In climates that have frigid winters, correct settings on your whole-house humidifier will improve the comfort and energy efficiency of your home, and even alleviate and/or prevent certain health issues.
Colder winter months bring dry air inside your home. This occurs when cold outdoor air is warmed by your indoor heating system. Even though the total amount of moisture has not changed, as warm air expands the total volume of moisture decreases lowering the relative humidity. This causes discomforts like dry skin, itchy eyes, dehydration and sore throats, aggravates respiratory problems and allergies and can make you feel colder at usually comfortable temperatures.
By maintaining correct humidifier settings in your home, you will save energy. As relative humidity rises, less heat is needed for the same comfort. A 10 percent change in relative humidity is equivalent to about 1 degree change in temperature. So if the temperature in your home is 70 degrees, and the relative humidity is increased by 30 percent, the temperature will then feel like 73 degrees. So for you to feel the same desired temperature, less energy is needed to heat your home. For each degree that your thermostat is lowered, you gain up to 4 percent on energy costs.
Indoor relative humidity recommendations are between 30 and 50 percent. Humidity levels in your home can be determined by using a hygrometer, which may come with the unit or you can pick one up at the hardware store. Once the humidity level reaches 45 to 55 percent, depending on your preference, you should turn off the humidifier. More humidity can cause damage in the home to wood, furniture, electronics and paint. And, too much humidity is just as harmful as too little. Most humidifiers come equipped with a humidistat, which records the humidity in your home so you can adjust the humidifier settings as needed.
If you have questions about how whole-house humidifiers can benefit you, call Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating. We have proudly served the mid-Ohio area since 1964.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about humidifiers and other HVAC topics, visit our website.
Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating, Inc. services the Mid-Ohio area.