A furnace humidifier works as a whole-house humidifier that connects to your HVAC system and moistens the air throughout your home. You can choose from a variety of different types of furnace humidifiers. Reservoir humidifiers have a reservoir of water that rotates around a drum. Flow-through humidifiers use fresh water that runs through the system and then down a drain. Finally, steam humidifiers heat water to create steam that is then released through the furnace's regular airflow. Of these three options, the flow-through furnace humidifier is the most popular because it tends to be more reliable and hygienic. It's also less expensive and more cost-efficient.
What Does a Furnace Humidifier Cost?
The price of furnace humidifiers can vary significantly. Typically, they cost anywhere from $400 to $750. If you only need a small humidifier, you can expect to pay on the lower end of the spectrum. On the other hand, larger, high-quality models could cost you as much as $2,500. On top of the cost to purchase the humidifier, you'll also need to consider the cost to install it. This can also vary quite a bit depending on where you live and what type of humidifier you choose. Flow-through and steam models tend to cost the most overall to purchase and install.
How Do Furnace Humidifiers Work?
Furnace humidifiers are made up of a variety of different components. They require water, a water collection avenue, the ability to blow out air, a water control valve, and a humidistat. These all work together to put more moisture into your home.
Humidifier Water Tap
Water is supplied to the furnace humidifier through a cold water supply line in your home. The line should be near the humidifier. A valve device is used to affix a flexible water line from the water source to the humidifier.
Water Inlet Valve
To control the water flow to the humidifier, an inlet valve assembly and water inlet orifice are used. A device called an electric solenoid, which is powered by a transformer in the furnace, typically controls them. Another device, called a humidistat, controls the solenoid. A humidistat acts as a thermostat for the level of humidity. It can prompt the solenoid to open and supply more water if it determines the humidity in the air needs to be increased. If the humidity level is good, the humidistat will tell the solenoid to turn off and stop supplying water to the humidifier.
Inlet Feed Tube and Water Distribution Trough
This tube begins at the water inlet valve and connects to the top of the humidifier. At the top of the humidifier, it supplies water to a water distribution that can be found under the top cover. This trough lets the water flow evenly throughout the evaporator panel.
Humidifier Evaporator Panel
Often referred to as the evaporator pad or water wick, this is used to disperse water as evenly as possible to help with evaporation and collect mineral deposits. After a few months, the panel will likely be coated with white powder due to the minerals being pulled out of the water. Although this can be cleaned as part of routine maintenance, it's recommended that you replace it at the beginning of each season.
If you're using a flow-through humidifier, water that is left over from the evaporator panel will run into a drain pan that connects to a household drain. This is one of the best benefits of a flow-through humidifier. If you use a reservoir humidifier, the water can sit stagnant for a longer period, which can lead to mold growth.
As noted before, the humidistat will help regulate the humidity levels in your home. You can set your humidistat for the desired level, and when your home reaches that level, it will turn off the device's water supply.
Should You Invest In a Furnace Humidifier
For many people, furnace humidifiers can be a great investment. Heat often dries out the air within your home, which can lead to dry skin and other issues. If you live in a warmer climate that is more humid throughout the entire year, you probably don't need a furnace humidifier. Too much moisture in your home can cause mold to grow. Furnace humidifiers offer a wide variety of benefits for those who experience dry weather in the winter months. Consult with [company_name] in Whittier, CA to determine whether one is right for you. Our professionals can also help with any heating, cooling, and plumbing, and issues in your home.