Dry winter air can wreak havoc on a home. While low humidity levels can cause a home’s floors, wood trim and furniture to dry and crack, the people in the home typically fare much worse. Dry, itchy skin and irritated nasal passages leave many homeowners feeling uncomfortable this time of year — and there are indications that low humidity levels can complicate issues like allergies and asthma.
That’s why so many homeowners turn to humidifiers during the winter months. Both portable and whole-house humidifiers are able to add moisture to the air and eliminate many of these issues, but each comes with certain advantages and disadvantages.
Determining which model is right for you depends on several key factors, the first being the actual area that needs to be addressed. Because they are free-standing units, portable dehumidifiers can be used successfully in small spaces or in a single-floor home, but are ineffective in larger areas or across multiple levels. Whole-house humidifiers, on the other hand, are installed in the home’s heating system and automatically add moisture to the air as it moves through the home’s ductwork. That’s a real advantage if you have several rooms to humidify.
Another important consideration is maintenance and upkeep. Whole-house humidifiers are plumbed directly into the home’s water supply and don’t have a tank to refill. The filters on many of these systems require only an annual cleaning at the end of the heating season, which keeps things simple for the homeowner. Conversely, portable humidifiers need almost constant attention. Most units need to be refilled on a daily basis, and all must be thoroughly cleaned every few days. If not properly maintained, the standing water in the tank can act as a breeding ground for mold and bacteria — that’s an inconvenience and a potential health hazard.
At Roth Heating & Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical, our team of experts can help you decide whether portable or whole-house humidifiers are the best solution for your home and family. We know what it takes to keep your home comfortable all year round. Contact us today to find the system that’s right for you.