HVAC Tech Talk: Indoor Air Quality & Whole Home Humidifiers

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Living in the Midwest during the winters can bring some uncomfortable situations when it comes to controlling the humidity in your home. Humans tend to function well when the humidity is between 35-40% saturation. In the winter time, the humidity in the air is very low and warm dry air created by our home’s furnace or air handlers drops the humidity inside our homes even further! Less humidity can bring about nose bleeds, dry skin, respiration problems, and exacerbate already lingering allergy issues. Along with the issues low humidity brings to humans, our pets suffer as well. Concentrations of pet dander in the home skyrocket in homes with humidity issues! To help answer the issue of low humidity, HVAC manufacturers came up with what is known as a whole home humidifier system. Humidifiers are attached to your furnace or air handler’s ductwork and supply water to the air passed through the home’s ductwork.

There are many types of humidifiers on the market: passive, evaporative (fan powered), and steam/misting. Speak to an authorized HVAC company such as Venti Heating & Cooling to find out which one is right for you and your home’s needs. There are five main components to a humidifier: the water supply line, saddle tap, humidifier housing, humidifier drain tubing, humidifier water pad or panel, and the humidifier’s solenoid water valve. Each one of the components on your home’s humidifier has an important role to play in the humidifier’s efforts to bring humidity to your home. However, in this article I would like to discuss one component in particular – the humidifier’s water solenoid valve! As a lead HVAC service tech with over 18 years in the business, trust me when I say the solenoid valve is the heart of the humidifier and one of the first things to malfunction! Living in the Midwest, we are plagued with hard water and all one has to do is look slightly below ground to see why! The midwestern United States is built upon limestone and as a result, calcium and lime wreak havoc on all of our water utilizing appliances!

I can’t even begin to tell you the number of homes I’ve been in and noticed that the existing humidifier has been disconnected due to it not working correctly, sometimes for years! Nine times out of ten, it’s because of a water solenoid valve that is limed up and is stuck in the closed position. Then there are those cases where the valve had been stuck in the open position; the home owner made mention that there was a massive leak at one point and that they are now afraid to use their humidifier. Both issues could and can be avoided with the addition of one simple product – a product that until recently only a few HVAC contractors even use when installing a new humidifier! I’m talking about an in-line humidifier waterline scale and sediment filter. For $60-$70, this filter can save you hundreds of dollars and preserve the life of your humidifier for years to come! The best thing is that the filter is super easy and quick to install! My choice when it comes to filter manufacturers is Honeywell and NuCalgon. Depending on the conditions, some of these filters only need changed out every 5 years.

So, if you’re interested in saving money in the long haul, I suggest investing a little time and money and either install an in-line water filter yourself or contact a professional HVAC company like Venti Heating and Cooling to get the job done for you.

If you’re interested in learning more about indoor air quality solutions, please contact us at Venti Heating & Cooling – by phone at 317-325-8032, by email at service@venti317.com, or on our website, venti317.com!

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