Living in a cold-weather area, we rely heavily on the heating system for about eight straight months. When the temperature is below freezing, the air is naturally very dry. Cold air doesn’t retain as much moisture as warmer air. With the furnace blasting at maximum capacity, the humidity levels become problematic. Overly dry air pulls moisture out of everything it touches, including furnishings, hair and skin. There is the concern of wood floors, moldings, doors and antiques drying out and cracking. Frizzy hair, chapped lips and bloody noses can be blamed on a lack of essential humidity. There is an increased risk of health issues such as headaches, congestion, sore throat, sneezing and coughing. It can negatively impact sleep and irritate symptoms of allergies, asthma, psoriasis and eczema. It can be tempting to raise the thermostat setting, which makes humidity problems worse. The furnace then runs longer, uses more energy and increases utility bills. Portable humidifiers only affect one room and require a great deal of maintenance. Whole-house humidifiers install right into the heating system to introduce moisture as the air passes through. They maintain optimum humidity levels in every room, increasing comfort and air quality. I looked into bypass, fan-style and steam-style humidifiers and ultimately chose a steam-style option because it operates independently from the furnace. We can customize humidity levels to preference. Plus the device only needs maintenance once per year. The humidifier operates almost silently. It makes the lying environment feel perfectly warm at lower thermostat settings. The savings on the monthly energy bills are helping to cover the initial cost of purchase of the humidifier.