We are proud to offer a 3-year warranty on parts and labor in relation to our Humidifier Installations.
Instant Plumbing & Heating
At Instant Plumbing, we have qualified technicians to help you choose the right humidifier based on key factors, such as the size of your home. And if you’re unsure if your current humidifier is the perfect fit, we’ll gladly take a look. We can offer suggestions on a more appropriate model or perform maintenance, as required.
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If you’re experiencing itchy skin and damaged floorboards due to dryness, why not invest in a humidifier? A humidifier from a trusted brand, like General Aire or Bryant, can keep your home at an ideal level of humidity with minimal upkeep.
When the temperature drops, you turn up your heat. Unfortunately, this reduces the level of humidity in your home. And without an appropriate amount of moisture in the air, a number of negative effects can occur. For instance:
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Humidifiers in Calgary
Calgary, especially in the winter, is one of the driest places on the planet.
While Calgary’s average humidity in summer sits around 50%, in the winter, Calgary’s natural humidity drops down to just 4%, which is drier than the Sahara Desert with its 7% humidity! The fact is that the water which is in our cold air simply crystallizes, leaving virtually no water content. What then happens is that people gun their heaters higher and higher, further lowering humidity, and pulling moisture energy out of their bodies…making them feel even colder. Brrr!
Not only is it hard on your body, but dryness affects other things in your home. Many retailers of wood products such as hardwood floors, wood furniture and acoustic guitars also strongly recommend that you pay attention to humidity. In fact, not doing so often relinquishes your product’s performance guarantee.
So how do you achieve proper humidity? With a humidifier, of course. These do not need to run in the summer, but around about the time you kick your indoor heating on (and wasn’t it awfully early this year with our September snow?), you’ll need to start that humidifier.
You can get portable freestanding humidifiers, but they rarely perform as consistently as needed. Humidifiers that install on your Central forced-air heating system are the best. One we recommend is the Bryant Large Fan Powered model, which will keep a 2400 square foot home at a very steady level of humidity throughout the year. Believe it or not, these systems may use up to 20 gallons of water a day in Calgary to keep you from drying up, but you can set the humidity preference and never worry about adjusting it – it has a sensor that allows it to self-regulate.
When purchasing a humidifier, be sure to ask what size home the unit is ideally suited for; we’ve seen customers trying to push a little General Air humidifier, designed for only up to 1300 square feet, in a 3000 square foot house!
Humidifiers also need servicing – and this is more so when you do not have a water softener. The reason? Calgary has very hard water, and running it through anything leaves large hard water deposits. Softening the water first will extend the length of any appliance.
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To feel somewhat normal in the winter, no home would want less than a bare, bare minimum of 40%. We recommend at least 42% to take care of wood floors or furniture. And do be mindful of something called the “Brownian Effect” – which basically means that humidity will always try to even itself out….so moisture in the air wants to leak right out your humidified home’s drafty windows and doors. If that happens, you’re going to have to gun that humidifier really hard, which is not terribly energy efficient.
The key factor in choosing the right humidifier is the size of your house. Working with a qualified humidifier technician will ensure that the unit you choose is appropriate for your home.
If you’ve moved into a home with a humidifier and you’re concerned that it might not be the right model, our plumbers can check it to make sure, and determine a correctly sized replacement if needed.
Older humidifiers should also be checked for their standards of health and safety. Older, drum-style models essentially feature a sponge on a wheel that turns through a reservoir of water to pick up moisture. This design can be a haven for bacteria and spread this bacteria all through the house. We recommend replacing this type of model with a flow-through style humidifier. This style uses the power of the furnace to move humidity throughout the home.
Two other fantastic options are the fan-powered humidifier, which blows humidity through the duct-work, and steam humidifiers, which provides the most moisture and is ideal for a larger home.
While we’ve been touting the benefits of humidity, there’s such thing as too much of a good thing. If your percentage of humidity is too high, your windows will start to sweat and, when it’s cold outside, frost or ice up. Though 40-60% humidity is generally ideal, most humidistats make it easy for you by giving a recommended percentage based on current weather conditions as well as the specifics of your home, including how well sealed and insulated your house is.
While we all notice the temperature in our homes, and often have a strong opinion on what that temperature should be, we’re less aware of the level of humidity and how that affects our experience of the temperature, as well.
A dry home, or one with a low level of humidity, is more prone to cold zones. An optimal amount of moisture in the air helps heat to spread evenly through your home, which in turn lets your furnace work more efficiently.
Lack of humidity can also harm expensive finishes such as your flooring and windows. The air is always trying to reach its saturation point of moisture, so if it’s too dry the moisture will get sucked from any place possible within the home, including your body, plants, pets, flooring, furniture and even artwork. Wood fixtures, especially, suffer from this drying effect. Wood furnishings and hardwood floors will dry out and crack if the humidity within the home is not kept within an acceptable range. Lack of humidity can also cause gaps around windows and doors, making your heating that much less efficient.
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Aside from being a dry city, Calgary also has very hard water. Because of this, the absorption pads on your humidifier will usually require replacement every twelve months.
There is no particular season or time of year that you should have your humidifier serviced, but it should be checked by a qualified technician once a year. The easiest way to make sure this gets done is schedule it at the same time as your yearly furnace maintenance.