Summer is nearly upon us and so is the heat. That means people across the country will be cranking their ACs. Despite the hot and sticky outdoors, air conditioners dry out the inside of your home.
That’s why it’s good to concurrently run a humidifier. But what is a humidifier and how do you use one?
You’re probably familiar with dehumidifiers, but what exactly does a plain old humidifier do. Well, it does what you’d expect it to.
Whereas a dehumidifier removes moisture from the air, a humidifier adds to it.
A humidifier is a device used in and around the home that produces water vapor and increases the relative humidity level within your home.
If you plan to use a humidifier in your home, you need to be aware that the ideal humidity level within your home is around 40%.
In order to measure this, you should purchase a digital hygrometer or be sure to get a humidifier that has one built in.
You may be asking: Why would I want a humidifier in the first place?
In fact, having and running a humidifier could potentially cause more problems than they solve if not run properly. But for others, a humidifier may very well mean the difference between agitation and relaxation around your home.
If you’ve ever found yourself experiencing allergy-like symptoms inside your home, then a humidifier might be right for you. Those itchy eyes or sore throat might be the side effects of dry air in your home.
By learning how to use a humidifier, you can alleviate and quite possibly eliminate these problems altogether.
The issue is mostly present in the winter, but if you live in a dry climate such as here in San Diego, it’s possible to experience these symptoms all year.
Even if you live in a very wet place, if it’s hot you’re probably running your air conditioner. That’s a sure way to dry out your home. Running a humidifier will help fight dry, itchy skin, even in the summer.
Plus, did you know it can save you money?
Think about it.
Running a humidifier in tandem with your air conditioner means that your AC is cooling wet air. You know those ridiculously overpriced fan/spray bottles sold at amusement parks? It’s the same principle.
Cooler air inside your home means you can raise the temperature on your AC. This in turns cuts your electric bill.
Stop allergies and save money. It’s a win-win.
There are a variety of humidifiers on the market and understanding the different types will help you choose which one is right for you.
As you can see, buying a humidifier is not as simple as it sounds. Once you’ve settled on the right one, running it is pretty simple.
Make sure that your humidifier is in a waterproof location out of the reach of children. Certain types of humidifiers can get hot, and you don’t want your little one to get hurt.
Humidifiers also create a lot of condensation in and around them. If you’re setting your device on a wood surface, be sure to place a tray or piece of plastic beneath.
You’ll also want to point it so that the vapor shoots away from any electrical outlets.
Have you ever noticed a thin layer of black flecks at the bottom of your humidifier after you’ve run it? Or maybe you’ve noticed a white crusty layer forming on it?
These come from minerals in the water, and there are more minerals in hot water than in cold. Cutting back on minerals means that less bacteria will form in your humidifier, thus extending it’s life.
Humidifiers are great for helping alleviate allergy symptoms or battling dryness caused by air conditioners. But running it too much can cause mold or mildew to form in your home if you aren’t paying attention to humidity levels.
This takes us straight into some common humidifier mistakes that need to be avoided.
As previously mentioned, the ideal humidity level in your home is 40%. Anything, and you could experience allergy symptoms. Any more, and you’ll start seeing condensation on the walls.
There is a range, of course. Some people recommend between 30-50%, but it’s better to aim for 35-45%.
40% is the magical number, so being within a few percents of it is perfectly fine.
Mineral buildup can cause more problems than just an increased level of bacteria. It can also clog the pathways within the device itself, which can lead to overheating.
Overheating, then, can mean electrical problems, device failure, and, in worst case scenarios, a fire in your home.
As with any electrical device, maintenance is a must.
Most of these mistakes all stem back to those pesky minerals that are found naturally in our water.
Using tap water means that minerals will be present. But you can avoid minerals altogether by using only distilled or purified water in your humidifier.
Failing to completely empty your tank and wash it out before each use is one of the leading causes of bacteria buildup. Stagnant water is a breeding ground for the stuff.
Adding new water to a mostly empty tank doesn’t kill the bacteria. It just gives it more room to grow.
You wouldn’t put a wet towel back in the closet, and you shouldn’t put a wet humidifier back in the box.
Doing so traps in the moisture, giving it nowhere to escape. Wash your humidifier out, and then let it dry completely before storing it.
Do you have a humidifier? What type did you get?
Have you seen a noticeable difference in your air quality while using it?
We want to hear from you. Drop us a note in the comments below.
If you have any questions or are interested in getting a whole-house humidifier installed, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our agents are ready and willing to assist you.
