A Quick Guide to Humidifiers


Waking up parched? Suffering from dry mouth? Noticing you sound like Colleen Dewhurst first thing in the morning? Noticing you get sick easier than you used to? Before you call the doctor, make sure the culprit isn’t the dry air in your home. WebMD notes that dry air indoors, especially in the winter time, can lead to a host of problems. Here’s why you should consider a humidifier, and how Ace Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning can help.

Dry Indoor Air Causes Problems

If the air in your home is too dry, it has consequences for you, your family, and practically everything in your home. Static electricity is more common with dryer air. So are dry skin, snoring, nosebleeds, sinus infections, cold and flu, and cottonmouth. You’re not the only one that suffers. Houseplants need moisture, as does your furniture.

Humidifier Benefits

Obviously a humidifier can help with a number of common issues. There’s an added bonus. You know that in the summer someone always has to say, “It ain’t the heat that gets you. It’s the humidity.” They’re right (even if you’re sick of hearing it); humid air feels warmer, so using a humidifier can actually lower your heating bills. So if you’d like better health, better sleep, and being able to walk across the carpet without electrocuting the cat when you pet her, a humidifier could be just the thing.

Choosing the Right Humidifier

A quick Google search yields dozens of home hacks to humidify your home, from hang-drying your clothes to setting out bowls of water on your registers. Those things can help, but they’re only short-term fixes for small spaces. Time to buy a humidifier.

There are a few different types of humidifiers.

Warm Mist Humidifiers

Warm mist humidifiers used to boil water in order to turn it into a fine mist. This poses safety concerns around pets and kids, so it’s more common now for the unit to gently heat the water and then use ultrasonic technology to generate mist.

Ultrasonic Humidifiers

These are the most common humidifiers, using high-frequency sound to turn water into a fine mist. They’re energy-efficient, quiet, and some models can provide either a warm or cool mist.

Evaporative and Impeller Humidifiers

An evaporative humidifier uses a wick to draw water from a reservoir, then uses a fan to evaporate the water and distribute the vapor. These tend to be somewhat lower maintenance. An impeller humidifier works by agitating the water very rapidly, using blades to the same effect that an ultrasonic humidifier uses sound.

There’s one last solution to consider: a central humidifier, or whole-house humidifier. These typically require professional HVAC installation (which, naturally, Ace Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning will be more than happy to provide).

Humidifier Maintenance

This could easily take up an article all its own. In the interest of brevity, here are a few quick tips to keep your humidifier healthy. Read the manual so you ensure you’re operating the humidifier correctly. This will also let you know if there are parts that need to be replaced, and will often have cleaning tips from the manufacturer. Follow them! Change the water daily, and if your municipal water leaves mineral deposits, use distilled water in your humidifier.

If your home doesn’t feel as warm as it used to, low humidity could be one culprit. Contact Ace Plumbing at 916-455-4548 for a quick system check. We can find and troubleshoot your problem, or advise a solution if it turns out your HVAC system isn’t the culprit. Call today!