Yes! Whole house humidifiers can be a great addition to your home comfort system if you wake up in the morning having chapped lips, blocked nose, or a sore throat? Then there might be a need to regulate the humidity level in your house.

You should also consider installing the equipment in your home when you notice cracking in your furnishings, drywall, and wood floors. These issues usually get aggravated during the winter. Besides, the heating system in your home can also cause humidity related challenges because heating air eliminates moisture.

Fortunately, you can install a whole house humidifier on your heating system to promote moisture and release it via the duct system into the air of your entire house. As a result, your family members and pets would be more comfortable.

Having taken a great deal of time to research extensively on this topic, this article will provide you relevant information that answers the question: “Are whole house humidifiers effective?”  We will also go into details on how to get the best value from installing them in your house.

What’s a Whole house humidifier?

A whole house humidifier is among the two main types of humidifiers. The other is the portable humidifier. Whole house humidifiers are used alongside your HVAC system. They’re installed directly inside the HVAC ductwork system. Also, it has a furnace fan blower that helps to distribute the moisture evenly throughout your home.

During the installation, a plumber will fix the existing water supply and connect it to a water panel or a rotary evaporator. The air then goes through the water panel, or the water is fed into the air by a rotary evaporator, thereby increasing the overall humidity of the environment in your home.

On the other hand, portable humidifiers are single units, usually on wheels, that add moisture to one or more rooms at once. They distribute moist air throughout your room via an internal fan.

Nevertheless, some people find portable humidifiers inconvenient because they need frequent cleaning maintenance as well as the need to have their tank filled with distilled water every day.

Effectiveness Of Whole House Humidifiers

There’s no denying that installing the whole house unit in your house can offer a wide range of benefits, such as keeping you and members of your household healthy. The benefits are as follows:

  • Lower Energy Cost

The moist air makes us feel warmer because there is less room for evaporation of sweat to take place. This holds for indoors as well as outdoors on a sunny day. It’s interesting to know that indoor air at 70 degrees with 50 percent humidity will feel warmer than air at a similar temperature with humidity of about 20 percent.

You can consider raising the temperature of the thermostat to stay warm, leading to a decrease in humidity. Also, using excess energy to power your heater may not be too prudent since you could use a humidifier to get the same result.

Therefore if you opt to use a whole-house humidifier, you won’t feel the need to worry about the heat as often, which will save you money on energy bills in the long run. When compared to a heater, a humidifier is extremely cheap to work with and it will only cost you a few cents a month.

  • Enhanced Health

It’s well known that during winter dry air can cause damage to your body such as cracked lips, sore or scratching throat, minor nosebleeds, allergy, dry skin and common cold. But then, a humidified air and staying hydrated can alleviate many of these discomforts.

Furthermore, there’s also increasing evidence supporting the theory that certain viruses, such as the flu, thrive in cold and dry air in the Northern Hemisphere. Also, according to research, it was found that the flu virus spreads more quickly among guinea pigs kept in colder and less moist conditions. 

In yet another research, a historical correlation between the drop in humidity and the outbreak of influenza was established. Humidifiers can lower the lifespan of the virus carried in the air and potentially limit the spread of the disease, especially if you are vulnerable to cold and flu during the winter.

  • Safeguard of Items and furnishings in the Home

Getting a central humidifier in the home can make most people feel more comfortable, as a result of the increased humidity. Moreover this can also keep your house warm. However, you must have it in mind that very high moisture in the air can cause growth of mildew and pesky mold.

Aside from the challenge mentioned in the last paragraph, adding moisture to your home can also increase the longevity and durability of several materials that are prone to cracking, splitting, crushing and warping in dry conditions. Examples are Wallpaper, Instruments, Art pieces, Books, Electronics, Wood, Plaster and Paint. 

How does a whole house humidifier work?

There are basically three types of central humidifiers. They work effectively by introducing water vapor into the ducts of your home’s HVAC system, but each one achieves this in different ways. They’re as follows:

1. Steam Humidifiers

These types are connected to the water supply of your home and electrical system. Water is heated to boiling the gets evaporated into vapor, then it’s injected into the heating ducts of your home, from which it is distributed throughout your home.

2. Drum humidifiers

This type of central humidifier makes use of the supply of electric current and a connection to the water supply. A pan is filled by water while the drum partially rotates in the pan. The bottom of the drum lies slightly in the water. As the drum rotates, the water flows through the sponge and exits into the center of the drum as water vapor. The hot air from the furnace passes through the center of the drum, introducing moisture to the air that is distributed into the atmosphere of your home.

3. The flow through humidifier

The flow through humidifier also known as moisture pads humidifier is connected to the water supply. This whole house unit has no moving parts and does not require the use of electricity. Since the water pipe moistens the evaporator, hot air from the furnace flows through the pad where it absorbs the moisture and adds it to the flow of air into your home. They require an extra drainage opening, usually to a floor drain or a utility sink.

The steam system can inject steam directly into the primary ducts. 

How To Maintain  Whole House Humidifiers

Maintenance is one of the major challenges faced by people using a portable single room humidifier. This is because you need to have them properly dried and cleaned out constantly to prevent the formation or accumulation of mold or bacteria. 

In addition, the filters in this unit must be replaced regularly. If not properly maintained, the mold in the humidifier will send mold spores directly into the air, which will make your air quality much worse instead of improving it.

Whole house humidifiers are not as difficult to maintain as the portable counterpart. Steam humidifiers have mechanisms for collecting water that do not allow the liquid water to remain in the channels, as a result redirect it into the device.

So long as the evaporator pads of the drum and flow-through humidifier are adjusted properly so that water flows only to the pad when the heat is running, the mold is not allowed to grow in any part of the system. The flow-through humidifiers even clean the evaporator from mineral deposits of tap water. Hence the cleaning and replacement of the pad only once in 12 months. Drum humidifiers requires monthly maintenance so they’re less easy to maintain than the flow-through unit.

How To Use Whole House Humidifier Effectively

If you want to get the best out of the whole house humidifier, ensure that the humidity level of the device is set correctly according to the temperature.

Since, a sewer in a home passes through areas that are outside the insulation, such as part of the basement or attic. This translates to the cold ducts causing moisture to condense inside the ducts. Also, the cold weather can make windows cold, which leads to condensation if the humidity levels of your home are too high.

The use central humidifiers throughout the house specifically to protect the winter air from being too dry, improper humidity levels are likely to cause condensation. Condensation can cause rot mold, and rust 

Wrap up

In this article, we have successfully answered the question; are whole house humidifiers effective? The use of a whole house humidifier is effective in the treatment of dry skin, allergies, flu and other respiratory infections. Unlike portable humidifiers, this central device require less maintenance to keep running effectively.

Whole house humidifiers are designed with sensors nowadays. This feature can help you to detect the temperature and humidity of your home. It can also automatically activate or deactivate the humidifier as required.