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whole house humidifier

The dry Toronto winter air devastates the skin and breathing organs. The job of a heating system is to warm the air. However, in heating your home, they significantly remove moisture from the air. In this post, you will learn how to install humidifier on furnace. In addition, discover other helpful information such as the ideal humidity levelbenefits of a humidifier, how a humidifier works and more.

Low humidity levels cause static electricity, itchy skin, breathing issues, allergies, coughing, shortness of breath, and more. In addition, wood floors and indoor furniture warp and crack. Furthermore, there is potential damage to your television and stereo system.

Ideal Humidity Level

According to many experts, including the Mayo Clinic, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Environmental Protection Agency, humidity in your home should be between 30% and 50%.

Why Do You Need a Humidifier?

Generally, homeowners utilize humidifiers to address dry air in the winter. Dry air causes many problems such as nose bleeds, static electricity, breathing issues and more. Installing a furnace humidifier helps to maintain a consistent level of humidity in your home.

Regularly running a humidifier can assist in:

Improved Air Quality

According to MedicalNewsToday, home furnace humidifiers improve indoor air quality. Moreover, they may prevent influenza, alleviate coughs, reduce snoring, moisten hair and skin, extend the life of wood floors and furniture, and increase the vibrance of moisture-loving houseplants.

Preserve Wooden belongings

As stated above, dry air negatively affects wooden furniture, flooring, cabinets, and window frames. Humidifiers can help protect wood products from cracking and drying out.

Improved Comfort

Furnace humidifiers help bring life to your skin, eyes, sinuses, and throat. Furthermore, it also reduces annoying static electricity.

Energy Savings

Moisture in the air makes you feel warmer and less likely to raise the temperature in the room. Thus, a home furnace humidifier can lead to energy savings. Research has shown that lowering the thermostat by a small amount can reduce the heating bill significantly.

Stand-Alone Humidifier vs Furnace Humidifier

A stand-alone humidifier is readily accessible (available in departmental stores) and easy to use (plug into an electric outlet). However, their disadvantages are significant:

  1. Portable humidifiers do not maintain a constant humidity level throughout the home. That is because they draw the moist air directly from the vents. Thus, as you move away from the portable unit, the moisture level dramatically lowers.
  2. Each room in the house needs to have a separate unit, which takes up floor space.
  3. They require daily maintenance to fill and clean the water tanks.

In contrast, furnace humidifiers can easily maintain the desired humidity level by adding moisture and distributing it throughout the home. Moreover, the furnace humidifier mounts to the furnace, so there is no need for units in each room. And finally, there is no daily maintenance.

How Does a Furnace Humidifier Work

If you’re looking to increase humidity throughout your home, a furnace-mounted humidifier (aka whole-house) connects directly to a forced-air furnace to deliver humidity throughout every room.

There are three main types of furnace humidifiers:

  • Flow-through humidifier – freshwater flows through the system and drains away.
  • Reservoir humidifier – a reservoir of water moistens a rotating drum.
  • Steam humidifier – converts water to steam.

Of the three, many homeowners prefer the flow-through humidifier because of its reliability and hygienic features. In comparison to the steam humidifier, the flow-through type costs less and uses less electricity.

Considerations: How to Install Humidifier on Furnace


The location of the humidifier is vital to ensure it runs optimally. Some humidifiers must be installed on the supply side of the ductwork, while others on the return side. Moreover, the humidifier must be close to the water supply and an electrical outlet. Finally, the humidifier must not be too close to other HVAC system components such as air conditioner coils.

Cutting openings into ductwork:

To make use of the house’s air supply, you must cut an opening in the ductwork. In addition, cut another hole in the ductwork for the humidistat. It is essential to cut these openings carefully to secure the parts and ensure no air escapes from the ducts.

Connecting the humidifier to water supply:

Furnace humidifiers add moisture to the air by connecting to the water supply. When joining, be careful to avoid creating leaks in pipes or humidifiers.


A humidifier and its components require power. Hence, when connecting to the power supply, avoid fire hazards.

Cost to Install Humidifier on Furnace

The price of installing a whole-home humidifier is subjective. It depends on several factors such as the:

  • type of humidifier
  • size of humidifier
  • installation type

Modern airtight homes require mechanical ventilation. What is the difference between HRV & ERV?

Type of Humidifier:

Bypass humidifier

The bypass humidifier connects to the return of your furnace or air handler. It does not have a motor and instead relies on the furnace’s blower motor to push warm air through the water panel. The water panel sits in the humidifier and absorbs moisture. The furnace’s blower motor distributes the moisture into the air stream and back into your home.

Fan-powered humidifier

The humidistat’s sensor detects when air is too dry, opens a valve, and activates a fan. The valve enables the water to enter the panel or moist pad. The water in the panel vaporizes, and the fan leads the vapour into the home’s ductwork. Unevaporated water exits the equipment through a drain line.

Once the air reaches the pre-set humidity level, the valve closes, discontinuing the flow of water into the panel.

Since fan-powered humidifiers have a fan, they work even when the furnace is not running.

Steam humidifier

A steam furnace humidifier converts heated water into steam with electric heating elements. The system’s blower moves the humidified air through the ductwork and into the home.

Size of the humidifier:

We measure a humidifier’s output by the number of gallons of water it can produce for absorption into the air during 24 hours, in gallons per day (gpd). Two main factors affect the necessary gpd, including the:

  1. Size of area.  For example, a larger home requires a larger humidifier.
  2. The tightness of the home’s seal is how well the home is insulated and sealed against energy and moisture loss. For instance, a tight home has good levels of insulation, storm doors and windows installed, and more.

For example, a tightly sealed home of 2,000 square feet should require a humidifier output of 4.3 gallons per day. An average sealed home of the same size would need a humidifier output of 7.4 gallons per day. A loosely sealed home would need 9.5 gallons per day.

RelatedHow to install return air duct in the wall.

Conclusion: How to Install Humidifier on Furnace

Humidifiers provide moisture that makes the air feel warmer than the same temperature with dry air.

If you want to provide humidity to the entire house, a furnace humidifier is a solid choice. Hiring an HVAC technician to install a whole-home humidifier does add extra charges to the overall cost. However, since the whole-house humidifier works with the most expensive appliance in the house, it is vital to install it correctly. An incorrect installation may result in damage to the HVAC system and avoid an HVAC warranty. Furthermore, a professional installation typically provides a labour warranty lasting six months to 2 years after the installation. Given the rigorous fine points of installing a furnace humidifier, we strongly recommend hiring a professional rather than treat it as a do-it-yourself project.

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