One of the most effective ways to control the comfort levels of your home is to install a whole house humidifier. It will make your home feel warmer in the winter because the humidity levels are higher, which can provide a number of essential advantages to consider.
Winter becomes a time for illness around the world because the air is dryer than normal. That causes your skin to dry out faster than it would normally, which can leave it susceptible to the invasion of microbes. The air feels colder when your skin reaches this condition too, which can lead to a rapid increase in your heating expenses.
A whole house humidifier works to keep your home as comfortable as possible by improving the conditions of your indoor environment. It works automatically with the HVAC system in your home, reducing the issues that portable humidifiers can sometimes cause when left to operate on their own for too long.
Your home receives the boost in moisture it needs. Then your health receives a potential layer of protection during one of the most critical times of the year.
If you’re looking for a solution that is affordable and easy to install that will benefit everyone in your home, then here are the whole house humidifier pros and cons to review.
List of the Pros of a Whole House Humidifier
1. Whole house humidifiers operate quietly away from your living areas.
Although it is true that any humidifier can provide a quiet operating experience, you will receive advantage when installing a product for the entire home because its installation occurs outside of the regular living areas. Running a portable humidifier in the living room can be disruptive at times because of the fan noise involved. Having one operate in your bedroom can leave your bedding feeling damp in the morning. All of these issues disappear when you choose this technology instead.
2. Whole house humidifiers can add to the value of your home.
Even though you can purchase a whole house humidifier for under $1,000 today, it is still product which can add a similar amount of value to your property. When the housing market benefits the buyer instead of the seller, anything that you can do which will give your home a competitive edge can help you find a way to sell at a price that you want. It is such an advantage to have this technology in a home that many realtors use this key point as part of the sales pitch because it can improve the indoor air quality so dramatically.
3. Whole house humidifiers require minimal maintenance.
The installation process for a whole house humidifier is very straightforward and simple. You can install it on your HVAC system, set it to your preferred humidity levels, and then let it operate according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Homeowners with an average DIY skill level can usually complete this project during a weekend afternoon. It will then draw water from the home’s plumbing system to produce higher humidity levels throughout the structure. You never need to worry about this system running dry like a portable humidifier would, and then you can benefit from higher moisture levels 24/7 without giving it a second thought.
Most homeowners only need to clean their whole house humidifier once per year at the start of winter to maintain this technology. Even if you operate it frequently throughout the other seasons, a quarterly cleaning will ensure proper functioning.
4. Whole house humidifiers can provide health benefits.
If you are experiencing dry, itchy skin right now, then there is an excellent chance it is due to the indoor air quality that is in your home. When humidity levels are low, then there is a higher risk of experiencing a sore throat. People who suffer from sinus conditions and allergies find relief when the indoor humidity levels are at 30% or higher during the winter months. The human body even experiences a significant boost in resilience to viruses and bacterial infections because of the advantages that a whole house humidifier provides.
5. Whole house humidifiers can protect the structural integrity of a home.
A whole house humidifier that is operating correctly and installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions will create indoor humidity levels between 30% to 50% in most homes. When you have this level of humidity present throughout the day, then you create a lower risk of damage for the structures of your home.
A lack of moisture indoors can cause wallpaper to crack or separate. It may increase static electricity levels in the home which could damage electronic systems. A whole house humidifier can even prevent wood furniture from splitting and cracking as well.
6. Whole house humidifiers treat every room the same in your home.
As long as each room in your home has access to your HVAC system, then it will benefit from the advantages that a whole house humidifier provides. You can find models that offer support for homes that are 1,000 square feet in size, 3,000 square feet, or even large structures that are over 6,000 square feet. This variability in coverage makes it possible for virtually every home owner to benefit from the improved indoor air quality and moisture levels that this technology provides.
7. Whole house humidifiers can lower your utility costs.
The average homeowner will save about 4% on their heating bills throughout the winter when they use a whole house humidifier to benefit their indoor air quality. You can increase the savings by lowering your thermostat as well. The EPA estimates that you can save 1% for every 1° that you can remove from your temperature average during the coldest months of the year. The extra humidity makes the air feel warmer. It is not unusual for this technology to pay for itself after the first season or two of use on most properties.
The money savings that is possible from your utility costs is not an advantage that portable humidifiers can provide.
8. Whole house humidifiers can operate automatically.
If you’re willing to spend a little bit more on this technology, then you can find a whole house humidifier which monitors your air quality on a full-time basis. You would set the humidity percentage that you want in your home like you would set the temperature on your thermostat. Then this technology will respond whenever it senses that the air is too dry in the house.
