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How Does a Humidifier Work?

After a humid summer in Mathews, Virginia, installing a whole-home humidifier may be the last thing on your mind. However, winter will bring with it drier air, which makes seasonal allergies and illnesses even more uncomfortable. If you aren’t very familiar with humidifiers, now is the perfect time to learn how they work and how they can help to make your home more comfortable during winter.

The Functions

As their name suggests, humidifiers add moisture to the air to increase humidity. Experts recommend keeping indoor humidity at 40 to 50 percent. Excessive humidity will make your home seem stuffy, while insufficient humidity can irritate your skin and respiratory system. Virginia’s climate lends itself to both extremes at different times of the year, with winter being dry and summer being humid. A humidifier helps balance things out, maintaining a constant indoor humidity level during the colder months.

The Technology

All humidifiers add moisture to the air, but they do so in different ways. Some generate steam (steam vaporizers), which they cool before releasing into the air. Others blow moisture through a moistened filter (evaporators) or create a cool mist with the help of ultrasonic vibrations (ultrasonic humidifiers) or high-speed rotating discs (impeller humidifiers).

There are also different sizes. A central humidifier works with your HVAC system to manage the humidity in your home, whereas a portable humidifier can only control a single room or area.

The Benefits

Since low humidity often causes dry skin, cracked lips, sinus congestion, bloody noses, dry coughs, and an irritated throat, a humidifier can help relieve those symptoms. To maximize the benefits, however, you need to follow two rules. First, keep your humidifier clean. A dirty humidifier will add more allergens and irritants to the air. Second, don’t set the humidity too high. That can encourage mold growth and exacerbate respiratory problems.

If you’re ready to breathe a little easier, call Kearney & Sons, Inc. today at (757) 269-9589. Let us help you to choose the right humidifier as well as other indoor air quality solutions that help to improve energy efficiency and comfort in your home.

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