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Whole House Humidifier

Our homes and bodies need humidity to flourish. Overly-dry air can have damaging health effects and even damage wood floors or furniture. That’s why it’s best to keep your home’s moisture between 40-60%.

The best way to preserve healthy moisture levels is with a whole-house humidifier, also known as a furnace humidifier. Unlike single-room or personal humidifiers which only add dampness to a small space, furnace humidifiers take maintenance of your whole house and need less upkeep.

Our whole house humidifier buying guide makes you choose the right unit for your home. If you still have questions after reading this, please contact us.

Absolute vs Relative Humidity

There are two quantities of dampness: absolute and relative. When it comes to your home, you should be more anxious with comparative humidity.

Absolute humidity is, merely, the proportion of water vapor in the air, regardless of temperature. 

The relative humidity is the quantity of water vapor in the air at a convinced temperature associated with the maximum amount of water the air can hold at that temperature. Warmer air can grip more water than colder air. So, at 70 °F, the same amount of water vapor will take up less space and feel less moist than at 20 °F.

This is significant to know because your home's humidity levels and how you feel will be depending on the temperature. During winter, you feel predominantly dry because you're continuously heating your home. The water vapor takes up less space in the warm air and declines the relative humidity, which is why humidifiers are frequently most needed during the heating season.

Types of Whole House Humidifiers

There are three foremost types of whole-home humidifiers: evaporative, steam, and self-contained. The first two attach straight to your central forced-air heating system. The last one works self-sufficiently. Humidifiers are skillful by a humidistat, which monitors relative humidity levels.

Evaporative Humidifiers

An evaporative humidifier adds dampness to the warm, dry air coming out of your heater. It uses a straight water line to continually supply water to a humidifier pad. As the warm heater air blows crossways the wet pad, it vanishes the water and absorbs it.

Evaporative humidifiers are additionally divided into two main types:

  • Bypass humidifiers forward furnace air through a bypass duct. The avoided air blows over the humidifier pad to pick up wetness before being dispersed around the home. A bypass humidifier can be connected to either the supply or return duct and necessitates two connections to the ductwork. If you don't need the humidifier running, you can simply close the bypass damper.
  • Powered humidifiers use a fan to pull water through the humidifier pad, which allows for better delivery of moisture in the air than in a bypass type. They connect straight to the supply side ductwork.

At the establishment of the heating season, the impediment on the return duct is switched from the summer method to winter mode so that the return air will be absorbed over the humidifier pad.

Both types of evaporative humidifiers use little to no electricity. It’s the heat from the boiler that evaporates the water. They are also both comparatively simple and have few moving parts that can fail.

Although less exclusive to operate, evaporative humidifiers aren’t very effective, converting only 20-30% of the water they use into humidity. The excess water needs to be exhausted. Also, your heating system needs to be running for evaporative units to work correctly. Otherwise, there is no heat source to disappear the water.

You may decide to go with an evaporative humidifier if you are on a budget but want to add moisture to your whole home. They will get the job done simply and out of sight.

Steam Humidifiers

Steam humidifiers store water in a container instead of using a pad. When it notices low humidity, the steam humidifier electrically boils the warehoused water into steam, which is then dispersed into your furnace duct system.

The main variance between a whole house steam humidifier and an evaporative humidifier is power. A steam humidifier uses electricity to produce its power. That means it can run as long as your blower fan is on, whether or not your heater is running.

As a result of their powerful attraction, steam humidifiers are much more luxurious to function than evaporative models, even though they can be up to 90% well-organized when it comes to water use. They can be installed without ductwork, which cuts down on labor and material costs.

Overall, steam humidifiers outstrip evaporative types because they can deliver more dependable levels of moisture, but they will cost you more money.

Self-Contained Humidifiers

For homeowners who don’t have ductwork, a self-contained whole house humidifier can sufficiently nourish their home. These units function self-sufficiently in any furnace system, using a fan to mingle humidified air.

Self-contained units are your only whole-home humidification option if you have beaming or ductless heat.

How to Decide on Humidifier Size

Buy a humidifier sized for the area where you need to add dampness, not based on a humidifier's volume. Every humidifier is intended for a convinced attention area in square footage. Use that as a guide, measure your own space, and match the humidifier to this area.

Don't oversized the unit—you'll likely end up with excess moisture problems. It's better to stumble on the smaller size. When buying a whole-house humidifier, keep in mind that though they are planned to cover a large area—your whole home—how well moisture is cleared to the full area depends on your home's layout.

Are Humidifiers Quiet?

You'll find many humidifiers sporting a quiet or whisper-quiet product depiction. One humidifier may be lower than another by design, such as an ultrasonic model which is known to make less noise than some other types, but there are no soundless humidifiers. Having at least two-speed levels allows you to pick the lowest (quietest) or hours of darkness setting. 

As you would familiarize yourself with an air conditioner or fan's operating noise to advantage from the better-quality comfort level in a bedroom, you have to do the same with a humidifier and get used to the noise level. It can have its good points—a low operating buzz can drown out frustrating household noises and it can remind you to fill the unit or turn it off.

How Often Does a Humidifier Need to Be Filled?

You'll most likely need to fill any humidifier every day. A one-liter unit running for 8 hours on low will need to be filled daily, as would a three-gallon humidifier that may function for 12 to 15 hours. Even a larger 10-gallon comfort model must be filled regularly, basically because it's easier doing it daily, rather than when it is empty.

With a moveable unit, you should empty the tank, then refill—not simply add more water to it. That's because bacteria strains in motionless water and you can decrease that risk by emptying the water tank totally, washing and drying if possible, and then replenishing with water. This is not so easy with a comfort model, but it should be done regularly for the same reason.



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