How Does a Furnace Humidifier Work? And What are the Benefits?



Winter can be a pretty dry time, as anyone who stocks up on tissues with lotion can tell you.

When the weather gets cold, the relative humidity levels in your home can sink to just 15 percent.

A good humidity level is between 30 and 50 percent. Anything over 50, and your home becomes susceptible to mold, bacteria, dust mites and other pests.  

And when the humidity level gets too low, things can quickly become uncomfortable in your home. You get shocked by static electricity every time you unfold a blanket, your lips are chapped, and things just feel colder.

This is where a furnace humidifier can help.

A portable humidifier is not a furnace humidifier. A furnace humidifier is attached to your HVAC unit.You might own a few humidifiers already, the portable devices you can pick up at Target or Home Depot. You fill them with water, switch them on, and they’ll humidify the air in your home…until they run out of water.

But a furnace humidifier – also known as a “whole home humidifier” – is installed directly into your HVAC system.

When air from your ducts enters the humidifier, it is exposed to the water inside. The water then evaporates, which increases the moisture levels in the air flowing out of the humidifier and into your home. This water vapor not only helps regulate the humidity, it can also prevent harmful minerals from getting into the air.

Humidity levels are controlled through your thermostat, allowing an even level of moisture to permeate your home all year.

This can have numerous benefits:

1. It’s good for your health

A home that has too little humitity can agreevate all sorts of allergies, bronchitis and asthma.

Viruses love environments without a lot of humidity, which is why we think of winter as “cold and flu season.” When your home is excessively dry, it increases the risk of infection. With a whole home humidifier, you can reduce your chances of getting sick.

And dry air can aggravate existing conditions such as asthma or allergies, leading to sore throats, itchy skins and dry noses.

2. It protects yours home

Too much humidity can be bad for your home, but dry air can be a problem as well, causing damage to wood floors, plaster, paint, furniture and electronics. And if you own an expensive piece of artwork or a priceless musical instrument, dry air can subject them to irreparable damage. When you have a furnace humidifier, you’re investing in a system that protects your home.

3. It can lower your energy bill

Adding more humidity to your home can let you feel warmer even when temperatures are lower. You can shave as much as four percent off your energy bill for every degree you lower your thermostat, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

platinum-humidifier-lg.pngAnd installing a humidity control system in your home can help you qualify for the National Association of Home Builder’s green-built certification program.

If you think a whole home humidifier is right for you, contact All Seasons Comfort Control. We install and service these devices, and offer humidifiers from American Standard, Honeywell and Aprilaire.

And if you’re already one of our customers, we’ll be happy to install a humidifier during our next service visit. Contact us today to learn more.