Understanding How a Whole-House Humidifier Works

by Greg Leisgang on March 6, 2013

Posted in: Indoor Air Quality

humidity meter, how a whole-house humidifier works, West Chester, OhioA whole-house humidifier is a simple yet effective tool that leverages gravity and water evaporation to simultaneously provide supreme home comfort, protect property and possessions, and even ward off viral infections by optimally humidifying indoor air during the cold, dry months. Understanding how a whole-house humidifier works can enable you to reap all these benefits in your Cincinnati area home.

How a whole-house humidifier works

A whole-house humidifier works its magic by utilizing a home’s electrical, plumbing and forced-air heating systems. These are the components and the humidifying process.

  • The humidifier is installed in the ductwork system near the furnace blower.
  • A water-feed line connects to the plumbing, and a drainage tube runs to a floor drain.
  • Indoor humidity levels are monitored by a humidistat, like a thermostat monitors temperatures. The humidistat calls for humidification when indoor humidity levels fall below the set point.
  • An electronic solenoid valve automatically opens to allow water to flow into the water-feed line. 
  • Water pressure is reduced as it passes through an orifice.
  • Water flows into a wide distribution trough.
  • Water is dispersed evenly down a water panel or evaporator pad. The water panel is a mesh design, which simultaneously allows water to flow down and forced airflow from the blower to flow through it.
  • The heated airflow evaporates some of the water from the water panel and carries the water vapor through the ductwork to the living spaces.
  • A drain pan collects the excess run-off water. 
  • The excess water flows through a drain spud into a drainage tube, which is typically a clear plastic tube or PVC pipe leading to a floor drain.
  • When indoor humidity levels reach the set point, the solenoid valve closes to stop water flow.

Whole-house humidifiers need regular professional maintenance at least once per year, depending on usage, for a thorough cleaning and component inspection for wear and water leaks.

If you'd like to learn more about how a whole-house humidifier works, or to schedule service, contact Tri-County Heating & Cooling. We've provided quality services for Butler county and the Greater Cincinnati area for more than 40 years.

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