With winter on the horizon, it’s time to make sure maintenance on your whole-house humidifier is scratched off your fall to-do checklist. A well-maintained humidification system can relieve or prevent the side effects of dry air, such as reduced home comfort, health issues and even possible damage to wooden floors and furniture. You’ll have a more comfortable home and save energy just by performing some simple maintenance.
Models differ, so it’s good to know the basics. For residential use, the most popular whole-house humidifier is the flow-through type. In short, a flow-through humidifier diverts water from the plumbing system and streams it over a water panel, also called an evaporator panel. Dry air from your heating source is directed through the wet panel pad and absorbs moisture before circulating to your home. Excess water from the panel is drained from the humidifier through the drain hose.
The primary maintenance involved with this system is replacing or cleaning the water panel (mineral deposits collect, restricting airflow), wiping dust from the fan blades and intake vent and cleaning and checking the water-intake and drain hoses for wear and cracks.
For cleaning, prepare a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water. Soak and wash the water panel. Use a toothbrush if necessary for tough buildup. Then, wipe the dust and debris from the fan blades and intake vent. Inspect the hoses for cracks and wear. Run some of the vinegar/water solution through the drain hose to help clean out any blockage.
If you prefer to replace the water panel and want to know how often to do that, it depends on how much you use your humidifier and how hard the water is. No more than twice-a-year cleaning or replacement is sufficient.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about whole house humidifiers and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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