Humidifiers and Your Comfort

One way a home owner can minimize the number and growth of unhealthy airborne pollutants is to add a proper humidification system to their home. This will help control the relative humidity (rh) in a home, which can have dramatic effects on both your health and bank account!

Carrier’s Healthy Air Experts state that in the cold climates, the relative humidity (rh) of outdoor air can be as low as 10%. This is about the same as the Sahara Desert! As cold, dry air infiltrates your home, it can cause a number of unwanted and uncomfortable conditions. We can attribute such conditions as dry nasal passages, sore throats, increased dust and annoying static build up to the dry air that sometimes occupies much of our homes. Humidification systems help to reduce all of these concerns and more. The Healthy Air Experts at Carrier also point out that proper humidity levels during heating may have an impact on comfort and, in some cases, will allow the home owner to reduce the heating set point, thus allowing for energy and cost savings. (Dry air increases the evaporation rate of the body’s external moisture levels, causing a cooling effect on the skin. Humidifiers reduce this action)

Humidifiers simply operate by creating water vapor then dispersing the moisture infused air throughout a home.

There are two major types of home humidifying applications:

By-pass Humidifiers: This type offers the most flexible installation process. After mounting the unit on either the supply or return duct, a by-pass duct is connected to the humidifier and then to the duct opposite the unit. As the furnace blower operates, and the higher the pressure builds in the supply duct, air being drawn through the humidifier is dispersed into the living area.

Fan-powered Humidifiers:These come equipped with an internal fan that acts as a booster to the furnace blower during operation. Fan-powered units do not require a by-pass duct. They simply help draw more air through the wet water panel, resulting in moisture rich air being distributed through the home.

One humidifying product currently available is the Carrier “Ideal Humidity” system. The name really says it all. This “Ideal” system will monitor and adjust your home’s humidity, even when your system is not actively heating or cooling. This allows for optimal comfort and air quality, (with little or no effort from you!) while helping to save energy usage and costs.

Carrier also passes on a couple of very good reminders about humidification systems that I just could not leave out. #1 – Minerals from the water can build up on the moisture pad, it’s important to replace the pad annually to maintain peak performance. #2- When powered humidifiers are installed on the return duct, or with a heat pump, a HOT water supply is suggested.

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