If you’re sick of dealing with the air in your home always being extremely dry during the winter, a whole-home humidifier can be a great addition to your HVAC system. Whole-home humidifiers are much more effective than portable humidifiers. They produce more moisture and work with your HVAC system to raise the humidity level in every room instead of just one small area. Here is a quick overview to help you know if a whole-home humidifier is right for your home and also how to know which type of unit will best meet your needs.
How a Whole-Home Humidifier Can Make a Difference
Dry winter air is a common problem that can make it more difficult to breathe. Dry air can aggravate your symptoms if you suffer from frequent respiratory issues or have conditions like asthma or COPD. In addition, many people experience dry skin, cracked lips, and irritated sinuses during the winter months when the heat comes on. A whole-home humidifier can make a huge difference in your life by increasing air moisture levels in your house to a healthy level.
How Whole-Home Humidifiers Work
All whole-home humidifiers serve the same purpose and function by adding moisture to the air of your home. These units are often referred to as furnace humidifiers since they are designed to increase indoor humidity during the winter when your heating system is on. The humidifier works as part of your HVAC system and is also connected to your plumbing system so that the unit always has water and never needs to be manually refilled.
The humidifier will typically always run when your furnace is on and shut off when it does. However, you can also connect the unit to a humidistat, which will measure your home’s humidity level and only signal the humidifier to run when the humidity drops below a set level. There are three main types of whole-home humidifiers, each of which works slightly differently and has advantages and drawbacks.
A steam humidifier is undoubtedly the most effective option as it will produce much more moisture at a time than either of the other two types of units. Steam humidifiers are also the most expensive option and use more energy than the other two.
These humidifiers create moisture by passing electricity through electrodes submerged in water. The resistance between the water and the current heats the water, creating steam. These units are usually installed in the main supply duct, where the hot air comes from the furnace.
Steam humidifiers are best suited for drier climates or larger homes. In places like Galveston, where the winters usually aren’t as dry, a steam humidifier isn’t always worth the cost. Either a bypass or fan-powered humidifier will be able to add enough moisture to your home’s air to address your needs.
Fan-powered humidifiers are connected to the existing supply duct using two flexible bypass ducts. A fan draws warm air from your furnace into the intake duct and over water. Moist air is then exhausted through the other duct into your main ductwork so that it is distributed throughout your home by the heating system.
Bypass humidifiers are the least expensive option and don’t require any electricity to work, unlike bypass and steam humidifiers. Bypass units are also the least effective and usually work best in smaller buildings. The only difference between fan-powered humidifiers and bypass units is that the latter does not have an internal fan. As such, they rely on the furnace and the HVAC blower to push air into the unit and force it over the water tray. This means this type of unit won’t add as much moisture to the air and will raise the indoor humidity level more slowly. That said, a bypass humidifier will still work fairly well and is often the most cost-effective choice. It is cheaper to buy and does not use energy. It will also last longer because of its simple design.
Contact the Professionals
George’s Air Conditioning has been providing expert heating, cooling, and indoor air quality services since 1999, and we’re proud to serve the residents of Galveston, TX. We install and service whole-home humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and air purification systems, and we offer residential and commercial HVAC services.
Contact George’s Air Conditioning today to learn more about your options for whole-home humidification and other ways you can improve indoor air quality in your house.