Get the most from
your humidifier this winter

by Tom Olecki, Owner, Broadview Heating

Now that winter is lurking around the corner, the humidity in your home will soon be dropping to uncomfortable levels. In some cases, humidity levels in your home can drop to levels of a desert. Proper humidity in your home can really make a big difference in how comfortable you feel.
To combat dryness, you might have a humidifier on your heating system. But has it been serviced within the last year? All humidifiers need yearly maintenance, including changing of its waterpanel, pad or filter. When a humidifier is operating, it is evaporating water into the air stream. The minerals, or hardness, that is in the water are left behind on the waterpanel and can build up to a point where the humidifier is no longer efficient or the humidifier begins to leak or overflow. Some waterpanels are quite easy to replace while others are not, but most replacement filters have instructions on their packaging to guide you through. Make sure you use genuine replacement filters as these are engineered to be the most efficient and will save you money on water. Also, some humidifiers have motors in them that might need periodic oiling.
Setting and adjusting your humidifier controls seems to be one of the most confusing topics for most homeowners. Most humidifiers have an adjustable humidistat either installed near the furnace or on the wall by the thermostat. Optimum settings are as follows: If it’s 40 degrees or warmer outside, set your control to 45% humidity and at 25 degrees outside, 35% humidity. When it is really cold you will have to set the humidity down around 30%. As you can see, the colder it is outside, the less humidity we can adjust for. This is to prevent water condensation on windows, doors and walls that will damage them.
To overcome the need to constantly adjust the control, automatic humidity controls are available that will adjust your home’s humidity based on the outside temperature. These are great alternatives to the manual humidity controls and can be installed on your existing humidifier. Because they adjust automatically to the optimum humidity level, you will benefit from the most comfort from your humidifier without your having to remember to re-adjust. These controls even shut down the humidifier in the summer months to prevent adding humidity in your home when your air conditioner is trying to remove it.

Tom Olecki, Owner, Broadview Heating

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Opinions and claims expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of ScripType Publishing.