How a Home Humidifier Can Help in a Cold Climate

Anyone living in Alaska knows the winters get brutal.  Temperatures plummet, the wind whips, and the air inside our homes can get drier than the Sahara desert.  All that dry air isn’t just uncomfortable, it wreaks havoc. Our skin cracks, our houses creak, and it seems like we’re constantly battling a cold. Many of us just accept this as the price of living here, but there’s a simple way to fight back. Let’s talk about humidifiers.

Why is Winter Air So Dry?

You might wonder why our Alaskan winters are so dry in the first place. No matter what type of furnace you have, cold air can’t hold as much moisture as warm air. It’s like a sponge; the colder the sponge, the less water it can soak up. So, when those frigid temperatures roll in, the outside air gets squeezed of its moisture. This dry air then seeps into our homes through cracks and ventilation systems, leaving us feeling parched.

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What Does Dry Air Do to a Home?

Those long, harsh winters take a toll on our homes thanks to that dry air. If you love wooden furniture, floors, or even musical instruments, this is bad news. Wood needs a bit of moisture to stay healthy.  Dry air sucks that moisture out, leaving wood prone to cracking, warping, and shrinking. If you have a nice hardwood floor, you might notice gaps opening up, or hear creaks you never did before.

Beyond your prized possessions, the entire structure of your home can suffer. Walls might develop small cracks. Door frames and window frames can shift, making things harder to open and close.  These gaps let even more of that frigid air inside, making it tough to stay warm.

Finally, there’s that pesky static electricity. Sure, it might seem funny to shock your family members, but that constant static means your home is seriously lacking in moisture.

Dry Air vs. Your Body

Of course, it’s not just your house that suffers. Dry air takes a toll on our bodies too.  The most obvious is probably dry skin. It gets itchy, flaky, and can even become cracked and painful.  If you already have skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, the dryness can make them much worse.

Your eyes and nose don’t escape the dryness either.  Ever wake up with your eyes feeling gritty or your nose scratchy and congested?  Low humidity is often the culprit. Dry air can also increase your chances of catching a cold or other respiratory problems – not ideal in a cold climate.

Lastly, here’s something you might not realize: dry air makes you feel colder. That’s because moisture in the air helps hold in heat.  So, even if your thermostat is set comfortably, a dry house will leave you reaching for another sweater.

Enter the Humidifier

It’s time to bring in the cavalry: the humidifier! These devices work by adding moisture back into the air, combating the drying effects of our harsh winters. There are a few different types of humidifiers:

  • Central Humidifiers: These connect directly to your home’s heating and ventilation system, delivering moisture to every room.
  • Portable Humidifiers: These range from small units for a single room to larger ones that can humidify multiple areas.

No matter which type you choose, it’s important to maintain proper humidity levels. Aim for between 30-50% humidity. Too little moisture won’t solve the problem, and too much can lead to mold and other issues.

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Humidifier Benefits Beyond the Obvious

We’ve covered the basics of how a humidifier can help your skin and your house. But there are some other benefits you might not have thought of.

First up: savings on heating costs.  Remember how we said that moist air feels warmer? A humidifier can make your home feel more comfortable at a slightly lower thermostat setting, potentially trimming your energy bills.

Improved sleep might be another surprising bonus. Less congestion and scratchy throats from dry air can lead to a better night’s rest, especially if you’re prone to snoring or breathing problems.

Finally, a humidifier adds to your home’s overall comfort.  It eliminates that parched, stuffy feeling that can plague us all winter.  Think of it as an investment in feeling cozy and content within your own walls.

The Value of Professional Humidifier Installation

While portable humidifiers are a good starting point, for the best results, consider having a central humidifier professionally installed.  Here’s why it’s worth considering:

  • Integration: A central humidifier seamlessly connects to your HVAC system. This means consistent humidity throughout your home, with no need to refill individual units.
  • Efficiency: Professionals can select the perfect humidifier for your home’s size and needs, ensuring maximum moisture with optimal energy use.
  • Expertise: Installers ensure proper placement and calibration of your humidifier. They can also advise on the ideal humidity levels for your home and climate.
  • Maintenance: While humidifiers don’t require loads of maintenance, having a professional on call can save you hassle should any issues arise.

The Process of Humidifier Installation

The process of installing a central humidifier isn’t overly complex, but it does require some specific knowledge and skills. Professionals will properly hook up the humidifier to your water supply, connect it to your HVAC ductwork, and ensure all components are working seamlessly. Choosing a professional means you can relax, knowing everything is correctly installed and maximizing the benefits of your humidification system.

Fight Back Against Dry Winter Air with Mountain Mechanical

Here at Mountain Mechanical, we’re Alaskan home comfort experts. We understand the challenges our climate throws at your home, and we can help you breathe easier (literally!) with a professionally installed central humidifier. Don’t wait another winter dealing with dry air. Contact Mountain Mechanical today for a consultation and let us show you how a humidifier can transform your home’s comfort.