How Does a Furnace Humidifier Work in My Minneapolis Home?

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The first day of fall is September 22nd this year, which means colder weather is just around the corner. Cold weather in Minneapolis also comes with dry air. There are many ways to remedy the dryness in your home. One of those is a whole-home humidifier, also called a furnace humidifier. Furnace humidifiers are separate from your furnace, but they are great for helping your home feel comfortable during the dryer months.

Parts of a furnace humidifier

Furnace humidifiers use water from your main water line to send steam into your home. From your main water line, water fills in a reservoir that is regulated by a valve. The valve releases water based on the amount of water released onto an evaporator pad or something similar. Next, a blower fan will evaporate the water into the air. This is why the humidifier is placed close to the ducts. The blower fan will get a signal from a humidistat, which works similarly to a thermostat by detecting the humidity in the air. Excess water from the evaporator pad is drained out from the bottom of the humidifier.


Types of furnace humidifiers

The most common type of humidifier is the reservoir humidifier. This was the example used to explain the parts of a furnace. It is most often the least expensive type of humidifier, will need to be cleaned more often, and has the least efficiency. The other types of humidifiers vary only slightly, but there is a cost and level of care difference between them. A flow-through humidifier uses an existing water pipe to drip water onto an evaporation pad instead of through a reservoir. They tend to use more water, but they have a higher efficiency and require less maintenance. A steam humidifier boils water by an air duct to release steam with your heated air. It is the most expensive type, but it offers the best efficiency in furnace humidifiers.

When to turn on the humidifier

Using the humidistat set up with your humidifier, you can see the humidity percentage in your home. Typically, you want your furnace humidifier on after starting up your furnace and when the humidity falls below 30% in your home. The most comfortable humidity levels in homes is between 30% to 50%. However, if you have problems with dry skin, nose bleeds, or increased allergy and asthma symptoms in colder months, you may want more humidity in your home. If problems like these still persist, consider getting a portable humidifier for your bedroom.

If you are looking into getting a furnace humidifier for your home, make sure you talk with your HVAC technicians to make sure you are making the most informed and best choice for your family. Our technicians at Twin City Heating, Air and Electric are happy to help answer your questions or install a furnace humidifier. Schedule an appointment to learn more.