Coughing, sneezing, dry nose, bloody nose, hard time sleeping, furniture cracking and splitting, and the feeling your house is warm but not comfortable. All of these things could be linked to dry air. Here in New Jersey we use our heat from October through March. During these months, the air in your furnace passes over a 160 degree heat exchanger. This process burns off all of the humidity in the air. The longer your furnace runs, the dryer the air in your home becomes.
An example of this is if you are starting out with 50% humidity in your home and the furnace runs for two hours, it would drop your humidity to 42%. If you run your furnace for six hours, it would drop the humidity to 40%. Ultimately the longer the furnace runs per day the lower the humidity gets. This is less of an issue in October and November because temperatures fluctuate, but by December the furnace runs continuously. You might notice more static electricity.
The important thing about humidifiers is that they need proper care. There are a couple of things to incorporate in making sure the humidifier functions properly:
1. The water supply line must be turned on. If you follow the plastic or copper line coming from the humidifier it comes to a pipe. On the pipe will be a saddle valve. To open this valve you turn it counterclockwise until it stops.
2. Most humidifiers have a damper. The damper must be in the open position. There will be a handle that must run horizontally with the duct on a sliding damper which must be slid to the open position. Hopefully the installer marked this damper for you. (opened-closed or summer-winter)
3. Humidistat setting- The humidistat setting determines the percentage of humidity in your home. The higher the number the higher the percentage of humidity. This setting varies much like the temperature of your home. It is your personal preference. Most people find a setting of 50% comfortable.
4. Last but not least, the humidifier has a pad or sponge wheel. This is made to absorb the water from the humidifier so it can be dispersed into the air. The pads are available at your local plumbing supply house or online. In order to purchase the correct pads, you will need the make and model number of your system. We recommend you change the pad each spring when you are to ready to turn the system off. If you did not change the pad after the end of last season it is very important that you do this now.
Instruction for removal and replacement of the pad can be found on the manufacturer’s website. There will also be instructions of how to clean the unit at the end of the season. If this was not done, this will need to be done at this time.
****Helpful hint*** There are numerous products on the market to clean your humidifier. There is no need to spend the money! The best thing to use is common household white vinegar!