent nosebleeds, dry skin, and static electricity can be common occurrences in winter—particularly when the combination of heated air and tightly insulated houses reduces humidity levels indoors.
The solution to improved health and comfort, however, can be as simple as adding a humidifier.
Although everyone knows the old adage “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity,” few people understand the relationship between the two. The actual heat a body feels is a combination of both temperature and humidity. The minute you turn on your home heating system in the winter, it begins to remove moisture from the air. Dry air feels cooler than moist air, so in a dry interior, in order to maintain a temperature that seems comfortable, you end up raising the thermostat higher than necessary. By adding humidity back into the mix, you can alleviate the dryness, lower the thermostat, and still feel comfortable—saving money on heating bills in the bargain.
Not only can low humidity dry out your skin and throat, and generally make you feel uncomfortable. it can contribute to other health issues—from making you more susceptible to colds and flu to aggravating conditions like asthma, allergies, and sinus problems.” Children and pets—especially birds—can be particularly sensitive to dry indoor air.
Extremely low moisture levels can even be damaging to your home, causing wood floors and fine furniture to warp and crack, interior paint to dry out, chip and flake, and wallpaper edges to shrink and peel.