During the winter months, especially during a cold spell or if someone in your home has a cold, you may have noticed that it's hard to breathe. This is because indoor air can be much drier than outdoor air due to heat from HVAC units and other methods of heating a house. If you live in a dry climate or another area where the winters are very harsh, those with respiratory illnesses such as asthma should remain cautious against over-drying the air.
A humidifier can help relieve uncomfortable symptoms by adding moisture back into the air. This article will go over six reasons why you should purchase a humidifier for your HVAC unit to use during the winter.
How Does a Humidifier Work?
A humidifier works by adding moisture, or water vapor, to dry indoor air to better our lungs and our indoor environment.
There are different types of humidifiers: warm mist and cool mist. Warm mist emits a heated flow of vapors which takes heat away from the room and can cause burns if touched. Cool mist humidifiers work like an evaporative cooler by evaporating water into the air with no heat involved.
Both types of humidifiers require regular cleaning and maintenance to function appropriately and safely; only using distilled water in your machine as using any other kind will eventually build up deposits and make it harder to clean. It is important to note that neither warm nor cool-mist humidifiers should be kept next to flammable objects for safety.
Now that there is a clear understanding of how these units work, you can read on to learn six reasons to consider installing a humidifier in your HVAC unit this winter.
Helps Respiratory Illnesses
If someone in your home has respiratory problems, such as pneumonia or the flu, they will inevitably be coughing and uncomfortable. Increasing the humidity in a room can make breathing much more bearable for these people because it adds moisture to the air when their noses are dry from over-exposure to cold air.
The leading cause of discomfort from a dry nose is the cilia, or tiny hairs within the mucus membranes lining your sinuses. They usually move back and forth to push out any irritants you breathe in. However, when those irritants are dry air particles, these cilia can become overworked and eventually stop moving correctly. This causes the membrane around your nose to become red and swollen, as well as causes irritation along your throat.
By keeping a humidifier running during cold months, you're keeping the air moist enough that coughing will be much more bearable for those who have respiratory illnesses.
Helps Protect Furniture
Furniture is often made of wood and other materials that become very fragile in a dry and cold environment. For example, leather can crack, and wood furniture has a risk of warping over time if the humidity isn't taken care of properly. Many people often don't think about their furniture being affected by the winter months until they feel the dry air coming into their homes.
A humidifier will help keep your home at a comfortable level all year long by adding moisture back into the air when it becomes too dry from heaters or HVAC units. This also helps prevent possible respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia.
Helps Avoid Airborne Viruses
When there are people who have weaker immune systems in your home, it's even more important to make sure your indoor spaces are kept moist enough to avoid airborne viruses. Viruses can be carried on dry air particles and then become infectious as the virus attaches itself to moist surfaces, such as your nose or throat.
In order to avoid people getting sick from common colds during the winter months, a humidifier should be used in any room where there are people with weaker immune systems or who have respiratory problems. This will help keep airborne viruses from spreading through your home and makes it easier for those people to recover quicker if they do catch something.
Makes Breathing Easier
Humidifiers don't just add moisture into the air; they also take it away as well. The rate at which humidity is drawn out of the air defines how effective a humidifier is at keeping the air moist. There are other factors that make a humidifier more or less effective. Still, generally speaking, humidifiers provide comfort to your respiratory system and your sinuses by adding humidity back into the air when it's too dry and taking it away when it's too wet.
Prevents Skin Problems
Just as it can make breathing more difficult, dry air from heaters and HVAC units can also cause skin problems. If someone has terrible dandruff or a woman suffers from chapped lips during the winter months, then increasing the humidity in that area of your home will provide relief.
Prevents Household Mold
Like furniture and people's respiratory systems, household mold loves a dry environment where it can thrive on wood surfaces. Moisture brought back into a room by a humidifier helps keep this from becoming an issue.
In addition to these six benefits, there are some disadvantages to having a humidifier installed onto an HVAC unit for winter use. While the advantages outweigh the drawbacks, it is important to note these potential issues.
The first problem could be that the humidity levels in your home are too high after the humidifier is installed. This can cause problems like fogged-up windows, mold growth, and potential damage to hardwood furniture.
All these issues can be avoided by hiring a professional to find out if adding a humidifier to your HVAC unit for winter will help keep the humidity levels in your home at an appropriate range. If you do decide to use one this winter season, then it's important to clean it regularly so that bacteria doesn't start growing inside of it.
Home and business owners in the Austin, Texas, area should call Austin AC for help with all of their heating and cooling needs. Our team is knowledgeable in the field and has years of experience helping our customers get their homes ready for any type of weather. We provide a number of services, including installing humidifiers onto HVAC units. Call us today!