For Your Home

How humid should your home be?

February 29, 2016 • By

Humid-Window

How humid should your home be?                         

Many people are unaware that the level of moisture in the air of their home is doing them harm. Particularly during winter months, low humidity occurs and brings with it an increased risk of dry skin, chapped lips, sinus infection, cough symptoms and much more.

To help balance out the levels of humidity in your home it is a wise idea to purchase a humidifier. Moisture in a room is essential for staying healthy. Humidifiers work to maintain healthy moisture levels in the air. Having humidity in the air is vitally important and not only helps your health, but can also help your furniture to last longer. On top of this, during winter months a humidifier can reduce your bills since humid air feels warmer, and you’ll end up using less energy in an attempt to stay cozy and warm.

Humidifiers can be split into two basic categories: warm mist humidifiers and cool mist humidifiers. Cool mist humidifiers are then broken into two further categories, which are evaporative humidifiers and ultrasonic humidifiers. Some models even offer both warm mist and cool mist options.

It’s not just humidifiers that can help you achieve a healthy balance of moisture in the air of your home, however. Dehumidifiers reduce the levels of moisture in the air should the levels be too high. If the levels are too high, there are many bad effects. These can include damage to your house and condensation and mold build up over time, which could devalue your house or cause you problems in the future. This can also lead to allergies and illness, so be sure to pay careful attention to the level of moisture in your home and consider whether a humidifier or dehumidifier could be for you.

Indeed, relative humidity has gotten more and more attention over the past years and people have started paying a lot of attention to it with regard to their home and their level of comfort in their home. On average, people spend 60% of their time indoors inside their home, and so it’s essential to make sure the level of relative humidity in your home is at the optimal level and you stay healthy.

Humidity levels and your health

When we are outside and it is humid we may feel the air is thick. Inside we react very differently and rather we begin to feel itchy, dry and susceptible to coughs and allergies. Many common illnesses are aggravated, if not caused, by poor air quality in people’s homes.

Having appropriate humidity levels in your home can help prevent flu and the common cold. By adding moisture into the air with a humidifier you filter out viruses and bacteria, and prevent them from spreading. Studies have shown that by raising the indoor humidity in your home to at least 43 percent, approximately 85 percent of airborne bacteria will be ineffective.

In addition, if you suffer from dry skin, chapped lips and other issues, a humidifier can can prevent all of these damaging effects, and leave you with soft, vibrant skin.  If you find yourself waking up with a groggy voice in the morning it could mean that dry air is getting to your vocal cords. By keeping the air moist in your room with a humidifier you can rehydrate your vocal chords while you sleep. And, speaking of sleep, a humidifier can also help to reduce snoring.

Humidity levels and your home

Dry air can cause problems for your furniture. Wooden furniture can crack, and wallpaper can dry out. Your home can also suffer if the level of humidity is too high. If this is the case, you will notice many different things in your home. You may notice a musty odor, mold growth, cupped wooden floors, visible condensation stains and peeling wallpaper. If any of this seems a problem, you may have to look into a dehumidifier.

What is relative humidity?

So, with all this considered we can see how essential it is to maintain a healthy balance of moisture in the air of your home. To do this we adjust the relative humidity found in the air. But what is relative humidity? Wikipedia defines relative humidity as “the ratio of the partial pressure of water vapor to the equilibrium vapor pressure of water at the same temperature.”

Put simply, warm air can carry more water vapor than cold air. When air contains as much vapor as it can hold for the current temperature, it means the humidity level is at 100 percent. Once the air has reached this point it has reached its dew point. At this point water droplets or condensation can become visible on windows, walls and other objects in the home.

To use an example from Wikipedia, if the air temperature is 75 degrees and the relative humidity is 0 percent, then the air temperature will feel like 69 degrees. If the relative humidity is 100 percent then it would feel like 80 degrees.

What is the ideal level of humidity for your home?

Indoors the relative humidity should be kept above 30 percent at least. This will reduce risk of the nasal passages drying out, and will help you to avoid the nasty effects of air that is too dry. That is a minimum, and if your home’s moisture levels are falling below that you should look into the option of purchasing a humidifier for your home.

Humans can, however, be comfortable with a range of different humidity levels depending on the temperature. The range is usually somewhere between 30 percent and 60 percent.

If you live in a climate where the temperature is likely to fluctuate then you should pay careful attention to the relative humidity levels. Generally speaking during winter you should have levels around 30 percent, and during summer between 50 and 60 percent.

