Whether you enjoy cozying up by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate or partaking in outdoor snow activities, winter has plenty to offer. And for those who are fans of colder temperatures and snowy weather, it’s also quite a beautiful time of year. Regardless of your feelings about the season, winter also means an overall drop in temperature and humidity. Lower humidity levels can have serious consequences for both your home and health. To combat the concern, many consider the benefits of using humidifiers in winter.
Some telltale indicators of low humidity levels include: dry skin, worsening cold and flu symptoms, static shock or warping wood floors. That’s just to name a few. And while you cannot control the weather outside, you can control the temperature and humidity level indoors. Keep reading to find out the many health and home benefits that come from using humidifiers, and how to choose the best winter humidifier for your indoor space.
How Does Winter Affect Humidity in the Air?
But first, what even is the connection between winter season and humidity? It’s actually the connection between temperature and humidity. Indoor humidity levels, or relative humidity, is measured as how much moisture is in the air at a specific temperature compared to how much moisture could be in the air at said temperature. So, as temperatures drop in winter, so does humidity because cooler air cannot hold as much moisture. And the lack of moisture results in drier air, AKA a low humidity level.
As the weather gets colder, you also rely on your home’s heating system to keep you warm. This is another way the winter season and weather impacts indoor humidity. While your home’s furnace is working to keep you warm and comfortable in the cold, it sadly also helps lower indoor humidity levels. That dry air feel indoors is maybe the worst part of winter weather. Thankfully, whole-home humidifiers can help.
Benefits of Using Humidifiers in the Winter
There are many benefits to adding humidification to your home’s HVAC system. Specifically in the winter, when low indoor humidity is a common problem, humidifiers help preserve home quality and improve occupant health. Here is a quick breakdown of some of the perks:
1. Humidifiers increase moisture levels. This is an obvious one, but ensuring your home has good humidity levels truly has several benefits. It eliminates common winter air issues such as:
- Congestion – a humidifier keeps your nasal cavity and sinus system from drying out, meaning less congestion and sinus issues
- Scratchy throat – again humidity keeps your nasal cavity and throat from drying out (especially overnight!)
- Dry skin and chapped lips – extra moisture in the air helps keep skin and lips moisturized
- Reduces nose bleeds
- Reduces sinus headaches
2. Less dry indoor air in the winter means fewer symptoms for those with allergies, asthma and other respiratory conditions.
3. Reduces static electricity meaning less shocks and static cling.
4. Helps preserve wood and paper materials in your home. This includes wood furniture and hardwood floors which can shrink due to low humidity. Humidity regulation also benefits wallpaper, paint and the structure of your home.
5. Humidity control also reduces the risk of infection and helps prevent viruses and germs from spreading indoors. Humidifiers help prevent illness because moisture in the air makes it harder for bacteria and viruses to travel and spread indoors.
6. Better sleep! Added moisture can also help alleviate snoring.
7. Humidification can help you save money on utility bills. Higher indoor humidity means it feels warmer and you won’t have to set the heat as high, saving money and energy.
Health, Humidity & Germs
The possible health benefits of using a humidifier is often the main reason homeowners pursue humidity control. For anyone that has woken up to dry indoor air in the winter, you likely know the pain of a scratchy throat, stuffy nose, dry skin and chapped lips. Increased indoor humidity prevents your nasal passage and sinus system from drying out in the first place.
This also helps prevent infection and illness. The science behind this? The drier your nasal passage, the easier it is to absorb virus and bacteria particles. This means relative humidity levels indoors influences how infection spreads. How exactly do germs thrive in dry air conditions? In dry air, the infectious droplet can float through the air longer and travel farther because it is lighter. Compared to an indoor space with proper humidity regulation, the droplet would grow in size and weight due to the moisture in the air and fall faster. Research about the impact indoor humidity has on infection is ongoing, but it’s clear that humidifiers help reduce the risk of illness and infection.
The IAQ Solution: Whole-Home Humidification
The warmer your indoor air, the drier. And that goes for the entire home. This is why we suggest whole-home humidification solutions. In our book, it’s the best winter humidifier option. Compared to a portable unit, a whole-home system is actively ensuring ideal humidity levels for the entire living space.
Whole-home humidification includes all the benefits, while also a low-maintenance upgrade. It installs directly into your home’s HVAC system and works in tandem with the existing system. The humidifier system adjusts and regulates your home’s air and levels automatically. This provides your space with the healthiest, cleanest air at all times.
Another huge advantage to a whole-home system? You don’t have to worry about the nuances of a standalone unit. There is no ensuring correct water levels, changing the water regularly, buying distilled water or cleaning that comes with a portable humidifier. Standalone units need to be throughly and regularly cleaned to prevent bacteria and mold growth. Compared to a whole home-system that improves you and your family’s health without the labor, the answer should be clear. A whole-home purifier is truly a hassle-free upgrade.
Choose Humidity Control This Winter
There are many benefits of using humidifiers in winter. Humidification systems actively increase the amount of moisture in the air, making it an ideal winter season fix. As the colder weather continues, we can help you find a local IAQ expert to evaluate your space for a whole-home humidification system. Investing in a home humidifier benefits your health, your family’s health and your home!