Furance Humidifier Cost Guide
Furnaces do a great job of heating homes and keeping them cozy during the frigid months of winter. However, when cold air gets passed through a furnace and heated, it becomes even drier than it was before. The end result can be extremely dry air that can lead to discomfort during the winter. Dry air can significantly increase a person's chances of contracting the cold, flu and other infections. Furthermore, dry air can irritate the eyes, throat, sinuses and eyes. Because of this, many homeowners these days have humidifier installed on their furnaces as a way of adding just the right amount of moisture to the air being circulated through the home.
A furnace humidifier is a small device that gets mounted to a furnace's hot air supply. Warm air is sucked into the humidifier, where it absorbs moisture from a component known as an evaporator pad. The now moisture-rich air is then passed back through the vents of the home.
The average maximum cost reported for furnace humidifier installation is $450.
The average minimum reported cost for furnace humidifier installation is $370.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Furnace Humidifiers
Homeowners who do not currently have furnace humidifiers installed at their homes should seriously consider it. Before the final decision is made, however, there are some considerations that should be kept in mind to ensure that the choice is right for the homeowner. After all, while furnace humidifiers come with plenty of benefits, there are some inherent drawbacks to owning one as well.
The largest advantage to having a furnace humidifier is being able to avoid dry air within the home, which can improve one's overall health. With the right amount of humidity in the air, homeowners can enjoy a better ability to fight off infection, especially during the winter. They can also avoid the annoyance and complications that come along with having itchy skin, eyes and throat. Furthermore, a furnace humidifier can help to keep furnaces running longer, as dryer air is bad for a furnace's components.
On the other hand, a furnace humidifier must be used carefully to ensure that the air within a home does not become too humid. Ideal air humidity within the home should never be more than 30 percent. Beyond this point, the potential for mold and mildew growth becomes dangerously high. Mold and mildew can be even more damaging to the human body than dry air, so it is extremely important to use furnace humidifiers with care. Furthermore, since furnace humidifiers do not directly benefit homeowners in terms of energy savings, they do not exactly pay for themselves in time.
Different Types of Furnace Humidifiers
There are essentially three types of furnace humidifiers that are commonly used today. These include:
Flow-through humidifiers are the most common option among most homeowners with traditional furnaces in their homes. These operate by sending water directly through the humidifier to adding moisture to the warmed air. A reservoir humidifier, on the other hand, uses an actual reservoir of water that then gets gradually funneled into the air to reach the ideal level of humidity. A steam humidifier, as the name suggests, incorporates steam into the air that is evaporated from water.
Which option is best for any given homeowner will depend on a number of factors, such as the type of furnace currently installed at the home and the price the homeowner is looking to spend. Typically, flow-through humidifiers tend to be among the most affordable and common options at the lower end of the cost spectrum, around $400.
Costs and Considerations for Choosing a Furnace Humidifier
Homeowners thinking about having a furnace humidifier installed at their homes should be aware of a breakdown of the various costs associated with doing so. For starters, there is the base price of the unit itself to consider. The average cost of the humidifier alone is typically around $200. However, labor and materials costs can easily drive the total installation price up to $400 or more. This is why it is important for homeowners receiving quotes from HVAC companies to find out what is included with those quotes. Often times, labor costs range between an additional $150 and $200 and the installation itself takes between two and three hours. Finally, homeowners should be expected to pay around another $25 to $50 for the materials required to properly install the humidifier.
When looking for a furnace humidifier, homeowners should begin by checking the unit's capacity. This is important to ensure that the moisture levels in the air are just right when the humidifier is in operation. The desired capacity a homeowner will want depends greatly on the overall size of the home. Therefore, it is typically best to ask for advice from an experienced HVAC specialist to ensure that the right capacity of humidifier is chosen.
Furthermore, homeowners may want to look for a furnace humidifier that allows some control on the part of the user. To ensure this, homeowners may want to be on the lookout for units that have what is called a built-in "humidistat," which is similar to a thermostat and allows homeowners to adjust the desired humidity output from the device itself. This is a great way to avoid air that is too dry or too moist.
Finally, all homeowners should be aware that furnace humidifiers, like many other home appliances, do require a certain level of maintenance. Typically, this means simply changing the filter on the humidifier every few months, but maintenance requirements can vary from model to model. However, homeowners who already schedule annual HVAC inspections can rest assured that their technicians will take a look at the humidifier to ensure it is in good working shape.
Overall, furnace humidifiers are a great option, especially for those who live in drier climates. The installation costs associated with these devices are not too high, though there are certainly ways to go about shopping around and saving on them. For example, comparing quotes from a number of different installation companies can be a great way to save money on labor and materials costs. Either way, all homeowners can benefit from a furnace humidifier, which will keep air that circulates through the home as healthy as possible.
Last updated on Jul 31, 2014
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