5 Tips for Choosing a Furnace Humidifier
When the humidity in the air is below a certain minimum level, it’s more likely to cause some uncomfortable symptoms, such as dry noses and scratchy throats. These discomforts are especially common during dry winters. What’s more, dry indoor air in winter can often cause skin irritation and even peeling, static on clothes and cracks to appear in furniture. However, furnace humidifiers that operate with the home’s heating furnaces can regulate the moisture of the whole house helping to remove all the disadvantages of dry air. Since they require little maintenance and refilling, furnace humidifiers are considered to be convenient methods for maintaining the right humidity level in homes.
Here are some important tips for how to choose a furnace humidifier unit for the home:
1. Decide the capacity according to your needs.
Generally, the capacity of a furnace humidifier reflects how big an area it can humidify. Moisture output is often expressed as gallons per day (GPD) and different furnace humidifiers have different moisture output rates. A house of 500 sq ft can get enough moisture from a furnace rated at 1.5 to 2 GPD, while a house between 700 and 800 sq ft may need one rated at 3 to 3.5 GPD. And a furnace humidifier rated at 7 to 9 GPD can provide enough humidification for a space from 1,000 to 2,000 sq ft, but a space more than 2,000 sq ft requires a unit of 10 GPD or higher.
2. Get to know the Installation requirements.
Although a furnace humidifier operates within the home’s furnace, there are many types which each require different installation. Some designs should be attached directly to the home’s furnace, while some require connecting to a nearby duct system. Therefore, before getting a home furnace, you should check its configuration and ductwork around it. Then you can select a furnace humidifier that can fit the configuration of your furnace or your ductwork and avoid unnecessary effort and extra expense.
3. Look for the best type of furnace humidifier that meets your needs.
All furnace humidifiers work with a heating furnace on the same principles, but there are three basic types: flow-through, drum-style and spray mist. Each design has its advantages and disadvantages. Flow-through units can prevent the growth of mold and bacteria, but they should include a built-in floor drain. While drum-style models may be the cheapest ones on the other hand, they also require more maintenance than other models. As for spray mist designs, they can maximize effectiveness when they are incorporated to gas or oil powered furnaces. However, they are not suitable for electric furnaces.
4. Consider convenient controls.
A furnace humidifier that includes a built-in humidistat is very convenient and effective in maintaining accurate levels of humidity. Just like a thermostat that measures the temperature of the furnace, a humidistat measures the humidity levels of the whole house. A humidistat usually sends out a signal to the humidifier, and then the humidifier can automatically turn on or off, depending on its precise humidity readings. If the humidifier doesn’t have an integral humidistat, it’s better to use a separate thermo-hygrometer to get accurate humidity levels. Then you can control the humidifier to reach the most comfortable humidity levels.
5. Check the requirements of replacement parts.
All humidifiers require regular maintenance to achieve effective performance. And there is no exception for furnace humidifiers. To keep your furnace unit in a good condition, you should replace some components regularly, such as the evaporative pads of the filters or screens. So before making the decision to buy a furnace humidifier, you should make sure whether you can afford all the replacement parts required by the manufacturer, as well as how easy it is to purchase them.