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How Do I Get More Humidity Out of My GeneralAire Humidifier?

J. Paige Freeland, Marketing Manager, General Filters, Inc.

As a manufacturer of whole-house humidifiers we often get calls from homeowners asking: “how do I get more humidity from my GeneralAire® evaporative or fan-powered evaporative humidifier?” 

How Do I Get More Humidity Out of My GeneralAire Humidifier? - GeneralAire Indoor Air Quality Blog - 4200-Low-Res

Ideal humidity is somewhere between 40 - 60% RH for the health, comfort, and protection of you, your family, and your home assets.  Achieving proper humidity levels requires the consideration of several factors:

  1. First, selecting the right humidifier is key.  All humidifiers are designed for a specific humidity output, known as gallons per day (GPD).  The humidifier selected should produce enough humidity to reach the 40 – 60% RH.  Factors to consider:
    1. The square feet of the home
    2. Ceiling height
    3. Number of fireplaces
    4. Age of home; type of widows
    5. Type of insulation in your home
    6. Amount of woodwork and wooden items (artwork, musical instruments) in the home
    7. Plans for future home additions or installation of wood floors
    8. Climate at the given location
  2. Connecting your humidifier to the hot water supply increases humidity output by approximately 20%. 
  3. Consider the setting on your control. 
    1. Manual humidistat:  for more humidity, turn the dial towards the higher number. 
    2. Automatic humidistat: with an outdoor sensor installed, simply select the desired % humidity on the digital control. 
    3. Wait a few days to make an additional adjustment, as this is how long it takes for the new setting to reach the entire home. 
  4. Replace your Vapor Pad® (Also called: humidifier pad, humidifier filter, water panel, water filter) at the start of each heating season.  You may need to replace it more often depending on sediment content in the water supply, as higher sediment content may build up faster on the Vapor Pad. This buildup will block hot air from moving through the pad to deliver humidity.
    1. Do not wash/clean the pad.  The Vapor Pad® is coated with a hydrophilic material that holds water for evaporation when the hot air from your furnace passes through.  If you “clean” the pad, you also wash off the coating that holds water, resulting in zero humidity output.
  5. The humidifier’s run time may play a factor, as sediment buildup may happen more quickly with longer run times and you may need to replace the Vapor Pad twice during the season. 
  6. With each your Vapor Pad replacement, check the water lines for and the solenoid valve for blockage.  Remove scale buildup from the water distribution trough and drain pan.
  7. Occasionally a homeowner misses even the simplest details:
    1. Is power to the unit plugged in and turned on?
    2. Is the water supply is turned on?
    3. Is the humidistat set to the proper setting?
    4. Is your damper turned to “open” or “winter”?
    5. Did you install a new Vapor Pad® at the beginning of the heating season?
    6. Did you check to see that the solenoid valve is not blocked; that it is allowing water to run to the humidifier?
    7. What is the air temperature?  Colder air does not hold as much moisture as warmer air.
    8. Have you remodeled your home after the installation of your humidifier, adding on a room or installing hard wood floors?  Did you install a new fireplace? These may increase the demand for humidity from your humidifier, and you just may need to replace your unit with a higher output humidifier.
    9. Has the water pressure changed in your home for some reason?  Or is the water line not fully open?

As you can see, there are numerous considerations in selecting, maintaining, and preparing your humidifier for reaching and maintaining the humidity level you desire.  Once understood, you will enjoy the health and comfort a whole house humidifier offers.

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