Proper humidity levels aren’t only important for comfort, they are vital to maintaining a home. Air that is too dry can act like a sponge, soaking up moisture from everyone and everything in a home. The woodwork, wood floors, furnishings, and people all suffer with dry air. Common symptoms encountered when a home lacks proper hydration include dry skin, chapped lips, dry nasal passages, static electricity, cracked wood, gaps in hardwood flooring, wobbly chair legs, and even detuned pianos.
A humidifier can be used to increase humidity in a single room or an entire house. Point-of-use humidifiers are commonly used for single room applications, while whole-house or furnace humidifiers provide humidity to the entire house by connecting to a home’s HVAC system. Whole House Humidifiers may be installed into the furnace for buildings with a forced air furnace.
Drum whole house humidifiers are common evaporative units for forced-air systems. They operate by using a sponge attached to a rotating wheel that dips into a reservoir of water. This sponge then rotates through warm air being pushed through the drum by the furnace, hydrating it. This, now humidified, air is then sent into the home.
A bypass humidifier is a whole house humidifier that is connected between hot and cold air return ducts. It uses the pressure difference between these ducts to force heated air to bypass through the humidifier and return to the furnace. These do not contain a foam drum, but instead have a number of plastic discs with small grooves on both sides. This allows for a very large evaporative surface area, without requiring a great deal of space.
Humidistats are instruments used to sense the humidity level and communicate it to the humidifier. As the humidity level in a space drops a set of electrical contacts in the humidistat close, turning the unit on.
A dehumidistat operates in the opposite fashion by causing the electrical contacts to open when the humidity level in the space drops below a set level, turning the unit off. As the humidity in the space goes up the electrical contacts will close and the dehumidifier will operate to reduce the humidity in the space.
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