HVAC Terminology: Humidifiers

Find out more about the device that can keep you comfortable and even healthy

What exactly is a humidifier?

You do not have to overthink this one… a humidifier does just what its name implied: it adds water vapor to the air to increase humidity. In the earlier stages of the device, this was all they did. Nowadays, some humidifiers have evolved to be able to monitor the humidity levels in a home and release moisture in a home to avoid dry air, increase the efficiency of a furnace or central air conditioning unit, and make the air cleaner. While some humidifiers are portable devices that you can move around your house, there are also whole-house humidifiers that are installed near the ductwork of your furnace or central AC unit.

How do they work?

A whole house humidifier is installed in your ductwork, either on the supply or return end. The unit is also connected directly to your home’s water supply. Inside of the humidifier is either a humidifier pad, a rotating drum, or a steaming system that is used to distribute water to your home’s air. While the humidifier is in operation, water continuously runs down the humidifier pad, is collected by the rotating drum or is misted into the device. When air from your ducts enters the humidifier, it is exposed to the water inside.

The water then evaporates into the air, which increases the moisture levels of the air that exits the humidifier on the other side. That air goes through the humidifier and joins back up with the rest of your home’s airflow. As a result, all of the air that’s delivered to your home has higher moisture levels, which effectively raises the humidity in every room.

How do you know if you need a humidifier?

Most people can tell they need a humidifier if they experience consistent, severe dry skin and nasal passages. It is also widely accepted that you will need a humidifier if you live in a cold climate. Here is a list of signs it is time to invest in a humidifier:

  • You feel cold even when your furnace is constantly running
  • You or family members suffer from chronic allergies, especially in the winter months
  • You or family members have dry, chapped skin or eczema outbreaks
  • You or family members experience frequent colds along with congestion, sinus infections, and sore throats
  • You frequently feel the effects of static electricity, especially shocks
  • Your houseplants are dry and brittle
  • Your wallpaper is beginning to peel or warp
  • Wood furnishings are showing premature wear and tear, including fading and cracking
For more information on humidifiers or if you would like to install one in your home, call Commercial Service today at 812-339-9114.

 

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