During the winter months, you can experience a decline in the relative humidity level in your home. The ideal RH is between 30 and 50 percent, but your furnace can cause this level to drop to between five and 15 percent. This can lead to some serious problems with comfort levels. Not only will you notice issues like dry, cracked skin and static electricity buildup, but you may find the need to raise your thermostat settings to achieve the level of warmth that you need. You may be surprised to discover that increased humidity will enable you to feel warm at lower temperatures. This means that proper humidification can save you money while sparing you from those uncomfortable effects of low moisture.

Types of Furnace Humidifiers

The basic principle of a humidifier is to introduce moisture back into your indoor air stream. This requires a source of moisture and a method of delivery. You’ll find that there are three primary options. You can install a bypass humidifier, a fan humidifier or a steam humidifier. In each case, moisture is infused into the circulating air to keep the indoor RH at the recommended range. This requires coordination of your furnace humidifier with your HVAC control so that humidity levels can be monitored and action initiated as needed.

Both fan and bypass humidifiers operate on principles of evaporation. Evaporator pads are infused with water when indoor humidity levels drop, and moisture is moved from these pads into the airstream. In a fan-operated system, a fan blows air through the pad to disperse the moisture directly into the ducts. In a bypass system, the moisture pad is located in a position that allows part of the airstream to move through the evaporative pads. Meanwhile, a steam-based unit uses a steam canister and electrodes to turn water to steam, allowing the moisture to be released into the airstream.

Can I install My Own Humidification Equipment?

Although you may be interested in keeping your installation costs down, it’s important to remember that damage to your ducts and heating equipment can cause your costs to increase. An HVAC professional can evaluate your heating system and duct structure to determine which humidification method will work best in your home. Additionally, your technician must find the best position for mounting your humidifier. Every home is unique, meaning that your technician will work with you to obtain the best equipment configuration for your needs.

Additional Air Quality Solutions

BEST Heating, Air Conditioning and Electric, Inc can evaluate your indoor air quality to address issues including humidity levels, pollutants and mold. Winter and summer humidity concerns are very different for Iowa residents, and you may want to consider advanced equipment options for keeping your home’s RH optimized throughout the year. You can contact our office 515-262-8055 to discuss your interest in a humidifier or to schedule additional air quality services today.

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