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3 Types of Whole-Home Humidifiers And the Benefits of Each

Whole home humidifiers offer humidity throughout your whole home, whereas stand alone humidifiers only put humidity in one room that it is in. That being said, there’s more than one type of whole-home system, each with their own benefits. We’ll use this article to explain benefits, upkeep, and how each type of system works.

Drum humidifiers offer the simplest results when it comes to humidifying a home. They work on the principle of evaporation – air moves through your home’s duct systems and passes in a bypass tube which moisturizes the air as it moves on through the rest of the system. The drum moves through a pan of standing water which the pad soaks up . As air flows through the bypass tube, water evaporates out of the pad and into the air. Since as this type of humidifier only operates in conjunction with your furnaces, if it isn’t checked, water may become stagnant as it sits in the pan and potentially create bacteria.

Flow-through humidifiers work on the principle of evaporation just like drum humidifiers, but the difference between drum and flow-through humidifiers has to do with the water source. Instead of using a drum of water, a flow-through humidifier passes a steady stream of water across the humidifier pad. This type of humidifier structure lowers the risk of bacterial contamination as there is more movement involved in the installation process. However, a flow-through humidifier must be connected to a water supply and a water supply drain pipe.

Coleman bypass flow-through humidifier

On rare occasions, drum and flow-through humidifiers do not move enough water into your home’s air supply. Rather than using evaporation to change water from a liquid to a gas, a steam humidifier uses electricity. Unlike the bypass humidifiers, a steam humidifier operates independently from your furnace system. An internal heating element raises the temperature of the water held in a reservoir that is then forcibly expelled by the unit as it boils, releasing moist steam into your ductwork.

Coleman steam humidifier unit

With any whole home humidifier, they require yearly maintenance. To change the evaporative pad, make sure the water distribution tray is not plugged with minerals from the water, the solenoid valve needs to be checked to ensure that it is allowing the flow of water, and to have the water drain checked to make sure it is clear of any mineral deposits that can build up over time. We recommend having your humidifier maintenance at the same time as your furnace maintenance.

Having a whole-home helps solves a bunch of issues from dry skin, allergy issues and poor sleep, static electricity in your home and improving the effectiveness of your heating system. Contact HVAC Comfort for more information on types of whole home humidifiers today!