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Why You Should Humidify Your Home this Winter

Although winter doesn’t officially start for another three weeks, the cold weather has already struck here in Iowa. With the furnace heating your home with warm, dry air, the moisture levels in your house are probably too low. It’s true that too much humidity is problematic, but not enough humidity is equally troublesome. The ideal humidity level is between 35 and 50 percent and can be achieved by setting up a humidifier.

Signs Your Home Has Low Humidity

Warm, dry air exacerbates respiratory problems and can make you more susceptible to the cold and flu virus. The warm air also dries out your skin, nasal passages, and throat, which can lead to cracked, itchy skin, bloody noses, and respiratory infections. In addition to changes in your health, here are other ways to know if your home is lacking moisture:

  • Static electricity: Dry air is directly associated with static electricity. Not only can static electricity create painful shocks, it can also damage expensive electronic devices. So if you’re tired of recoiling each time you touch a doorknob in your home, it may be time to get a humidifier.
  • House plants: Watering the soil isn’t always enough to keep the plants inside your home hydrated. Low humidity affects some plants’ overall health, causing them to wither or dry out.
  • Wallpaper and hardwood floors: If your wallpaper is peeling at its edges, your house may be extremely dry. Low moisture also impacts the longevity of hardwood floors. When your home is too dry, the wood loses moisture and contracts, causing hardwood floors to come apart at the seams.

Benefits of Humidifying Your Home

Balancing the humidity levels in your house will alleviate many of the health problems, discomfort, and household damage outlined above that are associated with dry air. But did you know that humidifying your home is cost effective, too? The combination of temperature and humidity contributes to the way our bodies register heat, meaning that you feel warmer in more humid conditions. (Just think of how it would feel trekking through the rainforest, or better yet, how it feels to walk around the Iowa State Fair in August.) By controlling the humidity and adding moisture to dry, heated air in the winter, you can set your thermostat lower without feeling too cold, which in turn will save you money on your heating and cooling bills.

Humidifier Selection

There are several types of humidifiers in various size capacities to accommodate your needs. The HVAC experts at Lenz Heating & Cooling of Des Moines will help determine if a warm mist humidifier, steam vaporizer, cool mist humidifier, whole-house humidifier, or other type of humidifier would be best for your home and budget. It is our pleasure to help advise about the best humidifier solution for your home. If you plan to set up a humidifier yourself, remember to place it on an inside wall, away from any obstructions and close to the cold-air return of your furnace. If you’re unsure which capacity is best for the size of your home, use the table below as a guide.

Area Output (measured in gallons per day) *
500 sq. ft. or lower 1.5 – 2.0
530 to 600 sq. ft. 2.2 – 2.5
700 to 800 sq. ft. 3.0 – 3.5
900 to 1000 sq. ft. 4.0 – 5.0
1000 to 2000 sq. ft. 7.0 – 9.0
Over 2000 sq. ft. 10.0 or higher


* Please note that the amount of water used for the humidifier is not enough to notice a significant difference in your water bill.

If you’re a business owner, it’s important to control the humidity levels in the office as well, especially if you work in an environment with hardwood floors, computers, or expensive electronic equipment. So whether you live or work in Des Moines, West Des Moines, or Winterset, Lenz Heating & Cooling is here to help you with all your humidifier, dehumidifier, furnace, or air conditioner needs. The cold weather is already here, but you can start controlling the humidity levels in your home before the winter weather becomes more severe. It is our pleasure to serve our Des Moines community, so contact us today for any questions or service requests. We’re open 24 hours a day.