Step outside, breath deeply, and feel that first touch of cold winter air--how invigorating! That cold air brings not only the promise of winter, but also a guarantee of something else�dry air. And while dry air isn't a bad thing in the great out-of-doors, it can be difficult to live with inside your home. Purchasing a humidifier keeps the air in your home from getting too dry during those frosty months of the year.
When you begin to research humidifier options you will find that two types exist: portable ones and permanent ones. Both types of units work efficiently, but are designed to solve different problems. Portable units are good to use when one area in your house needs more moisture�maybe a third floor bedroom. You can use this unit anywhere in your home, as long as you have some sort of flat surface to set it on. And you can move it from room to room, if you so desire. If your whole house needs humidity, however, install a permanent humidifier. This unit attaches to the ductwork of a forced-air furnace. When your hot air is forced through the ducts, moisture goes along with it.
A humidifier, like any other household appliance, requires maintenance. Since they typically contain standing water, mold and bacteria find a perfect environment for growth. Your humidifier�s water reservoir should be treated with an antibacterial solution regularly. Check your instructions for manufacturer�s suggestions on particular brands of solution. In addition, the reservoir on a portable unit should be washed regularly. Generally warm water and soap are sufficient to adequately clean the unit, but check the instruction manual in case certain cleansing products are needed. For a permanent unit, be sure to regularly disassemble it for cleaning and disinfecting.
After you set up and turn on your humidifier, you will need to watch the humidity level in your home. Excess humidity causes mold and mildew to grow inside the walls of your home, which can cause structural damage to the building and isn't good for your family. Airborne bacteria from mold or mildew is often a cause of serious illness. To avoid these situations, purchase a hygrometer to measure the level of humidity in your home. Generally a level of 40 to 50 percent provides a comfortable environment for most people.
You want your home to feel comfortable all year long. Your heating and cooling system allows you to live in just the right air temperature. A humidifier will allow you to live with just the right amount of moisture in your home and prevent dry, cold weather from taking over.
Sources used in this article include www.repairclinic.com and Michigan State University Extension.