Do you wake up some mornings feeling parched, dry nose and itchy eyes? Are the hardwood floors in your new log home creaking and groaning like an old ship? Did static electricity make loved ones and pets cringe at the touch?
Culprit – Dry Air
Humidity in Your Log or Timber Home
Without enough moisture, both you and your home will suffer. Dry air is also a dollar-and-cents issue because adding water vapor to your home can also reduce your heating bills. The solution is simple enough though. It’s a matter of boosting the level of humidity inside your home. Increasing your relative humidity by 10% is roughly equivalent to raising the room temperature by one degree.
Years ago people would boil a kettle of water on the wood stove, this was low cost but not very effective, it only worked because the wood stove was in the center of the living area. Typically with today’s much larger log home the kettle on top of the wood stove is just totally inadequate.
Humidifier Types & Options
So, it’s clear that moist air is better for you. The question is what’s the best way to create it? Several options are available ranging from portable counter top humidifiers to whole house systems. Here are some guidelines to help you decide what’s best for you:
Firstly a humidifiers output is measured in gallons per 24 hr period:
- Portable humidifiers – simple to operate, easy to install, counter top size or free standing. The main disadvantage is the small area they cover and they can be noisy.
- Humidifier-air cleaners – Some manufacturers produce appliances that both purify and humidify, filters and ultra violet light bulbs have to be replaced periodically.
- Whole house systems – By far the best way to go is to have it installed by your HVAC contractor at the time of construction. One of the main advantages is that they connect to your central water supply and so refills automatically. They still require maintenance and should be checked periodically like other appliances in the home.
Remember, you need to strike a balance between what’s good for your home and air quality and your budget. A humidity range of 30-50% will provide the greatest level of comfort for you and protection for you home.