Humidifiers are a great home addition no matter the season. Dry air can impact a home at any point of the year, whether it’s the cold of winter or the heat of summer when your A/C is frequently running. According to the Mayo Clinic, dry air can cause a number of uncomfortable health conditions such as cracked lips, itchy eyes, and dry nasal passages. Humidifiers can help ease these symptoms by releasing water vapor or steam into the air to increase your home’s air moisture levels (humidity). There are many types of humidifiers on the market, so you’ll want to weigh your options and consider your home’s needs before selecting one. Let’s explore the types of humidifiers out there so you can select the best one for your home in 2022 and beyond.
Types of Humidifiers
Also known as a whole home humidifier, central humidifiers are built into your home’s HVAC system to evenly humidify your entire home. There are three different types of humidifiers for whole-home use: bypass humidifiers, fan-powered humidifiers, and steam humidifiers.
- Bypass Humidifiers – A bypass humidifier adds moisture to warm air through a furnace. They channel warm air from a home’s HVAC system and pass it through a water tray. This lets the air collect moisture which is then expelled back into the house.
- Fan-Powered Humidifiers – These models are very similar to bypass humidifiers except they use a fan to push air through a water tray. Fan-powered humidifiers typically produce more humidity than bypass humidifiers and are very energy efficient.
- Steam Humidifiers – Steam humidifiers are powerful units often used to heat large homes. Whole house steam humidifiers use electricity to boil water, which creates steam. The steam is pushed through the house’s vents to increase humidity.
Evaporator humidifiers blow moisture into the air through a damp filter, wick, or belt. They are fan-powered, single-unit systems, so they can only work in one room at a time. These are typically a more affordable humidifier option, but they can expel too much moisture into the air if overused. Too much humidity in the air can lead to mold growth and trigger asthma symptoms.
Impeller humidifiers use rotating disks running at high speeds to shoot cool mist into the air. Like evaporators, these units can only work in one room at a time. The upside is impeller humidifiers are very child-friendly devices because they have no burn risk. However, overusing one of these units can trigger allergy reactions.
These are extremely portable and inexpensive humidifier units powered by electricity. Steam humidifiers work by heating water then cooling it back down before expelling it into the air. They can cause burns, so small children need to be watched while around these humidifiers.
Ultrasonic humidifiers use ultrasonic vibration to produce a cool mist. They come in both cool and warm mist versions and are available in a variety of sizes.
How to Choose the Best Humidifier for You
1. Consider Your Space
How much space do you need to humidify? If your entire home has dry air, selecting a whole home humidifier may be your best choice. If you want to increase humidity in a specific room in your home, a more portable unit like a steam humidifier or impeller humidifier may be a better option. If you are looking to install a humidifier in a single room, evaluate how much space you have available to install a humidifier.
2. Evaluate Your Humidity Needs
Whether you live in a drier climate or are experiencing symptoms associated with low humidity, it’s important to consider your personal humidity needs. The Mayo Clinic indicates your home’s humidity levels should ideally be between 30% and 50%. You can purchase a hygrometer, which measures the amount of moisture in the air, from a hardware store to check your home’s current humidity levels.
3. Think about Your Desired Level of Maintenance
Different humidifier types have varying maintenance needs, so it’s important to consider how much work you want to put into maintaining your humidifier. Depending on the model, humidifiers generally need regular cleaning, filter changes, and fresh water in order to keep the air pure and free from mold and bacteria. For expert help, professional HVAC technicians can help maintain your home’s humidifier with regular cleanings, checkups, and system tests.
4. Consult with a Professional
Talking with a seasoned HVAC professional is a great way to know what type of humidifier is best for your home. Like the team at Mountain Heating and Cooling, an HVAC technician can chat with you about your personal humidity needs, evaluate your home’s HVAC system, and make an informed recommendation about which type of humidifier may best fit your goals.
Our Recommended Humidifier Brands
At Mountain Heating and Cooling, we’ve installed, worked with, and inspected many types of humidifiers, so we know which models stand up to our rigorous quality tests. We offer two types of humidifiers for whole house humidification: Honeywell Bypass Humidifier and Trane Steam Humidifier.
Honeywell Bypass Humidifier
Honeywell Home Bypass Humidifiers provide humidity throughout the entire home by hooking up to your current central heating and cooling system. Their sleek, versatile designs and easy-access pads help in managing your indoor humidity and creating an enjoyable home environment. Honeywell provides a variety of models to choose from depending on your home’s needs, and the company takes pride in their humidifiers’ efficiency and easy control systems.
Trane Steam Humidifier
Tane products are renowned for their durability and longevity, and these qualities apply to their humidifiers, as well. Trane’s steam humidifiers help increase your home’s humidity while protecting wood floors, furnishings, and moldings from the damage of dry conditions. Their quiet, automatic steam humidifier operates independently of your home’s HVAC system, so it fits a wide range of home homes.
Consult with an HVAC Technician
If you’re considering installing a humidifier in your home, chat with one of our HVAC technicians today. For over four decades, Mountain Heating and Cooling has been providing Bozeman homeowners and businesses with efficient comfort solutions, top-notch craftsmanship, and stellar customer service. We take the time to know your personal and home needs to match you with the best products that will serve your home for years to come. Your comfort and peace of mind motivate us to provide only the best-of-the-best recommendations and HVAC services! To schedule an appointment, drop us a line or give us a call at (406) 586-8630.