According to the EPA, your electric bills are more than likely about 30 percent higher than they could be – and your indoor air is not as healthy or comfortable as it should be.
A key factor affecting each of these issues is the humidity level in your house.
Turning up the thermostat may increase the temperature of your home, but if the air is too dry you may still not feel warm enough. With properly humidified air (25-40 percent in the winter), you can keep the thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter without any loss of comfort. That’s a big deal when you consider that for every degree you drop the temperature in your home, you can save up to 4 percent on your heating bill.
Over-dry air can affect your health, too. Because it dries out mucous membranes in your nose – one of your body’s first defenses against germs – over-dry air leaves you more susceptible to colds, flu, and viruses. People with allergies will also suffer more in over-dry air.
You’re probably familiar with portable room humidifiers – small vapor-producing units you can put on your bedside table. These can be a good solution for many homes, since they’re relatively inexpensive and can be moved around as needed.
But if you really want consistent, healthy air throughout your home, nothing beats a whole house humidifier or dehumidifier.
These compact units attach to your heating and cooling systems to add a small amount of vapor to the air that circulates in your home (which you can control from your thermostat, just like the temperature).