May 19, 2024
Home Improvement

How Do Furnace Humidifiers Work – Complete Guide

How Do Furnace Humidifiers Work

Home comfort depends on several factors, and humidity is one that is commonly overlooked. Since our bodies are made of water, humidity is important to our health.

Installing a whole-house humidifier alongside your furnace helps create a more comfortable home environment by adding moisture to dry indoor air, soothing skin irritations and protecting wood furnishings from drying out; in addition, this may also alleviate asthma symptoms.

If you want to boost your home’s comfort by addressing humidity, consider checking out for more information on whole-house humidifiers and installations to make your indoor environment even cozier.

Furnace humidifiers, also known as whole-house humidifiers, are devices designed to add moisture to the air in your home during the winter months when heating systems can make the air dry. They are integrated with your heating and air conditioning system and work to maintain a comfortable humidity level in your entire house.

Furnace Humidifiers Typically Work:

  1. The humidifier is connected to your home’s water supply. It has a water reservoir or a constant water supply to ensure a steady source of water.
  2. Inside the humidifier, there’s a wicking filter or a water panel through which warm air from the furnace passes.
  3. When the heating system is running, warm air from the furnace is forced through the water-saturated filter or water panel. As the warm air passes over the wet surface, it picks up moisture through the process of evaporation.
  4. The moistened air is then distributed through the heating ducts and into the rooms throughout the house. This helps increase the humidity level in the air, making it more comfortable for occupants.
  5. The humidifier is usually equipped with a humidistat, which is a device that measures the humidity level in the air. Based on the set humidity level, the humidistat will regulate the operation of the humidifier, turning it on or off as needed to maintain the desired humidity.
  6. Regular maintenance is crucial for the proper functioning of furnace humidifiers. This includes cleaning or replacing the water panel or filter, ensuring that the water supply is clean, and addressing any mold or mineral buildup.

Benefits of Furnace Humidifiers

Humidity offers many advantages, including reducing static electricity (which can be annoying and harmful to electronic equipment). High humidity levels also protect wood furniture from warping and cracking, helping people with allergies or asthma breathe easier, lowering thermostat temperatures for energy savings, and helping combat dry skin issues and other health concerns.

Heating your home during the winter can dry out the air inside. This can lead to itchy skin, chapped lips, nosebleeds and increased symptoms for those suffering from asthma or allergies. Furnace humidifiers add moisture back into the air and spread it throughout your house.

Where are They Installed?

Furnace humidifiers work throughout a home via system ducting, while portable humidifiers operate only in individual rooms. There are three primary styles: flow-through with freshwater supply and drain; reservoir type using a pan of water to moisten the rotating drum; and steam humidifier, which heats water to create moisture to inject into furnace airflow.

Furnace humidifiers attach directly to your ductwork, turning on and off depending on humidity levels as determined by your thermostat and humidistat settings. They work best in homes equipped with central heating and cooling systems.

Whole-home furnace humidifiers are usually installed either at the point where warm air exits the furnace or where cold air enters it; these units run whenever your furnace is on and then automatically turn off once your furnace shuts down.

Furnace humidifiers use a water panel, evaporator pad, or steam to add moisture to the air that your furnace blows into your ductwork. Homeowners should choose a bypass/drum, flow-through, or steam furnace humidifier based on which works best for their needs and budget.

How Do These Systems Work?

The humidifier’s water inlet orifice and solenoid valve assembly are controlled by a humidity control device that acts like a thermostat to maintain desired humidity levels in your home. Should it need to be increased, the humidistat prompts its solenoid to open and supply more water into the humidifier.

Once your desired humidity level has been achieved, the humidistat will signal its solenoid to shut off the water supply.

If your humidifier has a water tank, be sure to regularly drain it to avoid mineral deposits or scale from blocking its flow of water into your humidifier.

Humidifiers trickle water through an evaporation panel using heat and airflow, turning it into a vapor distributed throughout your home via an HVAC blower. Although flow-through humidifiers don’t contain standing water that could host mold growth, regular maintenance cleaning must still occur to maintain optimal performance and ensure optimal functioning.

System Controls

Furnace humidifiers are more reliable than room humidifiers, which require frequent refilling and can build mold over time. Furnace humidifiers use freshwater connected directly to your home’s water system, so there are fewer chances for spills and accidents.

Control systems like thermostats and humidistats allow you to customize how and when to operate a humidifier according to your preferences. Once it detects indoor humidity has reached your preferred level, a solenoid water valve assembly opens to supply fresh water directly into the humidifier until its operation stops again upon closing its solenoid water valve assembly.

Some models even feature corrosion-resistant housing and autoFlush functionality, which regularly flushes the reservoir to remove minerals that clog and inhibit humidification.

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