Can a Whole House Humidifier Save on Heating Costs?

People are always looking for ways to cut down on heating costs, especially in States like New Jersey. The constant burning of oil, gas and/or electricity to fend off the chill can get very expensive, very quickly. If you own a home, you’re well aware of this.

And you’ve probably tried all kinds of things. You’ve made sure your windows are well sealed. You’ve looked into proper thermostat management. You may have even installed a modern furnace with a high efficiency rating.

But there’s something you may not have tried—at least not as a way to cut heating costs. Many people use small humidifiers to ease the discomfort of dry winter air, especially when sleeping. Humidifiers, however, can have the added benefit of energy savings.

We’re not talking about tabletop humidifiers, cans of water around the vents, leaving the bathtub full of water, or any of the other makeshift humidifiers people have come up with over the years. These can work in their own way, but they won’t result in serious energy savings.

What can result in serious savings is a high quality humidifier, expertly installed in tandem with your existing HVAC system.

How does it work?

A built-in humidifier is stronger, more efficient and better calibrated than a tabletop or floor unit purchased at a home goods store. It’s specifically engineered and installed to work seamlessly alongside your furnace, delivering precise humidity levels throughout your home. These machines come in different sizes depending on the size of the home they’re humidifying. Most of them can deliver anywhere between 12-18 gallons of water per day into the air.

So how does this add up to energy savings?

Properly humidified air actually makes you feel warmer, even if the temperature is a few degrees lower. This means you can set your thermostat at a lower temperature and still feel just as comfortable.

You might think that the cost of running yet another appliance (i.e. the humidifier) would potentially offset any energy savings made possible by keeping your thermostat down lower. This isn’t the case. The exact numbers will depend on the size of the home and humidifier in question, but you can generally expect the cost of running your humidifier to be about 18% of your heating savings. For many homeowners, this results in net savings of $50 or more per month—and feeling every bit as warm.

What’s the next step?

A professional grade humidifier might just be the missing link you’ve been waiting for in terms of winter energy savings. It also saves you the need to operate multiple standalone units throughout the house.

But is a humidifier really the right choice for you, and how can you know if your house and climate are well suited to a solution like this?

As with any major change to your HVAC systems, it’s always best to consult an HVAC specialist and find out for certain. Qualified experts will be able to tell you quickly and accurately whether a humidifier can net you those precious energy savings over the long haul.