How does a Furnace Humidifier Work?
Although cold weather isn’t a huge concern for residents of Parrish, FL, changing temperatures can play an important role in your indoor air quality. Cold air holds less moisture than warm air, meaning that indoor and outdoor humidity levels decline during the winter months. Inside your home, you may find that minor use of your furnace can lead to frustrating problems with dry skin and hair. It’s important to know how to check your home’s humidity levels to determine whether a solution like a furnace humidifier may be warranted.
Recommended Humidity Levels
The ideal relative humidity in a home is between 30 and 50 percent throughout the year. In northern regions, it may be difficult to reach that minimum without supplemental humidification. However, our area experiences a mild winter most years, meaning that a furnace humidifier may not be necessary. You can install a hygrometer to monitor moisture conditions in your home throughout the year as summer humidity concerns are equally important. You can also do a simple test with a drinking glass and ice cubes.
Place three cubes in the glass, add water, and wait for three minutes. If your glass sweats, then your home’s humidity is sufficient. If it doesn’t sweat, you can probably benefit by installing a humidification unit.
Types of Heater Humidifiers
There are two main principles used for furnace units, and there are three main designs. You can consider a steam or evaporative humidifier based on your budget, household size and other concerns. Options include the following:
- Steam – produces high volumes of moisture, but cautions must be exercised near the equipment because of hot parts and surfaces
- Fan-operated – a fan drives air through an evaporative pad to disperse moisture into the circulating air in the home; up to 18 gallons of moisture per day can be processed
- Bypass – part of the airstream is directed through the unit and the evaporative pad to move moisture throughout the house; up to 17 gallons of moisture per day can be processed
Deciding on the right unit for your home will require the assistance of an HVAC professional. Your technician can check your home and HVAC system design to evaluate how much moisture is needed and how well each type of unit can integrate with your ducts.
Additional Indoor Air Quality Concerns
If your home’s humidity levels are low, you can face physical discomforts. There are also potential health risks. Low humidity can cause the drying of mucous membranes, affecting your body’s natural defenses against winter illnesses like colds and flu. In addition to supplemental humidification, you may want to consider the potential benefits of installing a germicidal air purifier. These systems trap and kill viruses, bacteria and other serious pollutants that can trigger allergies or lead to health problems.
If you need help in assessing your indoor air quality or in deciding on the right humidification solutions, Custom Air is ready to help. Our team in Parrish, FL can schedule an appointment at your convenience.