How To Choose The Best Furnace Humidifier For Your Children
Humidified air is vital for your home especially during the cold winter months when the air tends to dry out as a result of the heat from your furnace. Keeping the humidity levels at the right percentage helps to improve indoor comfort and can also prevent skin and throat irritation and even ensure that your wood furniture will not develop cracks.
As important as humidification might be what is even more vital is to find the best furnace humidifier. Although you can use anything from small handheld units to humidify your home, the whole house furnace humidifiers are one of the best options. Apart from keeping the air in the house humidified, these devices can also help to reduce the heating costs because they also make it feel warm.
Top 3 Best Furnace Humidifiers For Children 2017
Coverage Area (sq. ft)
How Do Furnace Humidifiers Work?
The furnace humidifiers will install directly into your heating/cooling system, and this makes them easy to use and also means that they will require less maintenance. However, most of these humidifiers will only work when the furnace is on.
Although all furnace humidifiers will work with your central heating furnace to humidify the air in your house, different types will achieve this in a variety of ways. In general, the humidifier will work by introducing moisture from water into the air and then evaporating it into a stream of warm air from your furnace.
Types Of Furnace Humidifier
Although you can get furnace humidifiers from various brands, you can categorize most into three traditional types. Humidifiers from these different manufacturers will look different and also vary when it comes to the features, but the three top types are flow-through, drum and steam humidifiers.
The flow-through humidifier is in most instances hooked up to a floor drain where it allows a light but steady stream of water to drip down on a plastic screen. Air then blows through the screen picking up moisture to humidify the air and distributing it throughout the house through the central heating system in the home.
Drum humidifiers are probably the most common type of the furnace humidifiers. They feature a simple sponge on a rotating wheel that dips into a water reservoir and is controlled by a float. Warm air from the furnace passes through the sponge and picks up moisture for delivery to the ductwork and throughout the home. These humidifiers use a humidistat, and they will put out as much moisture as they absorb.
The steam humidifiers will use a humidistat to sense the level of humidity in the house. This humidifier connects to your water supply and pools some water into a reservoir. When the humidistat indicates the humidity level is low, the humidifier starts to heat the water in the tank. As the water heats up, it converts into steam that is then distributed throughout the ductwork by the fan on your furnace.
Things To Consider When Choosing The Best Furnace Humidifier
With the different furnace humidifiers in mind, you will have an easier time finding the best furnace humidifier in the market. But, despite the type you choose to go for there are some important factors that you should always consider when buying your unit.
The size of a furnace humidifier is what determines the area that it can humidify and so it should always be one of your first considerations. The GPD (gallons per day) is the measure of the moisture output of the humidifier. A unit with a 1.5 to 2 GPD is perfect for houses that are 500 feet or less in size while those with 10 or more GPD are ideal for homes that are 2,000 feet or larger.
Even if you get the best furnace humidifier, it will not serve you well if you cannot install it correctly. Most furnace humidifiers will be designed to attach to a ductwork or a furnace, and so it is always important to make sure that whatever you buy can fit within the configuration of your furnace without requiring a lot of reworking.
A good furnace humidifier is one that comes with some convenient controls. Those with a built-in humidistat are a perfect choice since they offer an easy and efficient way of controlling the humidity level. The humidistat sends signals to the humidifier so that it can turn on or off depending on the degree of moisture. Units with a digital display to indicate the moisture level are also very convenient.
Even if you get the best quality furnace humidifier, it will still be necessary to replace some parts after some time due to natural wear and tear. It is because of this fact that you should always go for a unit whose replacement parts are easy to find and affordable. Consider the availability of filters, screens and evaporative pads and their prices before you make your pick.
Price and Customer Reviews
Price also matters when buying furnace humidifiers but like with any other household product you should not compromise on quality to save some cash. Also, it is important to know that a high price tag does not always indicate high quality. The best idea is always to look at the features and read furnace humidifier reviews by other customers before making your pick. A simple rule is always to go for the best furnace humidifier quality that you can afford.
Furnace Humidifier Installation and Maintenance
Furnace humidifiers will require some degree of installation for them to work well. However, the difficulty of the process depends on the type and also your mechanical abilities. Most come with detailed instruction and step by step guide on how to do it and so should be able to install one with little effort. But, sometimes it is a good idea to use the services of a professional contractor, and this is more so when dealing with the steam humidifiers.
The technology that the humidifier uses and its type are the two most important factors that will determine maintenance requirements. For example, the drum/bypass units will require more maintenance than the other types because minerals and sediments tend to build up on the belt or pad over time which can reduce or block air flow.
