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Comparison of Humidifiers (Steam vs Evaporative)

Posted on February 26, 2020
by Appleby Systems

Compact Air Humidifier

A humidifier is a device that adds moisture to the air. It helps to eliminate dryness by releasing nourishing vapour or humidity into arid air. Humidifiers are beneficial for relieving allergy-related ailments, as well as cold-weather symptoms. 

Dry, scratchy throats and nasal passages, as well as conditions related to dry, dehydrated skin, can be eased with humidifiers. It also minimizes potential damage to the furniture or floors from poor air quality. Overall, these devices help to improve the general feeling and comfort in your home.  

Whole-home humidifiers are substantial units that treat an entire house. For this article, the focus will be on steam humidifiers and evaporative humidifiers. Clarity is provided on these units to help guide your decision if you are considering adding one or the other to your living space.  

Steam Humidifiers 

A steam humidifier heats water until it is at the boiling point, then releases steam to add humidity to the air. There are two basic technologies used for steam humidifiers, which are resistive and electrode. Electrode steam humidifiers are usually simpler to install and maintain and don’t have the same water quality issues that can come up with resistive units. 

When you have an electrode steam humidifier installed in your home, an electrical current flows between two electrodes that are submerged in water. This comes in a canister, which can easily be replaced when the humidifier season is over. And since impurities in the water are needed to allow for the transfer of electricity, there is no need for water purification. Typically, steam humidifiers can handle greater capacity than evaporative humidifiers and are usually recommended when a significantly greater capacity is required. 

Evaporative Humidifiers  

With evaporative humidifiers, the water is not heated. Instead, it is turned to vapour via a water panel in the HVAC system. If it’s possible to mount the humidifier on your existing ductwork, then an evaporative humidifier is likely the better choice. Evaporative units are easy to install and maintain and last a long time. 

The two types of evaporative humidifiers are fan-powered or bypass. With the bypass style, air is moved from the supply to the return and the fan-powered style blows the air through the unit. Both types use a water panel evaporator that moves dry air from the HVAC system through a moist water panel. When this happens, natural evaporation takes place and then the air is circulated through your house. 


Appleby Systems Can Help to Improve Your Home’s Air Quality  

If the air in your home is harsh and dry, a humidifier can help to enhance its quality. Are you interested in the advantages of having one in your home? Contact the experts at Appleby Systems today and we will help you decide which type of humidifier is best for your home. 


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