A humidifier is an important part of a furnace system that moisturizes the warm air coming out of the furnace to keep your home from becoming overly dry. Numerous health problems and simple discomfort can arise from overly dry air, so it is important to conduct maintenance to keep your humidifier running at its best. Those maintenance methods will vary depending on the type of humidifier attached to your system.
Flow-through humidifiers contain an evaporator pad that is directly moistened by your home's water supply. When a humidistat on the unit senses that your home's air is becoming too dry, the humidifier turns on and sucks in some of the outgoing heated air from the furnace. That air passes over the pad, soaks up some of that moisture, and then heads out into your home's ductwork.
The setup of a flow-through humidifier makes for fairly easy maintenance. You shouldn't have to check the unit more than every couple of months unless problems arise. And you can always call in an HVAC repair technician for help.
Clean Evaporator Pad
The evaporator pad can start to cake up with minerals from the water and other debris that can blow inside the humidifier from the furnace. Check the evaporator pad frequently, clean it when possible, and replace it once the pad is starting to show obvious signs of damage.
Remove the top case of the humidifier using either a screwdriver to remove screws or by unhooking the latches. Locate the evaporator pad, which, despite its name, will likely resemble a mesh screen. Remove the fastenings for the screen and pull the screen clear of the unit.
If you need to clean off some mineralization, soak the screen in a mineral-removing cleansing agent according to the cleaner's package directions. Then rinse the screen with water before putting the humidifier back together.
Check for Floor Leaks
The simplicity of a flow-through humidifier makes it rare for problems to occur and easy to spot problems that do occur. One potential problem is excess water dripping off the pad, down the drain line, and then reaching a clogged drain. You will know this is occurring by water collecting around the base of the humidifier near a drain pipe on the floor.
You can attempt to fix this problem yourself using a commercial drain cleaner. But you might want to call a plumber like Bishop Plumbing, Heating and Cooling in for assistance so as not to cause any damage to an important drain line in your home.