You’ve done your research. You’ve determined that heat pumps are a good money-saving alternative to other heating systems. But now you’re wondering: “What heat pump size do I need?”
Installing a heat pump that is too large for your home will increase its wear and tear due to overworking. Similarly, a heat pump that is too small may not be able to maintain coolness, increasing discomfort.
In both scenarios, your system ends up costing you more money and energy. In order to determine what heat pump size you need, it is integral to understand how a heat pump works.
Heat pumps are climate-control systems that function similar to an air conditioner. They primarily utilize a refrigeration mechanism for heating and cooling rather than the standard fuel combustion method.
In simple terms, the heat pump extracts warm air on a cold day and cold air on a warm day from outside to regulate the internal climate of your home.
The ability to perfectly size a heat pump requires knowledge and skill that only a certified technician will have.
Unfortunately, not every heat pump installer is professionally skilled. This is why people occasionally end up with poor-functioning or ill-fitting heat pumps.
The basic information all homeowners should know is that heat pumps range from 6Kw – 15Kw. They have an industry standard temperature of seven or thirty-five degrees Celsius. Your choice in heat pump will also rely on three key factors:
Determining the heat pump size you need is not easy, and getting it right is vital in ensuring that it performs at its highest capacity.
Although you can attempt to size a heat pump on your own, it is recommended that you hire an experienced HVAC technician who will be able to confidently size and install your equipment.
In addition to helping you select the proper pump, they can also provide maintenance and repair services should your heating system need it later on down the road. By hiring a professional, you’ll get the perfect heat pump that works efficiently and doesn’t cost
Climate control is an important factor to consider when thinking about home maintenance. Heating and cooling systems are the first things that come to mind when discussing climate control. But how often do you think about changing your humidifier water panel?
During the colder months, a good humidifier can be the difference between a comfort and irritation.
Raise your hand if you like allergies!
Going once. Going twice. No one?
Who am I kidding, nobody likes runny noses, itchy eyes, and sore throats. And if you do, well then there might be something wrong with you.
Not everybody needs a humidifier, but for those that do, keeping it in good working condition is vital for comfort!
Here is a guide on how and why periodically changing your humidifier water panel is important for its longevity and your pocket book.
Your humidifier water panel looks similar to the filters used in a furnace. They are a square mesh that suspends applied water while allowing air to pass through and collect moisture.
They’re are the heart of your humidifier because they generate the humidity that helps keep you comfortable.
It’s a simple process: water is applied to the panel, pushing in hot air and collecting moisture. That moisture-filled air is then distributed throughout your home to maintain comfort.
The water being applied to the water panel usually comes directly from your home’s water supply. Thankfully, this means there is very little work required for your humidifier to function correctly.
In addition to keeping those pesky allergies at bay, water panel replacement is vital because its water supply comes directly from your home.
Minerals found in your water can cause particle build up on the humidifier water panel. This buildup can cause flooding in your humidifier if the water panel and humidifier lines clog.
A clogged water panel also has the potential to grow bacteria or mold. Therefore, it is very important to maintain a clean panel.
Most manufacturers recommend that you change your humidifier water panel at least once per year. But depending on weather conditions, it could be more often than that.
If you experience longer periods of cold weather, then you should check your water panel more often.
Check to ensure that its extra use has not caused the panel to become dirty or clogged in any way.
Changing the humidifier water panel in standard home humidifying systems is a simple process.
First, turn off the water supply to the humidifier. Then locate the panel’s cover which can normally be found near the furnace. Remove the cover and take out the old water panel. After that, simply insert the new panel, replace the cover, turn the water on, and you’re good to go.
If you’re not comfortable with doing these steps yourself, then you can always call your local heating and cooling professionals.
Keeping the humidity in your home balanced is just as important as maintaining the right temperature. Not only can dry air cause a multitude of problems such as dry skin, sore throat, and dry lips, it can also exacerbate cold and flu symptoms and make being sick that much worse.
Avoid these dry air struggles by changing your humidifier water panel regularly and maintaining its efficiency.
Winter is here and so is your dry skin. Perhaps your answer is to raid your local supermarket for moisturizer and lather up, but there may be a simpler solution. Have you considered that it might be a good time to use a humidifier?
During the colder months, it is common for skin to get drier, redder, and more irritated. If you want to enjoy the winter season, then you’ll want to consider using a humidifier to freshen up your home.
Humidifiers are tools that help add moisture to the air around your house. They help reduce the dryness usually experienced during the autumn and winter months.
