HUMIDIFIERS & DEHUMIDIFIERS AT GUARANTEED SERVICE
Living in New Jersey, you've likely experienced how humid it can get during the warmer months of the year or how dry it can get during the colder seasons. However, what you might not know is that humidity levels can affect how well your HVAC system performs. While not every home or homeowner is the same, our New Jersey humidifier and dehumidifier experts at Guaranteed Service can discuss with you what climate you feel most comfortable at and work with you to install the necessary equipment.
Whole-House Humidfiers & Dehumidifiers
Why You Might Need a Whole-House Humidifier
The combination of winter's dry air, a turned-up thermostat, and closed windows can wreak havoc on your respiratory system. The best way to combat dry air and reduce your susceptibility to infection is to invest in a humidifier. If you've suffered through too many colds, it might be time to see what all the hype is about. Some of the benefits of installing a whole-home humidifier include:
- They help relieve sinusitis : When the air is too dry, sinuses don't drain and function properly. According to many ENT experts, adding humidity to the air is generally good for sinus health-especially if you're regularly suffering from congestion and sinusitis.
- They help you heal faster : Whether it be a cold, asthma, or allergies, a humidifier keeps your nasal passages lubricated, which helps speed up the healing process when you're under the weather. For people with bad allergies, some humidifiers are specially designed to purify the air as well.
- They prevent nosebleeds : Another reason keeping your nasal passages moist and lubricated is essential is to prevent nosebleeds. If you're regularly experiencing them due to your dry climate, it's worth a try. Many people have found that it makes a huge difference.
- They alleviate snoring : The moisture from a humidifier keeps the throat from drying out and relieves the intensity of that annoying snoring sound. If you or your partner is a snorer, the bonus is that (at least) one of you will be sleeping more soundly. They support beautiful skin : Soothe dry skin by sleeping with a humidifier on through the night. In the morning, you'll notice not only that your face looks more supple but also that your hands and lips don't feel dry and dehydrated.
How a Humidifier Works
A bypass humidifier is mounted to the air return duct and connects to the hot-air supply off the furnace through a humidifier supply takeoff duct. The supply takeoff bypass duct diverts some heated air to the humidifier by taking advantage of a natural pressure differential between the supply and return sides of the furnace. The warm air absorbs moisture from the evaporator pad inside the humidifier before returning to the warm air stream through the cold air return duct and furnace.
How does the humidifier operate?
The humidifier needs water. This will be provided by tapping into an existing cold-water supply line close to the humidifier with a device known as a saddle valve. Once tapped, a flexible copper water line will run to the humidifier.
Since water cannot run to the unit all the time, the water supply flow needs to be controlled. This is done by a water inlet orifice (the orifice reduces the water flow to the humidifier inlet valve) and an inlet valve assembly (this valve allows water to flow to the humidifier based on demand. The valve is usually electrically operated by a solenoid controlled by your humidistat. The solenoid is usually low voltage, powered by a transformer mounted to the furnace). When the humidistat says to increase humidity, the solenoid opens and supplies the water feed tube to the pad.
The pad's purpose is to disperse water evenly, which facilitates evaporation and also collects any mineral deposits from the water. After a season of use, the metal pad will be coated with white powder from the minerals in the water. Although these pads can sometimes be cleaned, it is best to have them replaced every heating season.
What is a humidistat?
The humidistat is like a thermostat. You set a thermostat for a specific temperature, and when it is reached, the furnace turns off. The same goes for a humidistat. You set it for the desired humidity level (usually around 30-40%), and when the humidifier reaches that level, the water supply is turned off by the solenoid water valve assembly.
When the humidistat says the humidity level is good, or when the furnace shuts down, the solenoid shuts off, stopping water flow to the humidifier. Any unevaporated water from the evaporator pad runs off into the drain pan and flows through to a household drain.
The Effects of Poor Humidity Levels
Hosts of health issues can plague you if your house or room isn't properly humidified during the heating season. Severely dry air with a humidity level below 30 percent can cause respiratory irritation, uncomfortably dry nasal passages, nosebleeds, and chapped and itchy skin. It can also exacerbate conditions such as allergies and asthma.
Dry air wicks moisture out of porous material such as wood, including hardwood floors, and can cause splitting and cracking. Your home and its contents can benefit from careful humidifying, especially wooden musical pieces such as pianos, violins, and cellos, as well as antique furniture, moldings, and other woodwork.
How Can You Reduce Humidity in Your Home?
If you have ever had a high level of humidity in your home, then you know how uncomfortable that can be. When the humidity level increases, it causes the air to become sticky and muggy. This will not only cause an uncomfortable feeling, but it can also cause problems in your home.
For example, high humidity can cause bacteria and mold to grow in your home. Mold and bacteria need one main ingredient to thrive, and that ingredient is moisture. Having a home with high humidity provides mold and bacteria with precisely what they need to survive. Follow these tips in order to help reduce the humidity in your home.
Shorten Your Shower Time
A simple reduction in the amount of time you spend in the shower can help reduce the moisture in your home. When you take long, hot showers the hot water produces a lot of steam. This steam can hang around on walls and other surfaces in your home. By taking shorter showers, you can reduce the amount of steam that is produced and thus decrease the humidity.
