I live along the northern border of the country.
For the majority of the year, the weather is cold and snowy. I typically depend on the gas furnace for eight months. It’s not unusual for the temperature to remain well below zero for weeks at a time. We often get several inches of snow in an hour’s time. The cost of heating is a significant expense. I’ve tried to minimize demand on the furnace by tightly sealing the house. I’ve caulked, weatherstripped, insulated and done my best to seal every possible leak. I don’t want my heated air escaping, and I’m hoping to prevent drafts from coming in. While this has minimized energy bills, the air can become terribly dry. The air in the winter tends to be overly dry. The heating system makes the situation even worse. The lack of humidity becomes so bad that my skin cracks and bleeds. I have issues with frizzy hair and chapped lips. My husband complains of headaches and sore throat. My kids sneeze and cough, and I worry about damage to wood furnishings. Because dry air feels much cooler than properly moisturized air, it leads to higher thermostat settings and higher utility bills. I did some research and realized that the answer to all of these concerns is a whole-home humidifier. There are different styles of humidifiers which can either partner with the furnace or work independently. I chose a steam-style humidifier because it provides a very natural process of converting water to steam. It easily handles our larger home, maintaining ideal humidity levels throughout every room. We don’t hear it running but the house feels much more comfortable and warmer at a lower thermostat setting. I’m saving enough money on my heating bills to quickly pay for the installation of the humidifier.