It is just as problematic if the relative humidity in the air is too high, and a good humidifier should ensure that the level of humidity is kept right. Some humidifiers come with automatic humidistats, and that means you will not have to worry about adjusting the level of relative humidity since the unit will respond to outside temperatures and adjust itself accordingly. Equally, if the air in your home is already balanced, an evaporative humidifier will be self-regulating since the levels of moisture will not work with the wick inside the unit.

If you find your home is consistently above or below the recommended relative humidity level, it might be time to purchase a dehumidifier or a humidifier. Either one will help ensure you feel healthier, happier and your home and somewhere that is safer and more comfortable to be.


For Your Home

The three types of whole-house humidifiers: which one is right for you?

February 29, 2016 • By

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The three types of whole-house humidifiers: which one is right for you?

Buying a whole-house humidifier is a big investment. Unlike portable humidifiers, these humidifiers are installed into your home and therefore require time, effort, and a little more money to set up and run.

You should consider purchasing a whole-house humidifier if you want your entire house to benefit from a balanced, healthy level of humidity in the air. With an imbalance of humidity, specifically dry air, people report suffering from many ailments. Particularly in winter, the dry air can lead to chapped lips, dry skin, sinus infections, allergies and much more. Moreover, with a good level of humidity in the air, you are less susceptible to illness, will recover quicker from fevers, will stop snoring and will even save on energy bills since you will feel warmer in your home.

People are often caught up deciding between  a whole-house humidifier and a portable humidifier. If humidity levels around your home are constantly low, you should consider getting a whole house humidifier rather than just a portable one. With a portable humidifier, you may fix the problem in one area of the house, but the issues will continue elsewhere. Statistics state that we spend on average 60% of our indoor time inside our house, and so a healthy home is essential!

How humid do you want your home?

Indoors the relative humidity should be kept above 30 percent at all times. This will help you avoid illness, help your furniture last longer and generally leave you and your family much healthier. Humans can be comfortable with a range of different humidity levels depending on the temperature. The range is usually somewhere between 30 percent and 60 percent.

If you live in a climate where the temperature is likely to fluctuate then you should pay careful attention to the relative humidity levels. Generally speaking during winter you should have levels around 30 percent, and during summer between 50 and 60 percent. Your own preferences will also come into play.

What are the different kinds of whole-house humidifiers?

Whole house humidifiers typically attach to your home’s air ducts. They may work independently or alongside your home’s heat cycle. Hot air that flows through your home is diverted into the humidifier. The humidifier processes the air with moisture and then blows it back out through the house vents.

There are three main types of whole house humidifiers. These are Bypass, Fan-Powered and Steam. Now let’s look at these types in more detail.

Bypass Humidifiers

Bypass humidifiers use a furnace to add moisture to the warm air in your home. They suck the warm air in from your home’s heat ducts, where it then passes through a water panel. Here, the air absorbs moisture. This air is then dispersed back into your home as steam.

Bypass humidifiers are usually installed on the Supply or Return part of your forced air system. Some bypass humidifiers, like the Aprilaire 400M, are very efficient at water conservation and will not lead to any water buildup around the unit. If your humidifier is not like this, however, it is recommended to buy a drainless bypass filter, which will reuse the water already in the unit, thus reducing the amount of water that is used and wasted.

Fan-Powered Humidifiers

Fan-powered humidifiers are very similar to bypass humidifiers. The difference is that the fan-powered humidifiers, as you may guess from the name, include a fan. This fan blows air across the water panel which increases the amount of evaporation that takes place. Power humidifiers can therefore produce much more humidity per day. In fact, the total increase can be more than a gallon of humidity each day compared to the bypass humidifier.

Since these humidifiers do not require a bypass duct, they can be installed in relatively small spaces. This makes fan powered humidifiers a great option if your home is built with its HVAC in the closet.

Steam Humidifiers

Steam humidifiers will increase the level of humidity in the air by heating up water until it boils. Once the water is boiled the steam from it will be pushed through your home’s vents by the system’s fan. This type of humidifier is the fastest and most efficient method of increasing and maintaining the right level of humidity in your home. Steam humidifiers also produce the most pure and natural humidity for your home, and will run regardless of your home’s heating situation.

So which type of whole house humidifier is the one for me?

Each type of whole home humidifier comes with advantages and disadvantages. Here we lay out some of them.

Bypass Humidifiers

Pros:

The pros of the bypass humidifiers are that they are the least expensive and the easiest to install.

Cons:

Bypass humidifiers require a lot of maintenance and parts will need replacing frequently. There is also an issue with standing water.

