Living in the northern part of the country means very long and difficult winter seasons.
We expect the cold weather to last for more than half the year. The temperature frequently falls below freezing and sometimes dips into the negative digits. The snow adds up in feet and requires constant plowing and shoveling. When the outdoor temperature is cold, the air tends to be very dry. The lack of essential humidity is worse inside the home. The blast of heat from the furnace sucks moisture out of the air. Overly dry air causes a lot of problems. It can dry out hardwood floors, doors, moldings, antiques and instruments and result in cracking. It leads to issues with chapped lips, bloody noses, headaches, sneezing and coughing. The air dries out nasal passages, making my family more susceptible to respiratory infection. Insufficient humidity can aggravate symptoms of allergies, asthma, psoriasis and eczema. It takes longer to recover from illness in overly dry conditions. Because the air feels colder, it’s tempting to turn up the thermostat. This puts greater strain on the furnace, results in higher energy bills and makes the concerns worse. I tried portable humidifiers, but they proved ineffective. They were also a lot of work. I needed to fill the reservoir with water at least once per day. I finally chose to have a whole-home humidifier installed. The humidifier converts water to steam and introduces it into the heated air as it passes through the ductwork. It operates silently and efficiently and requires only annual maintenance. With the humidifier running 24/7, the house feels warmer and more comfortable at a lower thermostat setting. I’m saving a little money on my monthly heating bills.