Flow-through units do not require a lot of maintenance because the lack of water prevents build up of sediments. A seasonal pad change and cleaning are all you need. Steam humidifiers are the most convenient when it comes to maintenance because cleaning the unit at the start and end of the seasons is more than enough.
Top 3 Best Furnace Humidifier Reviews
Honeywell HE360A Whole House Powered Humidifier
Honeywell is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to the manufacture of furnace humidifier and other kinds of humidifiers. Their HE360A model features a flow-through design that ensures maximum efficiency when humidifying and also keeps the unit clean for minimum maintenance frequency.
The design and size of this humidifier make it possible to mount it on either return air duct of the forced-air furnace or warm air supply, and it can humidify up to 4,200 square feet.
Honeywell uses a PerfectFLO distribution tray on this unit for efficiency and to minimize water usage. This humidifier is a good pick for variable speed systems, and it weighs 18 pounds while its dimensions are 21 x 17 x 16 inches.
- It has a flow-through design that not only makes it more efficient but also keeps it clean and reduces maintenance.
- You can mount it on either return air duct of the forced-air furnace or warm air supply.
- This unit can cover up to 4,200 square feet hence making it perfect for large houses.
- It is a robust but affordable unit from a reputable brand.
- Honeywell uses a PerfectFLO distribution tray on this unit for efficient water usage.
- The installation is easy with the kit.
- You have to buy the installation kit separately.
- It is a little bulky.
- This unit does not have a digital display.
Honeywell HE260A Higher Capacity Whole House Bypass Humidifier
The HE260 is another top notch furnace humidifier by Honeywell that will be a good choice for those with medium size house. It also uses the flow-through design that not only makes it an efficient humidifier but also reduces maintenance frequency by keeping the unit free of microorganisms.
Like most other top Honeywell furnace humidifiers it also uses a PerfectFLO distribution tray for efficiency and to optimize water usage.
This humidifier comes with a humidity control that is easy to use, and you can mount it on both the warm air and return air ducts on your furnace. And to make it even easier to use the company will provide a free installations video.
- It is easy to mount on both return air duct and warm air supply the furnace.
- PerfectFLO tray improves the performance and ensures efficient water usage.
- Flow-through design decreases the frequency of maintenance by keeping the humidifier free of microorganisms.
- It comes with an easy to use humidity control.
- Honeywell also provides an installation video to make things easier for DIYers.
- You will have to buy the necessary installation kit separately.
- A drain is required when using this furnace humidifier.
- It does not perform very well for large and old houses.
Emerson HSP2000 Whole House Steam Humidifier
Emerson HSP2000 is a high-quality steam humidifier that will be very handy for humidifying houses that are 1,400 square feet or larger. This unit has an impressive capacity of up to 13 gallons, and it comes with an automatic flashing timer and humidistat. Although this unit does not require the furnace to be on you can also wire it to run only when the furnace is on since it comes with a thermal switch for turning it on.
Maintenance is also as easy as it can get with a whole house furnace humidifier since it does not require any pad or filter replacement. With this best whole house humidifier some thorough cleaning, every other season is enough maintenance. However, it will also require you to analyze and treat your water regularly to prevent it from corroding the heating element.
- This unit can achieve an immense output of up to 13 gallons per day.
- It does not require the furnace to be on to operate.
- This humidifier comes with an automatic flashing timer and thermostat.
- The filter on this units helps to remove pollutants and allergens from the air in your home.
- Emerson also gives this steam humidifier a thermal switch for turning on the furnace blower.
- Maintenance is easy as it does not require any filter or pad replacement.
- It is quite a pricey furnace humidifier.
- This humidifier is quite weighty, and it might seem a little out of place in this age.
- The water requires regular analysis and treatment to prevent corrosion of the heating element.
A furnace humidifier offers one of the best ways of keeping the air around the house moist in the cold winter months, and it will be a useful device with kids around. However, even with all the benefits that come with these devices, it is always important to choose the best furnace humidifier from the myriad options in the market. And with the points above in mind finding a top notch unit should not be a problem.
When it comes to making your pick the three units above from Honeywell and Emerson are some of the most efficient in the market. If you are shopping on a budget and do not have a large house to humidify the two units by Honeywell are an excellent pick. For larger homes (more than 2,000 square feet) the Emerson HSP2000 steam furnace humidifier is a good pick, but it is also important to know that it is quite a pricey unit.
Lastly, you also need to know how to install the humidifier well or use the services of a professional to do it. Also, make sure that you follow the maintenance directions (most companies will provide them) to ensure maximum efficiency of the unit and to make it last longer.