As outside air becomes dry and cold, so does the air inside your home. Over time, dry air can damage wooden floors, doors and furniture, and paper items like books and art. Not only do our homes hate overly dry air, but so do our bodies. Low levels of humidity can aggravate respiratory infections and skin allergies. On the other hand, high humidity increases the risk of mold, bacteria, and viruses, and can also help germs thrive and cause wood to warp.
Indoor air quality experts recommend home humidity levels of around 30% to 55%. This is the optimal range for comfort and the containment of harmful allergens. An optimally humid home helps you breathe better, ensures that your family, pets, and plants stay healthy, and makes cold winters a lot more comfortable and enjoyable. So how do you achieve an adequately humid environment? By investing in a furnace humidifier.
How do furnace humidifiers work?
Furnace humidifiers install right onto your heating and cooling (HVAC) system, often on the ductwork leading out from your furnace. The furnace produces dry heated air; the furnace humidifier works by kicking in to moisturize the heated air before it is delivered throughout your home. The process of moisturizing the heated air may differ depending on the type of humidifier.
Types of furnace humidifiers
There are five different types of furnace humidifiers:
1. Steam humidifiers
Steam humidifiers have a built-in humidistat, which measures the moisture in your home. When the humidity drops below a certain level, they electrically boil water to produce steam, which then travels through your HVAC system and is pumped into your home. These types of humidifiers produce the most moisture. Steam humidifiers use less water, but do use more electricity than the other types of humidifiers and require at least one canister change per year. They are effective since their moisture production remains independent of your heating and cooling system’s condition.
2. Flow-through humidifiers
Automatic Flow-through humidifiers expose the heated air from the furnace to a constant trickle of water with or without the furnace heat being on. Standard Flow-through humidifiers expose the heated air from the furnace to a constant trickle of water only when the furnace heat is on. The water then naturally evaporates into the hot air that is leaving your furnace. Although the furnace has a filter pad that needs to be changed at least once per year, they are low maintenance overall.
3. Drum humidifiers
Drum humidifiers have a pan of water and a rotating belt that passes through the pan. Water from the moistened belt evaporates into the air that is leaving the furnace. Since this humidifier has a standing pan of water, if you don’t clean the humidifier diligently, there will be a risk of mold. Drum humidifiers are the least expensive type of furnace humidifiers but not as common today.
4. Bypass humidifiers
Bypass humidifiers capitalize on your home’s heating and cooling system. They essentially take in warm air through the furnace and pass it through an evaporator pad to moisten the air. The now humid, warm air is then released into your home through the ducts. These humidifiers run off the furnace fan, hence need a lower power supply to operate. They are among the most popular and least expensive humidifier options.
5. Fan-powered humidifiers
Fan-powered humidifiers are much like bypass humidifiers. The primary difference is that fan-powered humidifiers have an internal fan that pushes air from the duct to the humidifier for moisturizing, then back into the same duct. This type of humidifier produces much more humidity than bypass models; it also has an automatic version available that doesn’t depend on your HVAC system running to increase humidity levels in your home.
Are you looking for a furnace humidifier?
If you want to purchase a furnace humidifier, Canada HVAC has the right one to meet your needs.