Having proper humidification in your home during the winter months is important for not only your family's health and comfort, but also for protecting your wood furniture and floors from damage.
A whole house humidifier is almost always a better option than standalone, atomizer-style humidifiers, which require frequent refills of distilled water, offer limited coverage, and can harbor mold and bacteria.
There are two basic types of whole house humidifier, here are the key differences.
This is the most common type of humidifier that is attached to a heating system and utilizes the furnace's own fan to recirculate some of the warm supply air across the humidifier pad and back into the return ductwork. The drier the air in the home, the faster the water evaporates. Since bypass humidifiers do not have a built-in fan, they have fewer parts that can break. A bypass humidifier is turned on in the winter by activating a manual damper.
Steam Generator Humidifiers
Steam humidifiers are the most effective option in situations where precise control is needed. Because they operate as a separate system, steam generators can operate even when the furnace is not heating.
If your home has expensive wood furniture or instruments, like a piano, steam humidifiers, while more costly to install and operate, offer the best protection.
Whole House Humidifier Installation
When installing a new humidifier, the first question to ask is: How much humidity do I need in my home? The addition of water to the indoor environment is greatly affected by the rate that warm air that is escaping and fresh outdoor air that is entering. This is referred to as the 'leak rate' of the home. Your technician can perform a blower door test to determine the actual leak rate in your home.
It's also important that the ductwork in your home be checked to ensure it's properly size to handle the additional demands of an attached humidifier bypass system.
Humidifiers are controlled via a humidistat which can be adjusted to maintain optimum humidity levels.
Have questions about whole house humidification? Give Gibson's Heating and Plumbing a call, we are here to help.