Does your skin, scalp and hair get dry when the cold weather arrives? Are sore throats and colds an issue in your home? Does the dry winter air aggravate your asthma or allergies? If you answered yes to any of these queries, it may be time to change the humidity level in your home with a furnace-mounted humidifier.
What is a furnace-mounted humidifier?
A furnace-mounted humidifier, also known as a whole-house humidifier, is designed to connect to a forced-air heating/cooling system to deliver moist air throughout the home. They attach to your ductwork and blow damp air into your space, raising the relative humidity and improving overall comfort. Sensors on the humidifier monitor humidity levels and regulate how much or how little moisture is released. A furnace-mounted humidifier has the potential to add 15 to 30 gallons of moisture to your home per day.
There are three types of furnace mounted humidifiers:
- Steam humidifiers boil water to create a mist that is distributed along with air from the furnace. They are easy to maintain, produce the most moisture of all types, are efficient, require only a small amount of electricity and have no risk of mould. However, they’re costly. This style of humidifier is best for large homes and people looking for a long-term solution to dry air.
- Flow-through humidifiers expose warm air from your furnace to a constant trickle of water which evaporates into the air leaving your furnace. The humidifier is connected to your water supply. It draws water to soak a water panel. Then hot air passes through the water panel supplying moisture to your home. This style of humidifier has little risk of mould, is low maintenance, reliable, uses less electricity than a steam unit and can moisten air even when the furnace blower isn’t operating.
- Drum humidifiers have a pan of water and a rotating belt that passes through the pan. The water from the moistened belt evaporates into the air leaving your furnace. This style of humidifier is the least expensive, uses little energy and has few moving parts thus little need for repair. However, it’s prone to mould, is only active when the furnace runs, is less effective at adding moisture to the air and requires extra space for installation.
The advantages of a furnace-mounted humidifier:
- Keeping the air moist helps your home feel warmer making it unnecessary to crank the heat and reducing your overall energy usage.
- There is no need to fill a furnace-mounted humidifier every day and the sensor ensures the level of humidity remains constant making it a great way to get consistent humidity with little fuss.
- Because your home’s humidity level remains constant, you can say goodbye to dry skin, hair, scalp and lips. Also, adios to static electricity!
- Colds and viruses thrive in dry environments and allergies, asthma and sinus irritation are aggravated by dry air. A furnace-mounted humidifier is a way to improve the health of your family.
- Furnace-mounted humidifiers require only yearly maintenance while portable humidifiers must be cleaned every two weeks and an antimicrobial agent needs to be frequently added to the basin.
- If you have hardwood flooring or real wood furniture, dry air can cause cracks and gaps to develop and glue to dry and lose its effectiveness. A furnace-mounted humidifier is good for your home.
- Installing a furnace-mounted humidifier can increase the marketability of your home as buyers frequently ask about this add-on.
The disadvantages of a furnace mounted humidifier:
- Furnace-mounted humidifiers can be costly. Depending on type and quality, it takes approximately $300 to $1,500 to buy and have a professional install a whole-house humidifier.
- A furnace-mounted humidifier can mask other problems. If your air ducts are leaky, then the low humidity has more to do with unsealed air ducts than winter weather. A poorly insulated and sealed attic may be causing the low humidity levels. Make sure a good HVAC contractor inspects your home before installing a furnace-mounted humidifier.
Want to ensure your family is warm, cozy and healthy this winter? Contact your local HVAC specialist regarding furnace-mounted humidifiers. They have the knowledge and experience to help you decide what size and style humidifier is right for your needs.
Thinking of installing a furnace-mounted humidifier? Call Calgary-based Plumbing Paramedics. Our technicians are friendly, informative and accommodating. Plumbing Paramedics hires only those we would trust in our own homes! Our certified technicians can handle any furnace task or problem!