Humidifiers use a pad, screen, mesh
or filter called a medium. If the
medium is a pad, it's mounted to a
cylinder, and a small motor rotates
it through a small reservoir of water.
If it's a mesh or screen medium, water
flows through a trough at the top
of the screen to distribute water
evenly across the medium.
A fan, usually the furnace blower
fan, blows across the damp medium,
A valve or float allows water to flow
either into a reservoir or across
the medium and then into a drain,
when called for by the humidistat.
A humidistat determines how much moisture
to add to the air and turns the humidifier
on and off in conjunction with the
furnace blower. It is usually mounted
on the return air duct of the furnace
but may be mounted near the household
1. When the humidifier is running
(usually when the furnace is running
and the humidistat is calling for
more humidity), here's what happens:
Water flows either into a reservoir
(in which a pad mounted to a cylinder
turns) or through a screen or mesh,
then straight into a drain.
A fan blows air across the damp medium,
which evaporates some water into the
air. The warmer the air, the more
water evaporates. That's why your
humidifier is probably mounted close
to your furnace.
Water stops flowing, and the humidifier
shuts off when either the humidistat or the furnace shuts off.
to care for your humidifier:
You need to check and clean your
humidifier frequently. Do not simply
turn it on and leave it all year.
Reservoir-type humidifiers have standing
water in them, allowing mold and bacteria
to grow. If your humidifier has standing
water, or any type of water reservoir,
it's necessary to treat the water
with an anti-bacterial solution. You
can disassemble permanently mounted
units to clean and sanitize them using
standard household products. For wick
and/or filter type portable units,
you can order humidifier
cleaner and bacterial solution.
flow-through type of humidifier does
not have standing water and is not
as susceptible to mold growth. Thoroughly
clean a flow-through humidifier once
problems and concerns:
Check out our humidifier
repair help section for
more information about humidifiers,
including a detailed illustration
of a common humidifier, maintenance
tips and FAQs.
We have an extensive inventory
of humidifier parts. Enter your humidifier
model number into the PartDetective
to see all functional parts for your
particular unit. You can also find
the most common items, such as belts,
wicks and filters, by visiting our
accessory section. Many humidifier
accessories are ON SALE NOW through
October 17 so act now to save.
humidifier parts and accessories