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Cleveland HVAC Blog

This Is How A Whole-House Humidifier Works

Posted by Paul Wadsworth on Wed, Feb 27, 2013 @ 04:19 PM

Because dry winter air doesn’t confine itself to a single room, you need a whole-house humidifier to treat all the air in your home. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends interior humidity levels in the range of 35 to 50 percent for optimum health and comfort. Too little humidity has obvious impact in the home, but so does too much humidity, so it is essential stay in the prescribed range suggested by the manufacturer. That can be a difficult goal during winter when cold air doesn’t naturally retain much humidity.

home comfort with whole house humidifierThe results can be felt as dry scratchy skin, irritated throat and nasal passages, and frequent static-electricity shocks. A whole-house humidifier installs directly in your heating and cooling ducts and treats the total volume of interior air as it circulates through the ducts.

Here’s how a typical whole-house humidifier keeps winter air comfortable:

  1. Installed into the air path of your heating and cooling duct, the humidifier uses an absorbent pad or a perforated panel to expose water to the system airflow. The water supply is tapped directly from a household water line and requires no manual filling.
  2. A humidistat senses the amount of humidity in living spaces the same way a thermostat senses temperature and fine tunes interior humidity to  your precise setting. When the humidity level in the home drops below the humidistat setting, the humidistat signals the humidifier to add water vapor to the airflow in the ducts by opening a water inlet valve that wets the evaporator pad or initiates a thin flow of water over the perforated panel.
  3. At colder outdoor temperatures, too much humidity can cause damaging condensation on windows and in other colder areas of the home. It is a good idea to to incorporate an outdoor air sensor (or turn down your humidistat as recommended by the manufacturer) with your indoor humidistat to protect against unwanted condensation. 
  4. Water in the evaporator pad or flowing across the perforated panel evaporates into the circulating airflow and is dispersed throughout the entire home, raising the humidity level in all living spaces. 
  5. When the household humidity level reaches the desired setting, the humidistat signals the humidifier to close the water inlet valve and humidification stops. Excess water not evaporated is conveyed down a drain line plumbed into the household drain system. The unit requires no manual draining.

P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling covers Greater Cleveland with dependable heating and cooling sales and service. Let us explain more about the benefits of a whole-house humidifier during these dry winter months.


fix cleveland winter home air with a whole house humidifier


Paul WadsworthPaul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.

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.

Topics: home comfort tips, whole house humidifier, indoor air quality, humidifier

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