A humidifier is an accessory you can add to your furnace that adds moisture to the air in your home during the winter. Adding moisture helps with issues like dry skin, static electricity, nosebleeds, comfort and air quality. Humidifiers can be set to be active or inactive, based on what time of year it is. During the heating season, the humidifier should be activated to allow moisture to be added to the air of your home.
Two types of humidifiers are most common in Cleveland homes. A bypass humidifier is an appliance that hooks onto your warm air furnace ductwork. When the blower of the furnace turns on, water is added to a filter-type panel. The air blows through this panel, adding tiny water droplets into the warm air blowing into your house. The excess water is removed through a drain. A power humidifier works in a similar way but has its own blower built in. This allows it to put more moisture into the air as it can run whether the furnace is running or not. This type of humidifier is frequently used in larger homes to allow them to reach ideal humidity levels.
Safer and more convenient
Room humidifiers cannot add as much water to the air as ducted humidifiers can. In addition, mold/bacteria growth can be a serious issue for the free standing, portable units where water is allowed to sit because as soon as you put the water in, mold and bacteria start growing in it. That mold then blows through the air in your home. Humidifiers that are installed on your furnace do not have a mold issue because there is no standing reservoir of water and the excess water drains away instead of sitting in the unit.
How do I maintain my humidifier?
The water panel should usually be changed annually, possibly more with hard water or well water. A technician can clean out any debris and verify that the drain is clear as part of a maintenance tune up. A bypass humidifier does not have a lot of moving parts so they are quite reliable and easy to maintain. A power humidifier, because of its motor, requires more consistent maintenance to keep the humidifier running properly.
When using a humidifier it is a good idea to monitor your windows. If you notice condensation on your windows, that is a sign that you have too much humidity in the air and you should turn your humidifier down a bit so you do not damage your windows. You are not able to add as much humidity to your home when it is very cold outside without causing condensation on your windows. If your humidifier has an automatic control with an outdoor sensor option, it can make these adjustments for you.
If you would like more information about humidifiers, or to get help choosing the proper system for your home, contact the experts at P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling.
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Kim Nemecek is a marketing professional with P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. After growing up in Cleveland, she lived in Florida for many years, working at an air conditioning company there. Kim has four grown children, two grandchildren and two spoiled dogs. She lives in Solon with her husband, Todd.
The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.