Ways to Maintain Your Whole-House Humidifier Over the Summer
A whole-house humidifier adds water vapor to indoor air, preventing and alleviating health ailments and comfort issues during the dry heating months. When the humidifier isn’t in use during the more humid cooling months, it should be properly shut down to prevent corrosion, mold and algae growth. Here’s what to do.
Turn off the humidistat to the steam humidifier. The humidistat may be next to the humidifier or controlled by a smart thermostat. With steam humidifiers, you want to leave the water supply on. These humidifiers automatically flush themselves periodically to rinse the tank. If the water is turned off, water will stagnate inside the tank and breed mold and algae. Steam humidifiers use high-voltage heating elements that can become clogged during the off seasons. Your HVAC technician should service the humidifier when you schedule furnace preventive maintenance to clean the components.
Bypass whole-house humidifiers, also called evaporative humidifiers, add water to ducted airflow through evaporation. A portion of heated airflow is redirected via a duct damper through the media panel. As water flows down the panel, airflow picks up water vapor and delivers it throughout the home. The media panel may be a ceramic covered aluminum honeycomb mesh, foam pad or similar material. If your whole-house humidifier uses a honeycomb mesh media panel, you may leave it inside the humidifier.
If your system uses a foam pad, it will need to be replaced before the next winter use. Go ahead and remove the foam media pad so mold and algae don’t contaminate it and the humidifier parts. Turn off the humidistat and the water supply to the unit. Pour one or two cups of a 50/50 bleach and water solution into the drain pan to clear the drain line of mold and algae for the summer.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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