Installing a central humidifier can help with asthma, keeping mold out of the air, and countering the drying effects of hot air systems (which can lead to skin and eye irritation, as well as be damaging to your possessions over the long term). Fortunately, installing a central air humidifier is a pretty simple do-it-yourself project that can make your home a much more comfortable place.
How to Choose and Install One
There are a few different types of central humidifiers on the market, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The three main types are drum systems, flow-through systems, and spray mist systems. They vary in pricing and effectiveness, as well as how they are installed. Always follow the manufacturer's installation instructions. However, there are a few guidelines for installing a central humidifier that should be pretty universal.
Firstly, shut off any power or heat going to the furnace. The humidifier should be attached to the cold-air return. Take the guide from your installation kit, and tape it to the duct, making sure it's level. Drill the appropriate holes using the bit sizes recommended by the manufacturer, smaller ones for screws on the outside edge and larger ones in the middle for fitting tin snips into. These will be your pilot holes for cutting out the section of the duct that the humidifier will fit into. Use tin snips to cut the hole out.
TIP: Wear gloves when cutting and working with the hole in the duct. Cut tin is incredibly sharp.
Attach the humidifier to the duct with screws and duct tape for extra security. You'll need to run a cold water line to the humidifier; doing this might take some professional assistance. You need to turn the water off and run a faucet somewhere to relieve the pressure in the water pipes. The humidifier kit should provide you with a tube that you can run from the water source. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and seek help if you aren't sure what you're doing.
A humidistat is something you may choose to add to your system. It will allow you to control the humidity percentage of the air in your home (which is ideally between 30 and 50 percent) and have automated control over your new system. You'll also want to install a transformer to lower the voltage going from the house's electricity to the humidifier.
Any questions or concerns you have can be helped by a local HVAC contractor. If you already have someone who maintains your central AC, he or she should be able to give you whatever advice or assistance you need. Once you've installed your humidifier, you can say goodbye to dried-out, asthma-exacerbating air, and hello to an atmosphere in your home that is more comfortable than you ever imagined.