Fan-Powered Humidifiers

Pros:

Unlike the bypass humidifiers, with the fan-powered humidifiers you do not have standing water. Fan-powered humidifiers are also relatively cheap and easy to install. There is little risk of mold.

Cons:

Requires a water line and is always using new water. Not as efficient as steam humidifiers.

Steam Humidifiers

Pros: Steam humidifiers produce steam independently, making control of the humidity levels easier. There is a low risk of mold and they are generally the most effective of the whole house humidifiers.

Cons: Owing to their sophistication, they are also the most expensive and the most difficult to install.

Why buy a humidifier?

Humidifiers help balance the levels of humidity in your home. Moisture in a room is essential for staying healthy. During winter months a humidifier can also reduce your bills since humid air feels warmer, and you’ll end up using less energy in an attempt to stay cozy and warm.

A whole house humidifier is a very good option for people with large homes that want to get a good level of humidity throughout every room in their house. They require a bigger investment than the normal, portable humidifiers, but will give better results and require less frequent maintenance.


For Your Home

Our Top 5 Humidifiers For Your Home

February 29, 2016 • By

humidify-your-home-heroOur Top 5 Humidifiers For Your Home

Buying a whole-house humidifier is a big investment. Unlike portable humidifiers, these humidifiers are installed into your home and therefore require time, effort, and a little more money to set up and run.

You should consider purchasing a whole-house humidifier if you want your entire house to benefit from a balanced, healthy level of humidity in the air. With an imbalance of humidity, specifically dry air, people report suffering from many ailments. Particularly in winter, the dry air can lead to chapped lips, dry skin, sinus infections, allergies and much more. Moreover, with a good level of humidity in the air, you are less susceptible to illness, will recover quicker from fevers, will stop snoring and will even save on energy bills since you will feel warmer in your home.

People are often caught up deciding between  a whole-house humidifier and a portable humidifier. If humidity levels around your home are constantly low, you should consider getting a whole house humidifier rather than just a portable one. With a portable humidifier, you may fix the problem in one area of the house, but the issues will continue elsewhere. Statistics state that we spend on average 60% of our indoor time inside our house, and so a healthy home is essential!

#1 Aprilaire Model 600 Humidifier

If you’re looking for a great performing bypass humidifier, look no further than the Aprilaire Model 600 Humidifier, which is one of the best on the market today. This 24V whole house humidifier comes with automatic control. A water panel evaporator is used that delivers 3 gallons of water an hour. The humidifier can reach up to 4,000 square feet, making it an excellent option for any mid to large sized home.

The Aprilaire Model 600 features a built-in bypass damper, which means that there are fewer parts to install. You will still, however, need to consult an expert for installation should you wish to be eligible for the 5 year warranty offered by Aprilaire Model.

Thanks to its impressive performance, the Aprilaire Model 600 Humidifier delivers up to 50% more moisture than its competitors, making it a real favorite among its customers. In fact, it has one of the highest evaporation rates in the industry at .70 gallons per hour.

Living with the Aprilaire Model 600 is easy, since maintenance is not difficult at all. The unit features a small light that will indicate to you when exactly to change the humidifier filter. It is recommended to change the water panel at least once a year.

If you choose the Aprilaire Model 600 for your home, you’re unlikely to be disappointed with its excellent performance. Suffering from all the symptoms that are brought on by dry air can be frustrating, and a whole house humidifier like the Aprilaire Model 600 can help you to eliminate that discomfort, reducing nose bleeds, scratchy throats and much more.

The Aprilaire Model 600 is slightly more expensive than some of the other units on this list, but considering the performance it is certainly worth the extra money.

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2. Essick Air® AIRCARE EP9 800 Digital Pedestal-Style Evaporative Humidifier

Essick Air® has been manufacturing humidifiers for 95 years. The designer series of Essick®humidifiers has a digital display on the control panel on the front above where the water is filled with its pour-in drop-down opening. The espresso color will go with any décor. The digital humidistat lets you sustain the humidity level of your choosing with accuracy with the actual humidity or your preferred level of humidity. The humidifier shuts off automatically when your desired humidity is reached or when the water reservoir is empty. The reservoir has a 3.5-gallon capacity and will run for 60 hours. The AIRCARE®/Essex 1043 SuperWick replacement is available at Amazon.

This pedestal-style unit humidifies 2500- to 2800-square feet with its variable 9-speed motor. The automatic shut off allows you to set it and then forget about it. The SuperWick is included and 4 casters are included to put on or leave off. The unit plugs into a standard USA 110/120-Volt outlet, and is UL listed.

