A furnace humidifier or a whole-house humidifier is a device that compliments your heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) system to improve humidity levels within your home. During the colder months, your furnace provides thermal comfort; however, the air within your residence can become dry and uncomfortable. Dry air can damage your home’s wood infrastructure, cause static electricity, aggravate respiratory problems and contribute to skin irritation.
An experienced HVAC contractor can install the right humidifier with your furnace to optimize indoor air quality and alleviate the issues caused by overly dry air.
Types of Furnace Humidifiers
There are several types of furnace humidifiers, but all models increase the humidity levels in your home. The different types of furnace humidifiers are:
- bypass humidifiers
- fan-powered humidifiers
- steam humidifiers
- drum humidifiers
Your HVAC supplier can recommend the humidifier that is best for your home. However, you should consider factors like the size of your home, the type of heating system and your desired humidity level.
How Do They Work?
Furnace humidifiers add moisture to the air that heating systems circulate throughout a home or building.
Bypass humidifiers work by diverting a portion of the heated air from the furnace, passing it through a water-soaked pad and returning it to the furnace’s airflow. Meanwhile, fan-powered humidifiers use a fan to blow air over a water-soaked pad, which releases moisture into the air. Steam humidifiers work by heating water to produce steam before releasing that steam into the air. Drum humidifiers use a rotating drum partially submerged in water. As the drum rotates, a portion of it is exposed to air, which causes the water to evaporate and release moisture.
Through these methods, furnace humidifiers reduce or eliminate issues caused by low humidity.
Advantages of Furnace Humidifiers
The advantages you can gain from using a furnace humidifier include:
- Improved indoor air quality: Furnace humidifiers help to alleviate dry skin, respiratory issues and other health problems caused by low humidity.
- Increased comfort: They raise your home’s humidity levels to 30-55%, the optimal range for comfort.
- Reduced risk of illness: Dry air makes it easier for viruses and bacteria to spread, but a furnace humidifier minimizes this risk by increasing the moisture in the air.
- Lower energy costs: A well-humidified home retains heat more efficiently, reducing the energy required to keep the space warm.
- Longer HVAC lifespan: Higher humidity levels lessen the strain on a heating system, extending its lifespan and reducing the need for multiple furnace maintenance and repairs.
Disadvantages of Furnace Humidifiers
Despite the numerous benefits of this type of appliance, homeowners should also consider the following drawbacks before purchasing one:
- Cost: Furnace humidifiers, especially steam units, can be expensive to purchase, maintain and install.
- Noise: Humidifiers do make some noise that can be heard if you are nearby the furnace room.
- Risk of over-humidification: If a furnace humidifier is not properly maintained and controlled, it can lead to over-humidification, causing mould or bacteria growth and potentially damaging homes or buildings.
- Water consumption: They require water to operate, which can increase your water bill and be challenging in areas with limited water supply.
- Leaking: It is possible for a humidifier to leak, which can lead to puddling or pooling of water in and outside the furnace room. This is more common if the humidifier is not maintained annually.
Is a Furnace Humidifier on Your List of HVAC Upgrades?
A furnace humidifier is a wise investment for the comfort and health of your home. It can reduce the need for repairs and improve the overall efficiency of your HVAC system.
Canada HVAC has over 30 years of industry experience and is Canada’s leading online HVAC product supplier. We can assist you in choosing the right furnace humidifier for your home and put you in contact with licensed installation specialists.
Complete our contact form or call 833-226-4822 to speak with an expert technician.