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How Does a Whole House Humidifier Work to Control Humidity?

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When your home feels uncomfortable, it’s tempting to always blame the temperature. But there’s another factor at work that can make your home feel uncomfortable even if the temperature is perfectly warm: humidity levels. During winter in the Coachella Valley, humidity levels are lower than the rest of the year, which can make your home feel colder, dry out your skin, make it easier for viruses to spread between family members, damage your home and more. Luckily, these problems can easily be prevented with a whole house humidifier. Today we’re going to explain how a home humidifier works to raise the humidity levels in your home to a safe and comfortable level!

A whole house humidifier is installed as part of your heating system

A whole home humidifier should not be confused with a portable humidifier. A portable humidifier is a device that you plug in to the wall and place in the middle of a room. These humidifiers can only control the humidity of one room at a time, and they require frequent maintenance like changing the water and keeping the device clean.

A whole house humidifier, on the other hand, is installed directly in your heating system’s ductwork. When your furnace is cycling and heating air in your home, that air is also humidified by the humidifier. This means that every room in your home can enjoy humidified air by using a single unit.

How does a home humidifier work?

A humidifier in your home is installed in your ductwork near your furnace, either on the supply or return end. The unit is also connected directly to your home’s water supply. Inside of the humidifier is a either a humidifier pad, a rotating drum or a steaming system that is used to distribute water to your home’s air. While the humidifier is running, water continuously runs down the humidifier pad, is collected by the rotating drum or is misted into the device, depending on your model.

When air from your ducts enters the humidifier, it is exposed to the water inside. The water evaporates into the air, which increases the moisture levels of the air that exits the humidifier on the other side.

While your furnace is running, a portion of the air that it cycles is directed into the humidifier. That air goes through the humidifier and joins back up with the rest of your home’s airflow. As a result, all of the air that’s delivered to your home has higher moisture levels, which effectively raises the humidity in every room.

How much maintenance does a home humidifier require?

If you use portable humidifiers, you are probably used to having to perform a lot of maintenance on them. Neglecting to maintain portable humidifiers can quickly lead to mold and bacterial growth inside of the unit.

Fortunately, humidifiers require very little maintenance. If your model uses a humidifier pad or filter, the media typically needs to be replaced about once per year. If you have a steam humidifier, it simply needs to be cleaned annually. Hydes can take care of your annual humidifier maintenance, often in conjunction with your annual furnace tune-up.

If you have any questions about how a home humidifier works, or if you’d like a heating system serviced or installed in your home, contact Hydes, your Coachella Valley furnace installation and repair contractor.

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