Investigating How a Whole-House Humidifier Operates
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Investigating How a Whole-House Humidifier Operates


A whole-house humidifier can help restore needed moisture in a home and alleviate discomforts like dry lips, throats, noses and skin, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It can also help prevent common issues that are caused by using your home’s heating unit, such as your wallpaper prematurely peeling and cracks in your furniture and paint. To understand how a whole-house humidifier may benefit you, it’s important to first understand some basic facts about how such a system works.

Humidifiers function by using water and transforming it into a warm vapor that’s released throughout your home. The EPA states that if your humidifier is properly cared for, it can help improve your home’s indoor environment. Good care practices are particularly important for humidifiers that use standing water tanks, since there’s a greater chance for the development of bacteria and molds with those types. Using water with a low mineral content can also assist in preventing the growth of microorganisms.

How the various components work

  • Water supply line: The humidifier’s water supply is connected to an already established water pipe.
  • Water inlet orifice: For economical purposes, this slows down the water’s movement to the water inlet valve.
  • Water inlet valve: This valve controls the flow of water to the humidifier, as it’s needed.
  • Water feed tube: This tube directs water to the trough and the evaporator pad.
  • Water collection source: This source is a medium, such as an evaporator pad, that temporarily holds the water before it’s evaporated.
  • Drain pan: The drain pan collects the water from the evaporator pad into a pan, which is then transferred to a drain in the home.
  • Air duct/air damper: Found on certain humidifiers, the air duct provides air during the cold air return from the hot air side of the unit.

For more information about whole-house humidifiers and other related home comfort topics, contact the pros at Roth Heating & Cooling. We’ve been proudly serving Portland and the surrounding area since 1976.

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