A Central Whole Home Humidifier attaches to your furnace or air handler and add moisture to the air which is then distributed to your home using the duct system. There are several types are available and capabilities vary according to a number of factors, including the type of heating system they are attached to, and the size of the home.
Until recently, steam humidifiers have only been used in large commercial applications. As the name suggests, these heat water to produce steam which is added to the air stream. They are not dependent on the heating system to evaporate water, so are a better option when more precision humidity control is required and particularly in larger homes.
Steam humidifiers use heating elements or electrodes to evaporate the water. Units using electrodes tend to be less problematic, requiring less maintenance.
See the Healthy Climate Steam Humidifier >>
Bypass Central Whole Home Humidifiers:
The most recognizable humidifier is the drum type , which uses a foam drum that turns in a pan of water. A common problem with these is the standing water, which tends to be a breeding ground for mold, mildew and other unwanted contaminants. As a result, these are largely obsolete, and have been replaced by flow through models.
Flow through humidifiers are by far the most common type installed in homes today. Flow through humidifiers work by trickling water across a pad which air flows through the evaporate the water and distribute it to your home. Excess water is drained away. The capacity is influenced by the air temperature, so most furnace controls only allow them to operate when the heat is on. They will generally do a better job with a 2-stage furnace, or even better with a modulating furnace, where the heat is on for longer periods of time. In some cases, it is wise and beneficial to connect the unit to a hot water supply, which will increase capacity. Allowing the humidifier to work with continuous fan operation is also beneficial.
See the Healthy Climate Bypass Humidifier >>
Fan Powered Humidifiers are similar to flow through units, but do not have a bypass to the return ducting. These have an integrated fan of their own, which forces air across the humidifier pad.
Short of a steam unit, these are the better option for “low temperature” heating systems like heat pumps.
See the Healthy Climate Powered Humidifier >>