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Test Water Conductivity Prior to Selecting & 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 humidifier models! 

GeneralAire® steam humidifiers utilize electrode steam technology, whereby electric current is passed between electrodes inside a water-filled canister to heat the water within and create steam.  This technology relies on water conductivity (provided by the presence of natural minerals in the water) in order to efficiently pass electric current between electrodes. Knowing your water's conductivity helps to determine which model steam humidifier you should install. If your water does not have ample conductivity, steam humidification may not be the right choice for your home.

Along with conductivity, you'll need to know the gallons per day required to supply your home with the humidity you need (and desire).

Calculating Gallons Per Day:

(Save time, by using our humidity calculator on / 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

Test Water Conductivity Prior to Selecting & Installing a Steam Humidifier!! - Stay in touch with generalaire by reading the latest news, announcements and articles with general filters - Humidity_Chart2

  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.

Testing Water Conductivity:

  1. Using our AP-2 Digital Water Tester, test the water for electrical conductivity (measured in microSiemens per centimeter (µs/cm).  
  • 100 to 500 µs/cm - Requires a Low Conductivity (LC) model.
  • 300 to 1,25µs/cm - Requires a Regular steam model.

Selecting Your Unit:

  1. Now that you know gallons per day and conductivity levels, what is the last step?  Select the model! 
  • Room Steam (RS) or Duct Steam (DS) models that accommodate your installation needs (DS Models require an installation kit).
  • Gallons Per Day (GPD) - From 16 to 58
  • Regular or LC (Low Conductivity) models, based on your water conductivity results.
  • 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 space / rooms 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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