How Does a Whole-House Humidifier Work?


Quick Answer

A whole-house humidifier works with the existing heating and cooling system to distribute moisture through the air vents. The unit mounts on the furnace and has a connection to the home's water supply. The humidifier has a humidistat to control the amount of moisture pumped through the system.

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Full Answer

A whole-house humidifier adds moisture in the form of water vapor. The vapor travels through the heating ducts and out the vents along with the heated air whenever the heating system runs. The whole-house humidifier works on both new and existing heating and cooling systems, so a brand-new system isn't required.

The humidifier unit connects to the main water supply with a flexible copper line. The water runs into a trough that distributes the water evenly over an evaporator pad inside the humidifier. The water evaporates from the pad to create the water vapor. Excess water that doesn't evaporate drains out of the unit to prevent bacterial buildup.

The homeowner has control over the level of humidity supplied to the house. The humidistat uses percentages to measure the humidity level. Once set, the humidifier runs as needed to reach the selected setting, much like the furnace runs until the temperature reaches the selected setting.

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