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8 Ways to Raise Your Home's Humidity

8 Ways to Raise Your Home’s Humidity

By Humidifiers, Residential

In the winter, humidity levels in your home can reach uncomfortable lows due to the combination of your heating unit and the dry outdoor air. This can cause a slew of problems like dry, cracked skin, dry eyes, and even respiratory issues. Luckily, there are lots of tricks and methods you can use to raise your home’s humidity. Check out 8 of our best tips for keeping your home’s humidity levels comfortable all season long.

1. Boil water on your stove

One simple, tried-and-true way to increase your home’s humidity is to boil a pot of water on your stove. As the water heats up, moisture is released into the air. Similarly, you can place bowls or cups filled with water around your home, on top of radiators or other sources of heat. This will allow the water to evaporate and increase humidity.

2. Air-dry your laundry

Instead of using your dryer, try air-drying your clothes in the winter. Get a drying rack to hang your recently washed items and set it near a radiator. With this method, you’re killing two birds with one stone – drying your clothes and adding humidity to your home at the same time. Plus, you’ll likely save money on your energy bills from the reduced dryer usage.

3. Get some houseplants

Adding indoor plants to your home isn’t just for decoration. Houseplants help purify the air in your home and raise humidity through transpiration. This process occurs when water absorbed by the plant’s roots is circulated through the stem and up to the leaves. At that point, it gets released into the air, adding moisture. Keep your plants hydrated by watering and misting regularly for the best results.

4. Utilize your shower steam

When you shower, the steam adds plenty of humidity to your bathroom. Take advantage of this steam by leaving your bathroom door open during showers, if possible, to disperse the moisture through a wider area of your home. In addition, keeping the bathroom fan turned off will keep moisture levels high. If you take baths, consider leaving the water in the tub to cool before draining. This will allow water vapor to further humidify your home.

5. Cook at home often

Like the boiling water tip, cooking meals can also boost your home’s humidity levels. Whenever you cook food at home, especially when it involves boiling something like pasta or potatoes, moisture is released into the air. Leave the lids off pots and pans as you cook to allow the condensation to accumulate and increase humidity.

6. Upgrade your doors and windows

Inefficient windows and doors let out both heat and moisture from the inside of your house. Installing newer doors and windows can resolve this issue, keeping that humidity from leaking outside. For a less costly option, you can use sealants or weather stripping to seal cracks and leaks.

7. Install a humidifier

By far, the most effective way to raise your home’s humidity is to install a humidifier. While single-room, portable humidifiers can provide some relief, a whole-house humidifier is the most efficient option.

There are different types of whole-house humidifiers that can raise your entire home’s humidity, like bypass humidifiers or powered humidifiers. The kind that will work best for you depends on your home, your needs, and your budget. Guidance from a professional HVAC company can help you determine the best fit.

8. Get professional assistance

If you’re struggling with low humidity in your home, reach out to an HVAC professional. Apart from a humidifier installation, many of these tips will only take you so far. HVAC experts An HVAC expert like Hauck Brothers can examine your home and identify the best options for your specific needs. Contact us today to learn how we can help raise your home’s humidity and keep your family comfortable this winter.

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hauck brothers ready for winter

Are you ready for Winter?

By Furnaces, Heating, Humidifiers

Let’s talk about comfort in the fall and winter for the Miami Valley in regards to heat and humidity. According to the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and the Building America (BA) Climate Zones, the Miami Valley sits on the border of Mixed-Humid and Cold BA Zone and the border of 4 and 5 IECC Climate Zone. What does that mean to you? A cold climate is defined as a region with between 5,400 and 9,000 heating degree days (65°F basis). The Building America cold climate corresponds to the IECC climate zones 5 and 6. A mixed-humid climate is defined as a region that receives more than 20 inches (50 cm) of annual precipitation, has approximately 5,400 heating degree days (65°F basis) or fewer, and where the average monthly outdoor temperature drops below 45°F (7°C) during the winter months. The Building America mixed-humid climate zone includes the portions of IECC zones 4 and 3 in category A above the “warm humid” line. In short, we experience high heat and high humidity for a few weeks per summer and extreme cold with low humidity a few weeks per winter. climate regionsHow does that relate to you and how comfortable you are at home or work? The HVAC system in your home or office should be designed to handle your heating and cooling needs at all times of the year, no matter the weather, no matter the season. According to Merriam-Webster, comfort can be defined as “contented well-being, a feeling of relief, and a satisfying or enjoyable experience.” When we refer to comfort in HVAC we refer to Thermal Comfort. Thermal Comfort refers to ASHRAE Standard 55, which establishes the ranges of indoor environmental conditions that are acceptable are about 67°F to 82° and is achieved by accounting for a combination of factors. Those six factors are metabolic rate, clothing insulation, air temperature, radiant temperature, air speed, and humidity. Your HVAC System should be designed by a professional to account for these facts.

In the Miami Valley, we focus more on heating than cooling. Furnaces are sold as single stage, two stage, and modulating variable speed. Last year we talked about those options, click here to view. With modulating, variable speed furnaces the fan is always on. Don’t worry, the fan uses as much electricity as a 100-watt light bulb over the course of a year. By having the fan on the furnace changes its speed and slows down the airflow through the system. This allows for precise temperature control throughout the building and increased comfort as the air is constantly moving. This also allows the HVAC system to do a tremendous job at dehumidification during the cooling season and with a humidifier, better humidification during the heating season. This also means your air is running through the air purification system and removing more dust, allergens, and contaminants.

Modulating variable speed furnaces are also more efficient than single stage and even two stage options. They meet the qualifications for Energy Star and qualify for most utility company rebates. Let’s not forget about other sources of heat as well. Oil furnaces have models available with variable speed blowers that improve the overall comfort while being more energy efficient. Heat Pumps have models available with variable speed and two stage operation, this includes ductless models as well. Boilers have models with modulating gas valves. Electric Furnaces or Fan Coils have options available with variable speed and multi-speed blowers. In short, whatever your home or business heating and cooling needs may be, we have options that will improve your overall comfort.

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