The Best Whole House Furnace Humidifiers

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In a small apartment, a portable humidifier might be enough to keep you comfortable. If you live in a larger home, a whole house furnace humidifier is more effective. To provide comfort for your family, you can invest in the furnace humidifier that fits your needs.

Whole House Furnace Humidifiers

  • Whole house furnace humidifiers attach to your home's forced air furnace. They add moisture to the heated air the furnace blows into your home, increasing humidity levels in your home. In the winter, the air can become dry enough to cause itchy skin and nasal irritation severe enough to trigger nosebleeds. Whole house humidifiers help preserve your family’s comfort by raising the moisture levels in your home’s air to normal. Furnace humidifiers come in two main types: drum-style and drip-style.

Efficiency

  • The more efficient humidifiers are drip-style humidifiers, according to "Home Improvement 1-2-3," by John Holms. Humidifiers that trickle water down a mesh pad are more effective at adding moisture to air. Hot air from the furnace blows over the wet pad, picking up moisture and carrying it into your home. Drip-style humidifiers are the more reliable type of humidifier, but they are less commonly found in homes.

Cleanliness

  • You must install a drain for a drip-style humidifier. Some water will inevitably drip down off the mesh or from the spray unit and hit the floor. Without the drain, a puddle will form, creating a mess. Drum-style humidifiers are self-contained and don’t require the installation of additional drains. Because the water inside them is kept in a closed area, they are at greater risk for mold and mildew growth. They don’t drip water but do need to be monitored and cleaned at the first sign of mildew or mold.

Considerations

  • While drip-style humidifiers are more efficient and more effectively reduce your family’s risk of exposure to mold spores, you can improve the operation of any whole house furnace humidifier by installing a humidistat control. Usually located by the thermostat in your home, a humidistat measures moisture levels and causes the humidifier to turn on and off as needed. Better humidifiers will cost more to install but in general will last longer.

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References

  • Complete Home Repair; Editors of Creative Publishing
  • Principles of Home Inspection; Carson Dunlop
  • Home Improvement 1-2-3; John Holms
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