Even if your budget does not allow for this feature, operating a whole house humidifier is rather simple. When the air feels dry, then you can turn on this technology to experience its benefits in an hour or two.
9. Whole house humidifiers are a durable technology.
When a whole house humidifier is installed properly, the net will provide up to 10 years of functionality before it requires a replacement. This durability is quite impressive when compared to the benefits that a portable humidifier brings to the home. If you were to run a portable product full-time throughout the winter, there is an excellent chance that you would need to replace it each year.
Even though a whole house humidifier may cost up to 10 times more than a portable unit, the capital cost over the lifetime of the product is similar. When you add the cost-savings benefits from the utility improvements you receive, then many homeowners can actually save money by investing into this durable technology.
10. Whole house humidifiers are surprisingly affordable.
If you are shopping for an entry-level whole house humidifier today, then you can expect to find a product for about $700. Units that function in smaller properties can be priced even less than this. The primary expense that trips up homeowners is the installation cost when they are unable to add this technology to their HVAC system without professional assistance. If you have a few tools and can follow a how-to guide, then you should be able to install this product in your home without much difficulty.
Once you have the whole house humidifier operating, you will discover that its power and water requirements are minimal. Most units don’t require access to electricity to function properly. Most homeowners find that it only costs a few dollars each year in operational costs to take advantage of the many benefits of this technology.
List of the Cons of a Whole House Humidifier
1. Whole house humidifiers are not compatible with every HVAC system.
Before you decide to purchase a whole house humidifier, it is essential that you look at the design of your HVAC system first. Although most environmental support systems do work with this technology, there are some that will not. If your heating and cooling system is not designed to work with humidification products, then you can cause more harm than good by installing this product on your property.
2. Whole house humidifiers can hide repairs that a home requires.
A whole house humidifier works best when you have had an energy efficiency survey conducted on your property. Low indoor humidity levels can’t be a sign of air leakage that is due to a variety of issues, from inadequate insulation R-value to improperly fitted doors or windows. If you install this technology without solving the root issue first, then you will not experience most of the advantages that are listed here.
There are several places where the energy efficiency rating of a home can come into question. Fireplaces, roof degradation, and aging caulk are all potential issues that you would want to fix before installing a whole house humidifier. Skipping this step will only add to your utility costs throughout the year.
3. Whole house humidifiers can cause mold and mildew growth.
When the humidity levels of your home are at 50% or higher, then it is possible for mold and mildew growth to occur even during the winter months. Homeowners that live in high-moisture geographical areas are at the highest risk of experiencing this disadvantage. That is why investing in an automatic unit is your best solution if your budget allows it. When you must set the humidity levels manually, it is easier to over-humidify the house, which then makes it possible for the mold spores to begin growing.
The added moisture in your HVAC system can encourage mold and mildew growth in there as well. You may wish to have the entire system cleaned each year to maximize the benefits of this technology.
4. Whole house humidifiers can be very expensive for large homes.
It is true that you can purchase a whole house humidifier for a small home at a price that is less than $400. If you have a larger home, then you can expect to pay a lot more. An automatic system that can provide consistent humidity levels indoors for over 3,000 square feet can cost more than $3,000. The best systems on the market today are typically $1 of capital cost for every square foot of coverage that you require. When you look at this price, then the advantage of cost savings may disappear for some homeowners.
5. Whole house humidifiers require soft water to function correctly.
If you have high levels of limestone scale in your water, then a whole house humidifier may not function as well as it would otherwise. The vapor it creates to improve indoor humidity levels will leave behind the minerals in the water as a white powder in your HVAC system. If there is enough build up that occurs, then this technology may stop functioning altogether. When there is hard water, homeowners must check their system at least once per month – and some might require weekly inspections to continue receiving the advantages of this technology.
6. Whole house humidifiers do not offer any portability.
There are times when you might want to have a room that is dryer than the rest of the home in the winter. If you have a whole house humidifier installed, then the only way to create this option is to shut down access to the HVAC system. You receive full coverage with this technology all of the time. For tiny homes or properties under 1,000 square feet, a portable humidifier might still be the better option.
7. Whole house humidifiers require a permanent structural change.
This technology is not generally something that you can take with you when you move. It is a permanent change in the HVAC structure of your home. If you are renting, then this technology is not an option for you unless your landlord gives you permission to make the change. Even if you do receive the go-ahead, you’ll be fronting the cost of this technology and leaving it behind should you need to move for some reason.
The pros and cons of a whole house humidifier show us that this technology can offer dramatic improvements to the indoor air quality of the house. It is a reasonably affordable addition that can produce utility cost-savings for some homeowners. Although it may not be the best option for every property, you may discover that it can reduce the issues that dry air are causing right now.