Winter months in New Jersey brings cold weather and consequently the need to heat our homes. The majority of homes in NJ use a forced hot air HVAC system. These components are economical and efficient but one side effect of this furnace system, is a very low relative humidity inside the home. The ideal relative humidity level is 35-45% but a forced air system will result in much lower levels. One way to reverse this is to install an in-system home humidifier. This type of humidifier is permanently installed as part of the HVAC system and they do work very well, however, it is critical that they are properly maintained. Home humidifier maintenace can help
Most humidifiers of this type are a flow through style. This is the most popular type of unit. With a flow through style you need to change your water panel, evaporator pad, or filter. These can get clogged with scale and mineral deposits and these would affect and restrict air flow. This panel should be examined regularly during the winter season and completely changed once a year. Also, check the drain tray below the unit. Be sure it is clean and dry. There should not be standing water in here or mold will develop. Be sure that the whole unit sits level where it is located; this is often overlooked but extremely important. If your humidifier is leaning to one side or the other, you will have standing water sitting in the drain pan and again, mold could develop. If there is mold in the system at any location it can get introduced to your home’s ducts by the humidifier.
At the end of the winter season when the humidifier is turned off, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations about what should be done. At a minimum you will need to clean the unit and the water source should be shut off (this is usually done with the switching of a valve). When in doubt, the best resource for information about your home’s humidifier would be the owner’s manual. It should be read and the guidelines recommended should be followed diligently.