An improperly ventilated home can cause an increase in the level of humidity. You could invest in a ventilator to help reduce the moisture in your home. And, if you already have a ventilator in your home, then you should make sure that it is functioning correctly.
Reduce The Number Of Plants
Having plants in your home can lead to an increase in the levels of humidity. Plants need a lot of moisture to survive. The soil of plants needs to be kept moist all the time. The moist soil that your plants are in can increase the production of bacteria and mold in your home. You do not have to remove all of your plants to decrease the humidity in your home, but keeping them to a minimum will help.
Dry Clothes Outside
When you use your dryer to dry your clothes, it produces water vapor. This is especially true if your dryer is not properly ventilated. By hanging your wet clothes on a clothesline to dry, you can decrease the amount of water vapor produced in your home.
Buy A Dehumidifier
Buying a dehumidifier for your home is probably the easiest way to reduce humidity. A dehumidifier gradually takes the moisture out of the air in your home. There is a tank in which this water accumulates. Once it is full, you simply remove the tank and pour out the water.
Different Types of Whole-House (Central) Humidifiers
Whole-house (central) humidifiers are typically attached between the home's hot air ducts and cold air return and may operate with or independently from your system's heat cycle. The process begins where the hot air that flows into the house is diverted into the humidifier. Because this air is hot, and at a high pressure, it can hold a lot of vapor. This accumulated vapor then feeds into the cold air return where it's heated again, resulting in the water droplets vaporizing into the air. This air is then blown out through the house vents.
The primary types of whole-house humidifiers are:
Bypass humidifiers add moisture to the warm air from a furnace. These whole-house humidifiers draw warm air from the home's heat ducts and pass it through a water panel. The air absorbs moisture, which is then delivered back into the air stream, then into your home. Bypass units can be installed on either the supply or return plenum of a forced air handling system. For those who don't have a floor drain, there is a drainless bypass humidifier available. These drainless styles recirculate their water, minimizing water usage.
Fan-powered humidifiers work the same way as a bypass humidifier but include a fan that blows air across the internal pad (water panel) for increased water evaporation. Power humidifiers can generally produce a gallon more of humidity each day compared to the bypass humidifier. The electricity required for the internal fan requires that of a 25-watt light bulb. Powered flow-through systems don't require a bypass duct; therefore, they can be installed in small spaces. Power whole-house humidifiers are perfect for homes built on slabs or with HVAC systems in a closet.
Steam humidifiers add humidity to the air by heating water electrically until it boils to create humidity in the form of steam even if the furnace isn't on. The steam is picked up by the system blower then pushed throughout the home vents. Steam humidifiers offer the fastest and most efficient method of increasing and maintaining the appropriate and comfortable level of humidity in your home. Additionally, steam whole-house humidifiers deliver a pure and best natural form of humidity that's introduced through your entire home. Steam humidifiers will run moisture as needed, regardless of your current heating or air conditioning situation.
If you commonly have allergies, you know that they can get rather miserable at times. Unfortunately, most common allergy triggers, especially dust mites, mold, and mildew thrive in humid environments. Whether you live in a humid climate, or you just have a living space that tends to be more humid, you may be suffering from these things. Small living spaces with limited ventilation, such as bathrooms or kitchens in a small apartment or basement apartments, are common areas where moisture can build up, even in dry climates.
Some of the most common reactions to allergy triggers include:
- Stuffy nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Sneezing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing
- Skin rashes and other irritation
- Mold allergies are also a significant contributor to childhood asthma.
To help alleviate some of these issues, we recommend installing a dehumidifier in your home.
Signs You Need a Dehumidifier
In addition to suffering from constant symptoms of allergies, you may want to consider a dehumidifier if you have some obvious signs of high humidity in certain rooms or areas of your home which include:
- Water stains on the walls or ceilings of your home
- High humidity rooms with poor ventilation or no ventilation (especially in areas like bathrooms that have no windows)
- Frequent condensation on the windows in certain areas of your home
- Small black spots (mold spores) growing on the walls or in areas with high humidity, such as the bathtub or shower
- Musty or mildew like smells
The Benefits of a Dehumidifier
There are several benefits to getting a dehumidifier in your home or workspace, which include:
- They reduce humidity levels, making your home less hospitable to common allergens
- They are not disruptive to your daily life and run quietly and efficiently in the background
- They help reduce odors that can accompany mold and mildew in your home
- They help reduce the possibility that you will develop mold on your clothing, furniture, and linens
- They reduce irritation to your skin and your respiratory system, allowing you to breathe easier and feel more comfortable
- They reduce dust in your home, so you won't have to dust as often
- They lower energy costs because they help your air conditioner run more efficiently by removing moisture
- They reduce humidity so that your clothing dries faster, your breads and cereals stay fresh longer without getting stale, and you won't find signs of rust or corrosion on your electronics or tools
Choosing a Dehumidifier
There are several different options when it comes to dehumidifiers, and the one you choose depends on the space in which you plan to use it, as well as the level of humidity. There are small capacity models for a single small room; large capacity models for larger areas such as a large room, basement, or an apartment; and there are whole-house models available as well if you live in a very humid climate, you suffer from significant allergies, or you have a large home.
Our New Jersey dehumidifier experts can discuss your needs with you, measure humidity levels, and determine which unit will best suit your needs.
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