Humidifier is a device intended to add moisture to the indoor air, be it in a single room or throughout the entire house. They actually put moisture in the air, making it useful especially useful in the winter when the weather and the indoor heating system can make the air dry which can in turn dry out your skin, eyes, nose and lips, causing discomfort.
Low humidity levels can actually harm you and have negative impacts on both your home and your health. With low humidity levels, the indoor air may feel colder than what it is in actual, making it essential to turn on the thermostat so as to feel comfortable. This can add to the electricity bills. With low humidity levels, your skin may dry out. Also, the drying out of airways can leave the family members more vulnerable to colds and respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis. Another disadvantage is that the dry air can harm your home interior adding to the costly repair. They can cause cracks in plaster, drywall and wooden furniture. So you can see that with the humidifier installed, you can reduce the heating costs and add comfort with good health.
Types Of Humidifiers
There are two main types of humidifiers: Portable humidifier and Whole Home Humidifier.
Portable Humidifiers can add moisture to the indoor air in a single room. They also require proper maintenance and cleaning every now and then.
Whole Home Humidifier
While whole home humidifier is integrated you’re your home’s HVAC system allowing healthy humidity levels to be maintained throughout the whole house. There are three main types of humidifiers based on the HVAC system. They are: Bypass Humidifiers, Fan Powered Humidifiers and Steam Humidifiers. Based on the set up of your home’s HVAC system, you can choose the one needed for humidifying your whole house and for this you can take the help of an air conditioning professional.
Types Of Hvac Based Humidifiers
Let us look into the deep aspects of Whole Home Humidifiers which are based on HVAC Systems.
Bypass Humidifier is the most common type of Whole Home Humidifiers. The bypass humidifier is connected directly to the return air duct of your furnace or air handler. Not having a motor of its own, they rely on the blower motor of the furnace so as to push warm air through it. Now, the warm air is pushed through the water panel that is present within the humidifier. The warm air absorbs moisture from it. It is this moisture which is then delivered back into the air stream and also back into your home.
Bypass Humidifier VS Powered Humidifiers
The Bypass whole home humidifiers is found to be adaptive to the various water types. Be it hard water or soft water, they can be adaptive. They are affordable and having no moving parts, they require less maintenance.
Now coming to the disadvantages, as they are connected to the bypass duct, they require extra room for a new bypass ductwork, which is a disadvantage. Also, humidity is lost each time around as air circulates in a continuous loop through the furnace and the ductwork. Also, on the arrival of cold weather, the damper in the bypass ductwork need to be opened manually.
Fan-powered humidifiers are pretty much like bypass humidifiers. However, they do not require additional ductwork which was a major disadvantage when it comes to bypass humidifiers. The fan-powered humidifiers, as the name suggests, include a fan for blowing the air across the water panel. They do not depend on the blower motor of the furnace for air distribution throughout the house. In short, they can function on its own even when the furnace is off.
Fan-powered humidifiers are more efficient. They blow moisture directly into the heated air. Also, there is no moisture loss associated with the circulation of air in the ductwork. Due to their high efficiency, they can add more moisture into the air each day and ring in moisture across more square footage which makes fan-powered humidifiers a good option for big homes.
The fan-powered humidifiers are found to be costlier when compared to bypass humidifier. Also, these humidifiers may require more associated maintenance activities than a bypass humidifier. It would not be a big trouble if the equipment is serviced annually and the water pads are changed. Having a built in fan, they can consume more electricity. Also, they can be noisy when compared to the bypass humidifiers. In order to bypass the noise, you may need good soundproofing techniques like insulation.
As the name suggest, Steam Humidifiers make use of steam. They add humidity to the air by boiling water. The Steam Humidifiers pass water through the highly conductive electrodes of a canister, which boils the water. There is no need of any water pad, instead the steam from the boiled water goes directly into the air.
Steam humidifiers are controlled by a device called a humidistat which is commonly installed into the return duct. What the humidistat does is the sampling of the air as it passes, calculating the amount of humidity in the air. When the humidity level turns lower than the set point on the humidistat, the humidifier is turned on. Nowadays, the newer HVAC systems have a built in capacity to automatically control steam humidifiers, bringing in optimal humidity control. Also, as the indoor humidity is in a way affected by outdoor temperature, these new HVAC Systems can employ the algorithms built into the circuit boards so as to automatically raise or lower the humidity setting based on the temperature changes. This again prevents water collecting in the windows during cold days.
Steam Humidifier is found to be the fastest and most efficient humidifier added to the HVAC System for home humidification. They are the best option if you have big home with high end wood furniture, flooring or if you are in the need for precise humidity control.
The Steam Humidifier is the best option for big homes. They are found to be the most expensive humidifier to buy. They are also the most complicated when it comes to installation and maintenance. What they need is a good electrical service and maintenance annually.