The dry indoor air that results from winter's cold, dry weather and your home's furnace can lead to a variety of discomforts. Many people suffer from persistent dry skin, bronchitis and even increased instances of cold and flu in the dry air. A study published in the Public Library of Science indicates that indoor humidity levels of 40 percent or greater can actually help reduce the spread of viruses. If you want to help improve the humidity levels in your house, here are some tips to install a whole-house humidifier on your forced air system.
Mounting the Humidifier
You'll need to find a space to mount the humidifier unit that's directly next to the furnace. Choose an open space on the wall where you can place it without obstructing anything or having anything else in its way. That way, you can easily get to it when you need to. Use the mounting screws provided with the humidifier to secure it to the wall.
Connecting it to the Duct
Pull any insulation away from the outer surface of the air duct. Then, use the hole template provided with the humidifier to mark and cut a hole in the duct. You can mark it easiest with a grease or chalk pencil. It's usually easiest to do this by drilling a pilot hole into the duct so that you can cut the hole with tin snips.
Install the Steam Wand
Use self-tapping metal screws to attach the steam wand to the duct. Make sure that the screws are tightened enough to keep it in place. Then, connect the steam hose to the open end of the wand by pushing it into place. Connect the remaining end of the steam hose to the humidifier. It should slide over the hose outlet. You might want to use cable ties or a hose clamp to lightly secure it. Attach the drain hose to the drain outlet on the humidifier unit. The hose just slips over the outlet.
Run the Water Pipe
Attach a copper drain pipe to the drain outlet, then run that pipe to the floor drain or your basement's sump pump. Shut off the water to the supply line that you're going to use for the water to the humidifier, then cut the pipe with copper pipe cutters.
Solder a "T" shaped fitting into the pipe to add an outlet for cold water to the humidifier. Screw a copper water line to the "T" fitting's outlet, then connect it to the water inlet on the humidifier. Restore the water flow and make sure there are no leaks.
If you don't already have an electrical line that you can wire the humidifier to, talk with a local electrician to run new wire directly to the humidifier. It's best that you have a professional do this to ensure that it is done according to the electrical code.
Set the Humidity Levels
Set the maximum humidity level you want in the house on the high-limit humidity switch. This tells the system how much humidity is too much. Then, set the actual humidistat to the level of humidity you want and the system should start to run.
As you can see, installing a humidifier is easier than you might think. If you're not comfortable doing any part of this process on your own, an HVAC technician can help you. For more information, contact Lakeside Heating & A/C Inc. or a similar company.
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