Pros And Cons Of A Whole House Flow-Through Humidifier

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A whole house humidifier can help reduce effects of dry air caused by frequent use of your heating system. Dry air can cause a variety of uncomfortable side effects including cracked lips, dry skin, and bloody noses. There are a few different types of whole house humidifiers that can help with these problems. One of the more common types is a flow-through humidifier. 

What are the pros and cons of a whole house flow-through humidifier?

Pro: Low-Maintenance

Humidifiers often spread moisture through your home's ductworks by routing the warm air from the furnace over a moistened pad and out into the ducts. In a drum-style humidifier, the pad circles around and dips into standing water. That standing water can lead to mildew buildup and makes that type of unit higher maintenance.

A flow-through humidifier has a moistened pad but the moisture comes straight from the water supply line rather than a standing pool of water. The constant use of fresh water makes mildew buildup less likely and makes a flow-through unit relatively low maintenance.

Consult your owner's manual for maintenance tips but generally cleaning the pad once or twice a year should be sufficient.

Pro or Con: Requires the Heater to be in Use 

A flow-through humidifier moistens air coming in from the furnace so the unit does not work when the furnace is turned off. Whether this feature is a pro or con depends on your personal needs.

This requirement could be a pro if you only need moisture added while the furnace is running and your house maintains adequate moisture when the furnace isn't running. The humidifier would switch off with the furnace and save you some money on your water bills.

If you need more moisture even when the furnace isn't running, you should look into other types of humidifiers such as steam or power humidifiers.

Con: Inefficient Water Use

The constant use of new water means that the unit doesn't use up all of the moisture on the pad before fresh water comes into the humidifier.  So there can be quite a bit of water waste associated with this unit particularly if you run your furnace non-stop during the winter.

If water efficiency is a major concern for you, consider a drum-style humidifier, which has very little water waste. Contact your local heating services company for advice, assistance, and installation options for whatever type of humidifier seems likely to suit your needs.

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7 October 2015

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