IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING THE BEST WHOLE HOUSE HUMIDIFIER
Without a humidifier, you have to face the problem of dry air in winter. With a humidifier, you can enjoy comfort and also extended life of your wooden floors. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), indoor humidity should not be less than 30 percent or more than 60 percent. If it is less than 30% you might feel uncomfortable and may even suffer from very dry mucous membranes leading to infections and nosebleeds. Keeping all this in mind, you need to buy a product that is a perfect fit for your needs. Here are the things you need to consider while purchasing a whole house unit.
Knowing the type
Apart from going through whole house humidifier reviews, you need to fully check out the various options available. In case there is dryness only at night time and in some rooms for only a couple of months in a year, you might not need a whole house unit. A room humidifier will suffice.
But if the house faces dryness for a number of months in a year and this is detrimentally affecting the home and your health, go for a whole house unit since it will humidify the entire house through utilizing the furnace heated air.
You should know that whole house humidifiers come in two types – steam and evaporative humidifiers. In case of a steam humidifier, water is heated in a canister and converted to steam which is then pushed through the ductwork. Though evaporative units are fitted in ducts, a number of them may not call for furnace connection in order to operate. Installation of this fan-driven model takes place right away over the warm air plenum. The moisture is then forced into the outflowing warm air with the help of the in-built fan.
An evaporative humidifier has a water-saturated, ceramic-coated evaporator pad from where the warm air passes and gathers in moisture. This is then circulated all through the home. These units, otherwise known as bypass units, should be installed within the ductwork since they are driven by the furnace fan. When the warm air comes out of the furnace, it is pushed through the humidifier. However, when your air conditioner is switched on during the warmer seasons of the year, airflow along the unit can be hampered if the bypass vent suffers a damper.
Choosing a unit
Which would be the best whole house humidifier to suit your needs? To get the answer, you need to consider certain parameters. A humidifier that allows integration with the ductwork implies least installation worries and only yearly maintenance, contrary to standalone units. Moreover, standalone units call for frequent water supply.
Whole house humidifier reviews and product manufacturer reports suggest that the evaporative types are less pricey upfront compared to the steam ones. Operation costs depend upon the frequency of running the unit and its efficiency.
Capacity and compatibility
Since you want to select the most effective whole house unit, you should really consider one that has the capacity to provide moisture to the full house. Hence it is essential to know the square feet area of the house. Generally, for humidification of a 3,000 square feet space, 12 gallons are required daily. More detailed estimates can be made through humidification calculators.
A number of furnace manufacturers sell humidifiers which pair with the existing unit. Usually the furnace warranty is not affected if you install a whole house humidifier, but, to be on the safe side, go through the total warranty information before buying.
The working procedure
It is good to check out the switch-on procedure for your humidifier. Some come with high-end control options which are capable of regulating the humidification irrespective of the home heating technique. Many others possess a humidistat, which can be set according to the preferred humidity level in order to ‘inform’ the humidifier whenever there is requirement of moisture. Humidistats may be connected to the air conditioning system so they can control the conditioner according to the alterations in the internal humidity level. While buying, check whether the user guide includes suggestions for the suitable humidity setting.
Installing and maintaining
Reversible whole house units can be installed either on cold air duct or on warm air plenum. A number of them might call for a drain connection. Before installation, it is advisable to read the supplied instructions. You must also know that there are certain models wherein, to retain the warranty, you must take up the services of a licensed HVAC technician for installation.
Whole house humidifiers require less maintenance but routine maintenance may prevent growth of germs. If you are using an evaporative unit, yearly replacement of the humidifier pad is necessary. Again, for steam humidifiers annual flushing of task sediment is a good option. Read the manual carefully to know about the required frequency of maintenance.