Humidifiers add moisture to the air. A humidifier contains an internal reservoir of water. A portable humidifier adds moisture to the air by rolling either a drum covered with an absorbent material or absorbent material on a belt through the water, then blowing air over the wet material. Furnace humidifiers attach to your home's furnace and add water to the hot air the furnace blows into your home every time it runs. The moisture raises humidity in your home.
During the winter, the air in your home can become so dry it causes dry skin, respiratory irritation and nose bleeds. Dry air can cause wooden floors to shrink and warp and can even damage wooden furniture joists. By adding moisture back into the air, humidifiers can make your family more comfortable. If you are ill, a humidifier can make the air around you easier to breathe. By preventing extremely dry air, humidifiers also protect your wood floors and furniture.
Because they contain an internal water reservoir, humidifiers are targets for mold growth, which can lead to them blowing mold spores into your home, spreading the mold and compromising your family's health. To reduce this risk, portable humidifiers require consistent maintenance, including daily changing of water and weekly disinfecting. Humidifiers can leak, damaging the floor beneath them. Furnace humidifiers need to be monitored and receive regular filter cleanings to keep them free from mold.
While humidifiers require maintenance, the health benefits they offer your family are significant during the winter. Humidifiers can be cleaned with common household products, including bleach, hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar. Placing a board or an absorbent pad beneath a portable humidifier will reduce the risk of a leak causing any new damage. Humidifiers come in a range of prices and with several optional features, including humidistats which will automatically turn off the unit once the desired level of humidity in your home has been achieved.