Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Humidify for Winter Energy Savings

If falling Salt Lake Valley temperatures have you headed for the thermostat, keep in mind it costs an average of $144 to heat your home to 65 degrees—and $200 to maintain 72 degrees! Instead of tolerating an indoor chill to save money, consider installing a whole-house humidifier. Moist air retains heat better than dry air, making you more comfortable without turning up the furnace. Plus, a humidifier requires significantly less energy than a furnace or heat pump—so you’ll enjoy twofold energy savings. 


Here’s how it works.

A whole-house humidifier connects to your home’s heating and cooling system, and utilizes the system’s ductwork to circulate moist air throughout your home. High-quality humidifiers monitor humidity levels and are programmed to control moisture output. This is important, because excessive moisture may lead to mold and mildew growth.


The Proven Benefits

Aside from energy savings, humidifiers offer a number of other benefits for homeowners living in Utah’s dry, unforgiving climate. These include:

  • Hydrated skin & hair. Forced air heating can lower humidity to 10 percent, leading to eczema, dry scalp, psoriasis, dry eyes and other bothersome conditions. To remain healthy, skin and hair require humidity levels of 30 to 40 percent. A whole house humidifier can be used year-round to establish these levels.
  • Relief from asthma and allergies. Excessive drying of nasal membranes aggravates asthma, sinusitis and upper respiratory infections while making it more difficult to recover from colds. Appropriate moisture levels improve health and prevent drying of sinus passages.
  • Preservation of wood furniture. Wood becomes parched in dry climates—and may crack or buckle. A Utah whole-house humidifier maintains optimal relative humidity, reducing cracking and other wood damage. (It’s important to note that too much humidity is not good for furniture, either. Your Main Street HVAC specialist can help you establish appropriate humidity levels.) 
  • Reduced static. In addition to the annoyance of unwanted static electricity, too much static may damage electronic equipment. Proper humidification helps to mitigate this condition, which is common in the Salt Lake Valley.

Whole-house humidifiers are surprisingly affordable, and cost depends upon the size of your home and type of HVAC system. However, if a whole-house humidifier isn’t in the budget this year, you can still benefit from purchasing high-quality room humidifiers for bedrooms and living areas. Target, Walmart, big-box stores and other retailers carry these room-sized units, and many stores offer seasonal sales and coupons toward the purchase. Visit ConsumerReports.org for a humidifier buying guide.

To request an estimate for whole-house humidification, or to speak with a Main Street team member about the benefits of Utah humidifiers (including potential energy savings!), call 801-930-5151 or email info@mainstreetcomfort.com today. Our HVAC and humidification specialists provide industry-leading service, and look forward to solving your home comfort problems!