How To Choose A Humidifier For The House?

Winter months are dreaded on account of two things primarily chill and dryness. The chill in the air can easily be beaten with a furnace that will make you cosy by circulating warm air. What about dryness? The best solution to this is buying a retrofit humidifier that can be fitted with your furnace. It will not only make you comfortable but also ease up the adverse effect of dryness on your hardwood floors, musical instruments, artwork, and other objects. The humidifier will make you feel warm at a lower temperature. As a result you will save considerable amount on your energy bills

Types of Humidifiers

Humidifier can be broadly divided into two categories – portable units and whole house humidifiers. If the dryness is observed only in certain rooms for one or two months then potable unit will suffice. These run on evaporative or ultrasonic processes to supply warm or cool mist in your rooms. They come in various capacities. Maintenance is a hassle with these units. You have to clean them often to prevent bacterial build up in the tanks.

However if you see that the dryness lingers for serval months of the year and has an impact on your health and the house, then it is better to go for whole house humidifier that will be fitted in your forced-air system.

The whole humidifiers are of two types evaporative and steam humidifiers. An evaporative has ceramic coated pad, which is saturated with water. Warm air is passed around this pad to make it moist. This air is then moved in your rooms with help of furnace fan. Evaporative humidifier runs with the help of the furnace fan and therefore has to be connected with your duct work.

A steam humidifier has canisters in which water is boiled and converted into steam. This steam is then forced into the duct work. These units do not necessarily depend on the duct work. They have their own fans. They can be placed in the warm air plenum for that matter. The built-in fan pushes the moisture into the outgoing warm-air flow.

Now how to choose a humidifier?

Read on the following parameters will allow you to decide which humidifier is best for you?

• The best part of whole-house humidifier is that it is connected to forced-air system and these require minimal maintenance. You connect them into the duct work and just forget about them. Maintaining them once or twice a year is sufficient. If you have a very busy schedule, then these are suitable for you. The potable units will need to be cleaned almost every month.

• The whole-house humidifiers take water from your water supply. For the portable units you have to fill the tank whenever they get empty.

• When it comes to choosing between evaporative and steam humidifiers, then the former would cost you only $250. Installation charges would range from $100 to $300. Cost of steam units ranges from $300 to $1,100. Installation would cost another $300 to $500 depending on in-duct hook ups.

• Evaporative humidifiers have less energy cost but they use lots of water. The steam ones use lots of electricity as they heat water. Operational cost of your humidifier depends on amount of use, efficiency of your unit etc. Steam units heat water so they consume more electricity. The evaporative ones require lots of water.

• Steam humidifiers require less maintenance than evaporative humidifiers.

• To humidify 3,000 square feet of space, 12 gallons of water is required per day. Select a humidifier accordingly. Know the dimensions of the space you want to humidify.

• Some furnace brands also have humidifiers. Many furnace manufacturers will offer humidifiers that are compatible to their specific unit. Installing a universal units does not make your warranties void but it is better to read the instructions carefully. Many brands require their units to be installed by a licensed HVAC technician in order to keep the warranty valid.



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