When Should I Turn On My Humidifier This Winter?

winter humidifier

Ottawa residents are no stranger to the quick onset of frigid winter temperatures. With cold weather comes a new set of indoor air quality issues, namely dry air. Dry winter air can cause a number of adverse health effects, including dry skin, itchy eyes, dry nose and throat, and nose bleeds, but most of these side effects can be combated by a humidifier.

We often get asked by homeowners, “When should I turn on my humidifier this winter?” There isn’t an exact date we can give you because the onset of cold temperatures varies from year to year. The best approach is to turn on your humidifier when you start to notice the air in your home is dry, but you can also act proactively and start using them as soon as you fire up your furnace for the season.

Canadians spend roughly 90% of their time indoors during the winter due to cold temperatures and inclement weather, so it’s important to have the best air quality possible in your home. During the winter, this means having the appropriate moisture levels in your home’s air. The moisture content in the air should be between 30% to 50%. Humidifiers are the best way to balance the moisture levels in your home, but there are a few things to consider when choosing the right humidifier for your home this winter.

Portable Humidifiers
Portable humidifiers can improve the air quality in individual rooms and be moved as necessary, but they aren’t an effective way to improve the overall air quality in your home. The problem with these units is that they have no moisture sensing capabilities, so they will continue to run unless you turn them off. This can cause the moisture levels in your home to exceed 50%, which promotes mold and mildew. They also have reservoirs that need to be manually filled.

Whole-Home Humidifiers
Whole-home humidifiers are the best way to combat dry air and improve the overall air quality in your home during the winter. They are installed to work in conjunction with your furnace to disperse moist air throughout your home. There are a number of options available, but they all have some form of moisture sensor, so they only turn on when the moisture levels in your home drop below the set percentage. They are also hooked up directly to your home’s water supply in most cases, so you never have to worry about remembering to fill them.

Interested in a whole-home humidifier to help you combat dry winter air this season?
Team Harding can help!

Harding Heating & Air Conditioning has been proudly serving Ottawa’s comfort needs for over 25 years. Our team is dedicated to providing our clients with reliable service and dependable equipment.

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