Like most aspects of the environment, there's a humidity range that's "just right" for many people. Keeping your home in this Goldilocks zone can have numerous benefits, both for your health and for your bottom line. Maintaining a tight humidity range can be challenging, however, especially if you're using forced air heating in your home.
The best way to get around this problem is through the use of a whole-home humidifier. These devices can be a drastic upgrade for your home's HVAC system, ultimately making your home a more comfortable and healthier place to spend time.
How Much Humidity Is Enough (And How Can You Tell)?
If you're like most people, then there's a temperature range where you're not too hot and not too cold. Judging humidity levels can be a little bit harder, but the comfortable area for many people is between 30-50% humidity. Moving too far outside of this zone can create an environment that feels damp, muggy, or uncomfortably dry.
An excellent first step is to invest in a cheap indoor temperature and humidity sensor. You can purchase one of these devices for a few dollars, and they can help you understand your indoor air conditions better. Try measuring humidity levels in each room throughout the week to see if any part of your home consistently falls outside the comfortable range.
Does It Matter?
Monitoring humidity levels is essential, even if you don't feel uncomfortable. Detecting small humidity changes isn't always easy to do, and other environmental conditions may cover up a humidity problem. Since dry air tends to feel colder, many people turn their thermostats up higher than necessary during winter. This behavior wastes energy while masking the real problem: too little humidity.
Dry air can also impact your health in subtle ways. Since it dries out mucus membranes (such as those found in your nasal passageways), it can lead to unpleasant symptoms and worsening allergies. If the air isn't extremely dry, then the problem's underlying cause may not be apparent. Monitoring your home's humidity levels can help you get to the bottom of these health issues.
What Can You Do?
Overly humid air can cause its share of problems (and be equally uncomfortable), so the goal is always to stay within that humidity Goldilocks zone. Whole-house humidifiers include a humidistat that allows you to set the desired humidity level, ensuring that your home's air remains comfortable without becoming too humid.
Since these units mount to your furnace and include integrated inlet and drain connections, they require very little maintenance compared to room humidifiers. These features make them the ideal option for easily keeping any home at the perfect humidity level for comfort and health.