Routine whole house humidifier maintenance is required to prevent the unit from becoming a perfect mold distribution device and to maximize its performance. If your furnace is located in a crawlspace or house attic area you might not even know that you have a whole house humidifier installed. Please, check it or if you can’t, have someone else do it for you. Those areas are always full of surprises…
Whole house humidifier basic maintenance tips:
Furnace humidifier maintenance #1. Check your humidifier unit visually on regular basis. If the humidistat is located somewhere close to the humidifier, turn it to OFF position and than back ON to the higher setting while listening for a “click” like noise from the unit itself (flow through type humidifier / check all whole house humidifier types).
If it clicks, the solenoid valve should be operating. After you hear that click listen for the water running through the plastic tubing. If the humidistat is on a different floor, ask someone to turn it, and listen for the solenoid valve to click – this test requires furnace to be ON / operating.
For the whole house humidifiers equipped with a float valve, you have to remove the humidifier enclosure cover and slightly push the float valve down to see if the water starts flowing.
Wick type whole house humidifier needs to be removed from the furnace air duct in order to evaluate it.
Furnace humidifier maintenance # 2. Make sure that there’s no water dripping from the whole house humidifier itself and any of its components (water supply line, drain line, shutoff valve, enclosure, area underneath the unit, or furnace itself)
Furnace humidifier maintenance #3. Replace the whole house humidifier water pad / evaporator pad / filter / foam on seasonal basis (or more often if required, e.g. with private well water). Make sure that you re-assemble everything correctly to prevent water leaks
Furnace humidifier maintenance #4. Clean the whole house humidifier components contaminated with mineral deposits after the heating season ends – it will be much easier to do it when everything is still wet and soft. You can use 50/50 vinegar-water solution for heavier contaminated components. Just soak them for 15-30 minutes (or longer if necessary) and that should help to fulfill the whole house humidifier maintenance procedure.
This article was written by Dariusz Rudnicki
I'm a retired Illinois home inspector, founder and editor of checkthishouse.com, a blog which attracts around 2 thousand readers daily and is dedicated to answering the many questions of home owners and home buyers. Connect with me on Google+ Find me on Google+ Local