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Test Water Conductivity Before Installing a Steam Humidifier!!

Installing a steam humidifier can be one of the most effective ways of increasing the humidity in your home; however, selecting the right model requires a little more consideration than other models!  GeneralAire® steam humidifiers utilize electrode steam technology.  Electric current is passed between electrodes inside a canister, relying on water conductivity (provided by the presence of natural minerals in the water) inside to generate steam.  You'll need two important pieces of information to select the right steam humidifier model:  1.  gallons per day required  2.  water conductivity (regular, or low).

Let’s look at how one would normally select any humidifier, regardless of technology (flow through, bypass, drum, or steam). (If you want to save time, use the humidity calculator on www.generalfilters.com / support center):

  1. Determine The Total Cubic Feet Of The Home:
    1. Sq. Ft. Of Your Home (Basement Included) X Ceiling Height
  2. Calculate The Load (Lbs./Hr.):
    1. Total Cubic Feet X Desired Condition Factor (From Table Below)
    2. X 1.05 For Each Fireplace

  1. Calculate Gallons Per Day Your Home Will Need To Achieve Desired Humidity Levels: 
    1. Gallons Per Day X Load (Lbs. / Hr.) X 2.88.

Select the flow through, drum or bypass model humidifier that produces the gallons per day calculated and you’re all set!

Installing a steam humidifier, however, requires that you also test the water’s conductivity!!!

  1. Using our AP-2 Digital Water Tester, test the water for electrical conductivity (measured in microSiemens per centimeter (µs/cm).  
  • 200 to 500 µs/cm requires a Low Conductivity (LC) model.
  • 500 to 1,250 µs/cm requires a Regular steam model.
  1. Now that you know gallons per day and conductivity levels, what is the last step?  Select the model! 

GeneralAire® offers Room Steam (RS) or Duct Steam (DS) models that accommodate the Gallons Per Day (GPD) required for larger homes, as well as regular or LC (Low Conductivity) models (based on your water conductivity results).  If selecting a DS Model, choose an installation kit (required for DS models). Learn more here.

More Tips:

  • Do NOT use softened water, but rather ensure the water supply to your steam humidifier is untreated.
  • Do NOT use water containing disinfectants, corrosion inhibitors, or any chemically or bacteriologically-contaminated water.
  • Do NOT use a hot water supply.
  • When in doubt, select the humidifier that produces MORE gallons per day than what is required.  Why?  Home owners may choose to remodel, install wood flooring (where there was none before) or add on to their home. All these situations increase the demand for humidity.  If your humidifier cannot keep up with this increased demand, you may have an unhappy home owner. 

Overall the steam humidifier must be supplied with the following water characteristics:

  • Pressure between 20psi and 110psi; or 0.1 and 0.8 MPa (1 and 8 bar)
  • Temperature between 33° F and 104° F; or 1° C and 40° C
  • Flow rate minimum of 0.45 L/min or 0.21 gpm
  • Hardness no greater than 40° fH (equal to 400 ppm3 of CaCO),
  • Conductivity from 125 to 1250 µS/cm
  • Absence of organic compounds 
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