While reading this, do your eyes feel a little dryer than normal? It’s about that time here in VA when we begin to turn the heaters on in our homes. I was born and raised in VA and I’m familiar with the beautiful changing of the seasons and one of my most favorite seasons is winter. I just love the brisk air, snow skiing and all the outdoor adventures our beautiful area has to offer. However, after all that chilly outdoor fun, it’s so lovely to come into a cozy house to warm up with some hot cocoa with the fam. Along, with that warmth, comes the inevitable dryness. I begin to notice my skin and sinuses become irritated and my eyes feel scratchy. Even my houseplants notice and require more water than usual. That’s where a humidifier can make all the difference when it comes to indoor comfort.
Just like a hair dryer evaporates the water out of your hair, heaters do the same thing to our homes’ air. Humidifiers replace the missing water molecules via steam or water vapor. This can be done by several different methods from classic evaporation to newer technology like ultrasonic vibrations. Humidifiers can be as small as a desktop lamp or completely built-in to your central heating/cooling system. Once you turn on your heater, it’s time to turn on a humidifier as well.
Although humidifiers don’t heat or cool the air, it’s been proven that humid air feels warmer to us than dry air at the same temperature… good to know! It’s also very important to maintain a level of cleanliness in any humidifier to prevent mold or bacteria from forming. The easiest way to do this is to fill your humidifier only with distilled water and be sure to empty any standing water when not in use. It’s important that your indoor air doesn’t contain too much moisture, or you might notice condensation on your windows or walls. Ideally, you want to maintain the right balance of humidity in your home – some humidifiers even come equipped with a hygrometer (measures moisture) and a humidistat (adjusts output based on hygrometer). Now that’s SMART!
Just as plants’ leaves shrivel up without enough water, our cells do the same thing when the heaters are turned on in the winter. When using a humidifier inside heated spaces you will notice your eyes and skin feel less dry during colder, dryer months and you can expect to breathe and sleep a little better with slightly elevated moisture levels in the air. Humidifiers can also help to improve a cough or congestion. According to WebMD, humid air also aids in slowing the transmission of airborne related viruses, like influenza.
Here at KCS Heating & Air we understand the benefits of using a humidifier in your home.
Whether you are looking to humidify just one room or the entire house, we can answer all your questions and point you in the right direction. This winter season don’t be left in the cold because you are avoiding dry air! Enjoy the benefits of a humidifier, while maintaining the unit properly, and you will have a comfortable, cozy winter. Your skin – and houseplants – will thank you!