How Whole House Humidifiers Differ From Portable Models

whole house humidifier, Long Island, New YorkExcessively dry indoor air is uncomfortable and even unhealthy. It can also cause damage to wood furniture and musical instruments. The solution is a whole house humidifier that can keep the air at an ideal relative humidity.

You might be considering a portable model instead of a whole house unit, but every difference between these two options points to whole house humidifiers as the better choice.

Whole house humidifiers:

  • Offer precise humidity control — Unlike a portable unit, a whole house humidifier monitors the humidity levels in your home and delivers the ideal amount of moisture into the air, based on how you set the humidistat. Portable units can over-humidify a room, because there is no way for the unit to read the current relative humidity of the space. Overly humid rooms are just as uncomfortable and potentially damaging to wood as air that is too dry, not to mention their effect on your health.
  • Humidify the entire home — To accomplish a consistent relative humidity throughout your home, you would need to purchase a portable humidifier for every room or two. Even then, the humidity level can easily be higher in some areas than others. A whole house humidifier evenly distributes moisture to every room through the furnace’s ductwork and registers. Plus, the cost of a whole house humidifier could actually be less than multiple portable units needed to equal the humidifying power offered by a whole house unit.
  • Require very little maintenance  — Many portable units must be cleaned daily and disinfected often to prevent microbial growth caused by standing water. Whole house humidifiers don’t have standing water, so the only maintenance required is to clean the unit out every fall before heavy use in the dry winter. You can do this yourself, but it’s generally a task best left to a professional–and it’s often a service contractors offer as part of HVAC maintenance.

Installing a whole house humidifier is the key to alleviating dry sinuses, itchy skin, sore throats, chapped lips, and static electricity buildup. It’s also the key to keeping your wood furniture from cracking and warping. Learn more by contacting us at T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating. Proudly serving the homeowners of Long Island.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).   For more information about other HVAC topics,  download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Humidity meter image via Shutterstock