Proper humidity levels are important for comfort, protecting wood furniture and flooring, and reducing dry-skin problems and breathing-related issues.
The most common types of humidifiers are flow-through drip humidifiers, and steam humidifiers. Flow-through humidifiers uses a media element to transfer water vapor into the supply air of the furnace.
The media element, also called an evaporator pad, evaporator panel, or humidifier pad, is a specially coated screen, usually made of metal, that has water constantly dripping across it in small amounts while the furnace operates.
Colorado gets more humid outside of winter.
Humidifiers are only necessary to increase humidity levels in the winter season. Turn off the water supply valve to the humidifier in the summer.
If you have a humidifier pad, replace it come fall.
The humidifier pad, if you have one, should be replaced in the fall, before you begin using your furnace for heating purposes.
To replace the humidifier pad, remove the top cover which conceals the pad. Remove the nuts holding the water distributor trough cover to the top cabinet cover. Remove the side, retaining the clips holding the top cover of the cabinet assembly to the bottom cabinet housing. Be careful not to lose these small parts; put them in a safe place. Loosen the nut securing the water inlet feed tube to the water inlet valve assembly, and swing the tube out of the way of the cover.
Check the condition of the used humidifier pad. A used pad will begin to be clogged and calcified with use. Clean the interior of the cabinet with a commercial mold and mildew spray before installing the new humidifier pad. If the pad is not too calcified, you can attempt to clean the pad with a 1:3 vinegar to water solution, (or Lime-Away, or CLR, following proper dilution strength).
The new pad will slide down guide tracks on the side of the housing to ensure proper positioning. Replace the top cover in place over the humidifier pad. The top cover will have its own guides for placement. The top will be properly fitted when the sides of the top are flush with the cabinet and the top is setting squarely. Insert the retaining clips to hold the top and bottom cabinet assembly together. Reconnect the water distributor tube to the top cover, and tighten until the tube is snug to the valve assembly.
Turn your humidistat to 35%, turn on your water supply, and turn the system back on. Check for proper drainage in the condensate drain.
Replace humidifier canisters annually.
Steam humidifiers have a canister inside the humidifier cabinet. These too should be replaced annually, or when dirty. This type of humidifier typically has a service light, which will illuminate when the canister needs replacement. Your model’s manufacturer’s manual will walk you through canister replacement.
While these maintenance procedures outlined within are manageable by homeowners, we recommend that they be performed by licensed HVAC contractors, who also run diagnostic tests to ensure that the system is operating optimally.
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