humidifiers

Whole-House Humidifiers: Bypass vs. Power

whole-home humidifiers: bypass vs. powerIn an earlier blog post we explained that the best way to fight dry air is to install a whole-house humidifier. We also mentioned two different types of whole-house humidifiers – the bypass humidifier and the power humidifier. So which should you install? Let’s get into the nitty gritty of which is right for you.

Both the bypass humidifier and the power humidifier have the same task at hand – to add moisture into the air of your home. Both do that by working in conjunction with your furnace or air handler, but there are some major differences in how they deliver the humidity to the rooms of your house.

The bypass humidifier is connected to the return of your furnace or air handler. It does not have a motor of its own and instead relies on the blower motor of the furnace to push warm air through it. The warm air is then pushed through the water panel that is within the humidifier and absorbs moisture from it. That moisture is then delivered back into the air stream and back into your home.

The bypass humidifier is probably the more common of the two, but the power humidifier is quickly gaining popularity and is replacing many bypass humidifiers in many of our customers’ homes.

When comparing the power humidifier to the bypass humidifier, the major differences are that it has its own blower motor and does not rely on the furnace blower motor. The fan delivers moisture to the supply, which sits above the heat source. Once humidity is created it is sent through the ductwork to the rest of the house and does not have to recirculate through the furnace and heat exchanger, as is the case with the bypass humidifier.

Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of each.

Bypass Humidifiers

Pros

A bypass humidifier is more affordable, it adapts to various water types (i.e. hard, soft) and requires very little maintenance.

Cons

It has to be connected to a bypass duct, which is aesthetically unpleasing and unfortunately can eat up more space. Also, since it uses the blower motor of the furnace the humidity that it creates has to be redistributed back through the furnace and heat exchanger again and again in a continuous loop. Therefore, a notable amount of moisture and humidity is lost. In other words, it is less efficient than the power humidifier.

Power Humidifiers

Pros

The power humidifier produces more humidity than the bypass humidifier. In fact it creates about one gallon of humidity more per day than the bypass humidifier. Another pro is that it can humidify more square feet and is ideal for larger homes.

Cons

The one downside to a power humidifier is that it is much more expensive to repair than the bypass humidifier.

We hope that this information is helpful in choosing the right whole-home humidifier for you and your home. And if you have any further questions please feel free to contact us. HVAC Parts Shop is here to help!

Static is in the Air

Static is in the Air

dry airValentine’s Day is long over and while there still may be some love in the air, there’s definitely something else too. Oh, that’s right, its static electricity!

Every winter it’s the same old story – my skin is peeling, my eyes are itchy, my kids are getting nosebleeds and the fear of static electricity is keeping me a mile away from my cat! So what can I do to get over this dry air? Keep reading for tips to add a little moisture to your life.

Why does colder weather bring along drier air?

Well, it’s all about humidity. Humidity equals moisture and while warmer air can carry lots of humidity and moisture, colder air has low humidity and little moisture.

What’s the solution to dry air?

Any HVAC professional will tell you that the simple answer is to install a humidifier. A humidifier will increase humidity in your home by pushing moisture into the air. There are point-of-use humidifiers that are used to reduce dry air in a single room and whole-house humidifier which are connected to your HVAC system and are used to humidify an entire house. The latter of the two can be found and purchased on our website.

There are different types of whole-house humidifiers. Check out our next blog to learn about the pros and cons associated with both power humidifiers and bypass humidifiers.

Besides adding moisture to your house, humidifiers actually make you feel warmer as well. Have you ever noticed how 90 degrees in Southern California feels a whole lot different than 90 degrees in the Midwest? It feels cooler in Southern California, right? That’s because there is less humidity in Southern California and having less humidity actually makes your body feel colder. Put extra moisture into the air in your home to make you feel warmer. With extra humidity you may even be able to lower your thermostat a few degrees, saving you energy dollars.

Besides installing a humidifier in your house (and we highly recommend that you do) there are some other easy methods to fighting dry air and the side effects that accompany it.

  1. Seal your home with caulk, spray foam or weatherstripping. Keep the cold, dry air from entering your home.
  2. Hydrate often. Dry air can pull moisture from your mouth, throat and nose. Make sure you are fighting the dry air with extra hydrations.
  3. Shorten your showers. Warm water and the steam will only dry out your skin further.
  4. Moisturize. Use lotion frequently during the dry, winter months, especially after washing your hands and showering.