Dry skin is a prevalent medical condition that affects approximately 8.4 million Americans. The most common symptoms include cracking or scaling of the skin, which can be unsightly and uncomfortable. The most common cause behind dry skin is low humidity. Ideally, humidity levels in your home should fall between 30 and 50%. The humidity can be measured with a hygrometer. If you constantly suffer form dry skin, your furnace humidifiers may not be operating effectively. This article will give you some insight on the type of furnace humidifiers that are available and the most common causes that result in malfunctioning or inoperable humidifiers.
Identifying the Type of Furnace Humidifier Present
Although fundamentally all humidifiers operate and function in the same manner, there are two different types of furnace humidifies that are generally found: flow-through and humidifier supply takeoff duct. A flow-through furnace humidifier functions by having warm water flow through it before getting drained out. The furnace will generally put aside a reservoir of warm water in order to introduce the moisture needed to warm up the air.
Humidifier supply takeoff ducts, on the other hand, take advantage of the pressure differential between the supply and return sides of the furnace, and will divert heated air to the humidifiers instead. The different furnaces need to be disassembled using unique techniques.
Flow-through furnace humidifiers do not need to be cleaned as regularly as humidifier supply takeoff ducts since they rely on a water reservoir, and there is less of a chance for bacterial accumulation and buildup. Regardless, you should click here to read more about both types of humidifiers. They should be cleaned regularly to prevent promoting mold or bacterial growth.
Common Causes of Malfunctioning
The best way to determine whether the furnace humidifiers need to be repaired is to check the hygrometer to determine what the humidity levels within your house is. You should play around with the settings first in order to determine whether you have just set the setting levels too low or too high. If the furnace humidifier is indeed malfunctioning, you have two options: repair it or replace it.
Surprisingly, the cost of replacing non-functional furnace humidifiers may actually be more than the cost of a furnace itself, which is why most homeowners attempt to diagnose the problem first in order to determine whether repairs are possible.
Most of the time, a malfunctioning or inoperable furnace humidifier is caused by one of two things: the fan doesn't turn on or water cannot be directed to the humidifier. If there is no audible sound when the furnace humidifier is turned on, then there is a high chance that the fan doesn't work. This can be due to a bad control board, which can be easily replaced, or can be because the motor is burned out. The latter is much more difficult to repair and fix.
If you do not hear a clicking sound when the humidifier is turned on, then water is most likely not able to enter the humidifier. This can be caused by a malfunctioning solenoid valve, a bad control board, a clogged in-line strainer, which is located at the inlet side, a clogged blue orifice, which is located at the outlet side, or a clogged saddle valve, which is responsible for connecting the humidifier water line to the household water line.
Disassembling the humidifier and repairing the underlying problem can be rather difficult for those with no prior experience. You'll have a better chance at success if you call in a furnace repair technician. Once the humidifier is replaced and the humidity levels in your house are adjusted back to the ideal ranges, dry skin conditions should progressively improve.