The dimensions are 17.6” W x 27.5” H x 17.6” D and it weighs 23 pounds. It comes with instructions and a User’s Manual.

The Warranty is 2 years from date of sale on the unit, and 30 days on wicks and filters, which are considered disposable. Proof of purchase must be provided.

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#3 Aprilaire Model Model 400 Humidifier

Coming in just behind the 600 model is the 400 model. The Aprilaire Model 400 is a thoroughly modern humidifier that maximizes the amount of humidity control in the air while using as little water as possible. It is great for households that are in areas where standing water can be a problem as it boasts a drain-free operation system. This also means if you are conscientious about wasting water you will find this to be an eco-friendly option.

The Aprilaire Model Model 400 Humidifier is an evaporative humidifier, meaning that water is drained into the unit’s reservoir. After this process the wick inside the humidifier draws the water back to the top as tiny droplets which are then pushed into the air. This ensures your humidifier will not be wasting any water, making the Aprilaire Model Model 400 one of the most efficient on the market in terms of water wastage.

On top of this, the Aprilaire Model Model 400 is a Whole House Humidifier which means that it can keep your whole house feeling comfortable and with the correct levels of humidity. You will never have to worry about the discomfort caused by dry air again with the Aprilaire Model Whole House Humidifier in your house, and can look forward to all the benefits that come with a humidifier: relief from cough symptoms, help with allergies; longer-lasting furniture and much more.

Like all Aprilaire Model units, the Aprilaire Model 400 is designed so that mold will not build up in your home. The units come with an outdoor temperature sensor that allows the Aprilaire Model 400 to respond to outdoor conditions. This allows the humidifier to keep a relative humidity level in your home that falls below the amount that is shown to promote the growth of mold. Furthermore, the humidifier will not grow mold inside the unit itself since Aprilaire Model humidifiers are designed specifically to avoid the growth of microbial.

Considering all the benefits that come with the Aprilaire Model 400 and the fact that it will supply humidity for your entire home, the relatively low cost of the humidifier (roughly between $150 – $200) makes it a very popular choice among customers. If you live in areas where standing water needs to be avoided, or you are passionate about water conservation, the Aprilaire Model 400 will certainly be the choice for you.

aprilaire-model-600-humidifierprilaire Model 700 Humidifier

In at number 3 is the 700 model. This large capacity unit is one of the best performing, highest capacity humidifiers sold on the market today. It will help bring a balance of humidity into even the largest of homes, making you comfortable, warm and healthy.

The Aprilaire Model 700 Humidifier has an evaporation capacity of 0.75 gallons per hour. This whopping capacity is one of the most impressive on the market and works in homes that are up to 4,200 square foot in size. The unit mounts directly to the duct of your heating and cooling system. This means the humidity is placed directly into the airflow of your house and distributed throughout your home.

This humidifier is almost completely automatic, and even hooks up to the water line. This means you don’t need to worry about filling it up throughout the day, you just sit back and enjoy the benefits that a humidifier can bring to your home.

Using an Aprilaire Model No 35 Water Panel is recommended with the Aprilaire Model 700. This water panel was designed for use with the 700 humidifier and will provide you with the most comfortable output for your humidifier.

If you have a large home and are looking for one of the best humidifiers on the market to make it even more comfortable, the Aprilaire Model 700 humidifier would be an excellent purchase, and comes highly recommended.

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5. Honeywell® HE120A Drum Humidifier

The Honeywell® HE120A is a gray color and is a drum humidifier with easy installation with the included kit. The unit includes a humidistat for knowing and controlling your relative humidity. Humidity will cover up to 2000-square feet. The remarkable and reliable Honeywell® whole-house humidifier works in conjunction with your furnace to sustain a proper, comfortable humidity level throughout your house. It will not rust, warp, or corrode being made of a heavy-duty durable thermoplastic. A drain is not required states Honeywell®, but that is dependent on each situation. The reversible components and snap-lock fittings make it a breeze to install. The 120-Volt power cord is provided.

The electric rating is 24-Volt, 0.125-Amps. The plenum duct opening is 8.5” W x 6.625” H and the by-pass duct opening is 6-inches. The replacement pads, HC12A1015, are available at Amazon.

The dimensions are 10.94” W x 12.75” H x 9.125” D and it weighs11.8 pounds. It comes with instructions and a User’s Manual with a 1-year Warranty.

Bypass Reservior Humidifier -6 inch

Bypass Reservior Humidifier -6 inch