The benefits of humid air in your home are vast, but only a fraction of those benefits are usually considered.
High humidity in the home is beneficial in the following ways:
Electricity – Humid air is less dense than dry air, requiring less energy to power the furnace’s circulating fan.
Electricity, Fuel, and Furnace Wear & Tear – Humid air has a greater thermal mass than dry air, meaning it will absorb more heat on each pass through the furnace than dry air. This allows your furnace to input the same amount of heat into your home in a shorter time, which leads to the furnace running for a smaller percentage of the time.
Electricity, Fuel, & Furnace Wear & Tear – The human body regulates its temperature by perspiring and allowing that moisture to evaporate from the skin. In a humid environment this process is much less aggressive, making the air temperature feel warmer than it actually is, similar to the opposite of the wind chill effect, which allows you to set your thermostat slightly lower than you would with dry air and still feel equally comfortable. This allows the thermostat to turn on the furnace less frequently.
These three aspects together see the furnace turning on less often, running for less time each time it turns on, and using less electricity while it is operating.
Humid air reduces the frequency and severity of, and expedites the recovery from respiratory infections. Humid air alleviates snoring, relieves sinusitis & nose-bleeds, and supports healthy skin.
Humid air’s molecules are spaced more distantly than dry air, dramatically reducing static electricity within the home.
Preservation of the Home, its Contents and Improved Air Quality
In low humidity, all organic material degrades more rapidly. While this is most damaging to wooden items such as hardwood flooring, musical instruments, or antique furniture, approximately 95% of the materials used in the construction of your home degrade more rapidly in a low-humidity environment, and as a result keeping high humidity in your home will extend it’s life as well. As these construction materials break down, they off-gas what’s known as “Volatile Organic Compounds” (VOCs). VOC’s, while typically are not acutely toxic, have compounding long-term health effects.
General Aire Model 1042 Flow-Through Bypass Humidifier – Everything You Need in a Humidifier and Nothing You Don’t:
Aprilaire Model 800 Steam Injection Humidifier – Exceptional Humidification Control, Usually Excessive Unless Exceptional Humidification Control Is Required: