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Humidifiers Can Help Save Energy and the Planet

Written by Duncan under General, Humidifiers | No Comments ""

At a time when there seems to be a conspiracy to deny the scientific basis behind climate change theories, you could be forgiven for  relaxing about making your home and lifestyle fit better with sustaining  the environment.  Even if you believe the global warming deniers, the one thing that cannot be denied is the fact that Earth is a finite resource.  Recycling, social responsibility, and maintaining the levels of domestic comfort you prefer need not be mutually exclusive.

Aside from all those lofty motives, you could well save money too!  And it looks like getting a humidifier could contribute to all that!  There are some cost-effective approaches you can take to energy conservation in the home, especially as the weather gets cooler.  Some are obvious, some perhaps more surprising.  Here’s a list of some suggested measures:

  • Turn on Your Humidifier: when it’s cold outside, don’t turn up the thermostat.  Turn on the humidifier for additional moisture that will increase the heat index inside your home. Low humidity makes the air feel colder than it actually is and the greater the moisture content of the air, the warmer it feels.   According to howstuff works.com, a relative humidity (RH) level of just 10% makes an air temperature of 95° F actually feel 5° colder. That’s really desert – dry and in practice you’d probably never get down to 10%  RH without a massive dehumidifier.  The air “feels” cool because the moisture evaporates from your skin more in a dry atmosphere.  Increase the humidity and less moisture evaporates because we sweat less. Boost the RH to 50% and the same air temperature feels almost 10° warmer than it really is for the same reasons.     A simple step like this uses considerably less energy than turning up the heating, whether that’s electric or gas-fired.  You can use a portable unit in frequently used areas like the bedroom or living room to get the same effect.
  • Insulate the Loft: especially if your home was built before 1980. Heat can escape via the ceiling, through the roof and into the atmosphere.   12 inches plus ideally of insulation is one of the most cost-effective ways to help cut heating and cooling costs and make your home more comfortable. Also add insulation to crawl spaces, under floors, against basement walls and the wall adjoining an attached garage if you have one.
  • Replace single pane windows: double or triple-glazed windows, especially those with a coating on the glass that reflects heat back into the room, will noticeably affect your heating costs and can help reduce heat loss through the window by as much as 50%.  Better fitting doors will help reduce draughts and properly fitted draught excluder strips around door frames will cut down on heat loss too.
  • Seal all external gaps: by using caulk, sealants and weather-stripping to plug cracks or fissures inside and out, around windows, doors and where systems protrude through the skin of the house.

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