According to Healthline, humidifiers are used to relieve dryness of the skin, throat, and nose. They are also used to help alleviate symptoms related to the common cold or the flu.
The way a humidifier works is by releasing water vapor into the air in your home. This raises the level of humidity around you.
Have you ever had nose bleeds due to dry nasal passages during the winter?
Well, using a humidifier can alleviate this problem!
Additionally, humidifiers can reduce snoring and other common symptoms of a dry nasal system. Below are a number of other significant benefits of using humidifiers during the dry, cold months.
Some of the largest benefits if you use a humidifier include the alleviation of skin and respiratory symptoms.
If you suffer from dry skin or allergies, using a humidifier will help you. It also helps reduce throat or nasal passage dryness, coughing, cracked lips, bloody noses, dry and itchy eyes, and/or sinus headaches.
During the cold winter months, air is more likely to be dry and lead to worsening symptoms for the lungs, nose, lips, and skin. As such, using a humidifier is necessary to keep the air moist.
One study has even found that humidifiers play a role in reducing your risk of getting the flu. In the study, it was found that humidity levels above 40% quickly deactivated flu virus particles.
In addition, adding moisture to the air through a humidifier can make a cough more productive. With more moisture in the airways, a cough can actually release trapped phlegm.
Plus, since dry nasal passages make snoring during the night worse, adding a humidifier overnight could alleviate these symptoms. Individuals with allergy or asthma symptoms that flare up during the winter can also benefit if they use a humidifier.
Adding more moisture to the nasal and throat passageways will make a big difference by alleviating symptoms.
Although winter is the most well-known time to use a humidifier, it is not the only season.
During the spring, there is an increase of pollen in the air resulting in more allergic reactions. Viruses may also be floating in the atmosphere and once people begin turning on their air conditioners to battle the warmer temperatures, they risk drying out the air in their home.
Humidifiers can play a major role in alleviating dry air during both the cold and warm seasons. Essentially, it is helpful to use a humidifier year-round in order to keep your skin and nasal passages from drying out.
Overall, humidifiers will help your home retain more moisture and alleviate a number of health-related symptoms.
Contact us to find the right humidifier for your home’s needs, whether they be seasonal or year-round.
Most of us spend much of our time indoors. The air that we breathe in our homes, schools and offices can put us at risk for health problems. Some pollutants can be chemicals, gases and living organisms like mold and pests. As winter approaches and the weather slowly begins to drop, we must accept that it’s finally time to face the cold. Preparing your climate-control systems for this temperature change is vital to both saving money and preserving your system.
It costs money to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home or office. When your only defense against the cold is to crank up the heater, you’ll end up spending more than you need to. Here are a few helpful tips to implement in order to maintain a steady indoor room temperature this season.
The cheapest heat source on the market is the one that Mother Nature provided: the sun. Although it may have traveled south for the winter, the sun still has an impact, and you can tap into its energy simply by opening your curtains during daylight hours. Houses are insulated to maintain temperature, so if you don’t let the sun in during the day then it will retain its nightly chill. Conversely, when the sun goes down, shut the curtains. This keeps the heat captured throughout the day from escaping. The whole process costs nothing except for a minute of your time.
It is unlikely that your home is always occupied. Between work, school, and social events there are most likely multiple time periods in which your home is left vacant and doesn’t need to be temperate controlled. However, when you get home after a long day out in the cold, you’re going to want your house to already be warmed. This is why you need a programmable thermostat. These devices offer a number of convenient options including:
There’s a good chance that your ceiling fan takes a break during winter. What you may not have realized, however, is that they often have a winter setting. If your fan has the ability to turn clockwise rather than counter clockwise, then you can take advantage of one of its lesser known features. When the heat rises, its reversed motion will push the heat back down, thus helping you avoid having your precious heat trapped at ceiling-level where you can’t feel it. Repurposing your already existing cooling technology is a great way to avoid purchasing heaters and other seasonal equipment.
Your primary source of heat is a machine. Just as you maintain your car, you need to maintain your heater. There are a few rules of thumb to follow when it comes to your maintenance schedule:
Fortunately, the cold winter months make up a small percentage of the year. The bad news is that this can make it easy to put off proper winterization. Preparing your home for seasonal changes by learning how to get the most out of your equipment is a proactive measure to save money on your electricity bill during extreme temperatures. Now that you know how to maintain a comfortable indoor room temperature, contact us for a maintenance appointment to help you make it through the cold winter months comfortably and save money in the process.