Stay comfortable with house humidifiers

During the cold winter, heating your home can do terrible things to the indoor moisture level in the air. During the hot summer, using your air conditioning can yield exactly the same result: very uncomfortably dry air. And if you live in a dry climate, you may have dry air problems in your home year-round even without the help of your heating or cooling system.

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All humidifiers combat unwanted dry air in your home by releasing water vapor, but there are different options in how that much-needed moisture is delivered.

Portable and Whole-House Humidifiers

When they picture a humidifier, most people see an image of portable humidifiers, small machines plugged into living room corners or sitting on bedroom night stands, that visibly pump additional moisture into the air of a localized space. Vaporizers and mist humidifiers are great for relieving the dry air in a particularly arid room, or for relieving the symptoms of a family member who is particularly affected by dry air, especially while they sleep.

However, name-brand products such as Aprilaire humidifiers have brought the battle against dry air in your home to another level with the popularization of whole-house humidifiers. Similarly, Honeywell humidifiers and Holmes humidifiers are also available in both portable and whole-house models.

Whole-house humidifiers work directly with the heating and cooling system in your home to disperse moisture into the air. Some also include air purifiers, simultaneously putting beneficial vapor into the air and taking potentially harmful particles out of it.

Humidifiers for Your Health

Whether it's plugged into a corner of a room or into your entire central air system, a humidifier has significant health benefits for your family, the most important of which is increased protection against respiratory infection by keeping moist protective layer in the nasal passages from drying out -- dried out nasal passages are much more susceptible to nasal congestion and to the transmission of viruses.

However, to reap the health benefits of a humidifier, it's important to clean and maintain it properly and regularly so that it isn't dispersing unwanted particles into the air. Using distilled water in your portable humidifier is another excellent way to minimize the risk of this problem.