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Choosing A Whole-Home Humidifier: Comparing Steam and Evaporative Humidification

A whole-home humidifier offers many health and home benefits. Learn the differences between steam and evaporative humidifiers.

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whole-home humidifier

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You’re sitting in your living room watching television, and you can feel your eyes, nose and lips start to dry out. Or, you’re trying to fall asleep in your bedroom and the person next to you is snoring, loudly. The air in your home is so dry that it is creating and exacerbating these symptoms, making everyday life uncomfortable. The good news? There is a solution to this problem! Investing in a whole-home humidifier.

What Is a Whole-Home Humidifier?

A whole-home humidifier monitors and regulates the level of indoor relative humidity throughout your home. This is useful for any space that suffers from dry indoor air and is particularly beneficial for those that live in dry, desert-like climates.

The humidifier utilizes a humidistat to determine whether or not the air in your home is too dry. For example, if the air in your home registers below the ideal level, the humidifier will add moisture. Once the air has reached the ideal 40 to 60% humidity range, the humidifier will turn off. Whole-home humidity control solutions provide automatic adjustments for a healthy and comfortable indoor living space.

Do Humidifiers Help With Indoor Air Quality?

In order for indoor air quality to thrive, your home’s humidity level should fall between the aforementioned 40 to 60% range. That is to say—dry indoor air with humidity levels below 40% exacerbates allergies, asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Dry air can also increase the spread of viruses and bacteria causing numerous health issues. Furthermore, it is generally uncomfortable to live in a home permeated by dry air.

Take a look at the chart below to better understand how dry air can impact your and your family’s health. Obviously, the mid humidity range helps ensure a healthier indoor space.

Dry Air40-60%
Allergies𐄂
Asthma𐄂
Respiratory Illnesses𐄂
Viruses𐄂
Bacteria𐄂
Dust Mites𐄂𐄂

What Is the Difference Between a Steam and Evaporative Humidifier?

There are two main different kinds of whole-home humidifier systems: steam humidifiers and evaporative humidifiers. Steam humidifiers utilize an internal reservoir to heat water and convert it into steam. That steam is then expelled into the surrounding area, increasing the humidity level. Evaporative humidifiers utilize an internal humidifier pad drenched in water. Warm air is blown over the humidifier pad to evaporate the water which is then expelled into the surrounding area, thus also increasing indoor humidity.

Choosing between an evaporative or steam model often comes down to preference. Many conclude that a steam humidifier is the better option overall—and you might too! Steam humidifiers are often more cost-effective in the long run and can require less maintenance, while others opt for an evaporative model which offers a cheaper upfront price. Your decision will likely bank on location as well. The better model for your house depends on how many months out of the year you need added humidity.

Why Choose a Whole-Home Humidifier?

Whole-home humidifiers get the job done. Plain and simple. A whole-home humidification system is installed directly into your HVAC system. Regardless of square footage, it will work with your home’s existing HVAC system to provide comfortable living and healthy indoor air in every single room.

A whole-home humidifier decreases the chances of illness and undesirable symptoms caused by dry air. Furthermore, it reduces static electricity and protects the integrity of your home. When the air is too dry, it can cause floorboards to creak, gaps between walls and ceilings to form, wood furniture to crack and books to warp.

These issues can be resolved efficiently and effectively with a whole-home humidifier. Whether you choose steam or evaporative technology, you will be more than happy with your IAQ investment. We can help you find a local HVAC contractor with IAQ experience to determine the best whole-home humidifier for your space!

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Indoor air quality matters. Indoor air quality control solutions work. That’s why we are IAQ.Works. We are the homeowner’s advocate. Our goal is to help you create a healthier indoor space through education, awareness and action. We support clean air for all and we know it’s possible for every single indoor space. Join us on Twitter!

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