Can You Put A Humidifier On An Electric Furnace?

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Humidifiers are installations that can improve the level of moisture in your home. These devices come in small sizes to focus on individual rooms and spaces, or you can humidify an entire house by attaching a humidifier to your furnace. Just like humidifiers, furnaces come in varying styles. Do you have an electric furnace and wondering about its compatibility? You are in the right place. We have gathered our research to answer if you can put a humidifier on an electric furnace here in this post.

You can put a humidifier on an electric furnace, and the pair is quite complementary. A humidifier will help sustain warmth using moisture, which will enhance the efficiency of your furnace. 

Now that you know a humidifier and electric furnace can mix, let’s talk about what type of furnace humidifiers are out there. Keep reading as we discuss how long a furnace humidifier should last and how much they typically cost to be installed.

Plumber repairing a gas boiler of a heating home system in the boiler room. Can You Put A Humidifier On An Electric Furnace

Types Of Furnace Humidifiers

Furnaces can be guilty of stripping moisture from the air during the winter months. Installing a furnace humidifier allows you to control the moisture within your home, decreasing health issues and keeping you and your houseplants happy.

There are different types of furnace humidifiers on the market, allowing you to pick the best one for your individual needs. The types of furnace humidifiers include:

  • Flow-through humidifiers
  • Drum humidifiers
  • Steam humidifiers

Let’s take a closer look at each style of humidifier to figure out which one will be best suited for your home.

A home humidifier attached to the return duct with a bypass connection to the supply hot air duct. Can You Put A Humidifier On An Electric Furnace

Flow-through Humidifiers

Flow-through humidifiers work through evaporation by passing a consistent stream of water across a humidifier pad. This stream of water reduces the chances of bacterial contamination and keeps the need for maintenance low compared to other styles of humidifiers.

You can find a Honeywell humidifier with a flow-through design here on Amazon.

The maintenance is low once installed, but one downside to this style is the installation can be difficult or more involved. When installing a flow-through humidifier, you need to connect it to both a water and drain pipe.

Drum Humidifiers

A drum humidifier has many similarities when compared to the flow-through style. They both work on the principle of evaporation, have a special bypass tube to receive warm air from a heat duct, and both have absorbent pads to contain water. The main characteristic separating the two styles is the water source.

Drum humidifiers, or reservoir humidifiers, include a rotating drum with an absorbent pad. The drum moves through a pan of standing water that soaks the pad. Air flows through the bypass tube, and moisture evaporates out of the pad. This method of humidifying offers 100% efficiency, which means all the water used ends up in your home with none wasted.

Have a look at this energy-efficient drum humidifier here on Amazon.

No waste is great, but one drawback to a drum humidifier is the stagnant water. If this water sits for too long, harmful bacterial can start to form and inhabit the reservoir. This bacterium can lead to a condition called humidifier fever, which has symptoms similar to the flu, such as muscle aches and shortness of breath.

Steam Humidifiers

In some homes, moisture through the evaporation process is simply not enough to get or maintain adequate moisture levels. When this happens, you can turn to a steam humidifier. This device uses electricity instead of evaporation to change water into moisture.  You can generate large amounts of moisture and have more control over the moisture levels in your home, but there is a downside.

Amazon offers a large capacity steam humidifier here.

More moisture at a quicker pace is more expensive. Steam humidifiers easily double the cost when compared to the other styles of humidifiers. This is true not only in water use but electricity too.

As you can see, each style of humidifier comes with pros and cons. There are many benefits overall when it comes to adding a humidifier to your furnace. Choose one of these styles to enjoy optimal moisture in your home all winter long.

Can You Run A Furnace Without A Humidifier?

You can run a furnace without a humidifier. A humidifier is not a necessity like your actual heating unit is. However, there are plenty of reasons why you would want to run your furnace with a humidifier. Adding and maintaining moisture levels in your home can improve health conditions, the climate in the home and make you more comfortable overall.

Read more on our blog post, “Should You Put A Humidifier On The Floor?”

Is A Humidifier Required In Winter?

A humidifier will make your winter far more pleasant. Heated air from your furnace is dry and will bring the levels of moisture in your home even farther down. The dry air that comes along with the cold month can already be a struggle. The air potentially causes health hazards, issues with the efficiency of your heating unit, and even damage to your home.

A home high efficiency furnace with a residential gas water heater & humidifier.

If you have a high-efficiency furnace, a humidifier is required as these devices will deplete any humidity in the home. Extremely low levels of moisture put you at risk of dry skin and irritated airways.

This lack of humidity can increase the chances of you catching a cold or the flu over the winter, but it can also cause lasting damage to furniture, floors, and doors in your home. You may start to see bubbling or gaps appear in these items.

woman sick and feel cold at home

A humidifier decreases the likelihood of the above issues, but it also adds to just your overall comfort in the cold months. Dry air does not hold heat well. This dry air actually sucks moisture from you, making you seem colder.

You will spend more money cranking up the heat to stay warm versus when a humidifier is in the equation. Moist air makes you feel warmer, creating comfort for you and saving your furnace from working overtime.

Learn more on our blog post, “Should You Use A Humidifier In The Summer?”

How Long Do Furnace Humidifiers Last?

There are numerous aspects to consider when looking at the lifespan of your furnace humidifier. Factors affecting life expectancy include maintenance and upkeep, type of humidifier, professional repairs, annual check-ups, and installation processes.

man doing furnace inspection at a suburban home

On average, furnace humidifiers will last 10-15 years. If your humidifier is not working as it should and was installed less than 10 years ago, it is worth looking into a repair versus buying a new unit. On the other hand, you should buy a new furnace humidifier if your unit is over 10 years old, no service or maintenance has been done on the unit, or the parameters of your home have changed.

How Much Does It Cost To Have A Humidifier Installed On Your Furnace?

The price of a humidifier and its installation varies based on the make and model of your humidifier and who you hire to do the installation. Typically, the cost of installing a humidifier is between $400 and $700. If you are installing a larger unit, or the job is more difficult due to the structures in your home,  it can cost upwards of $1000.

Service Worker Fixing Central Heating Furnace System.

The hourly rate for HVAC company technicians is between $50 and $70 per hour on average. You can expect the installation of a furnace humidifier to take at least 3-5 hours.

Professional Technician Repair Central Gas Heater.

If you are working with a budget, the cheapest style of humidifier to install is a drum humidifier. These humidifiers and the installation are affordable, but these units do require more maintenance than others. Be sure to get familiar with the steps needed for the upkeep of the units if you go this route.

Learn more on this topic in our blog post, “How Much Does It Cost To Add A Humidifier To Your Furnace?”

In Summary

You can put a humidifier on an electric furnace, and it is recommended. In fact, the installation can even save you costs because humidity helps warm the air in your home.

There are three styles of furnace humidifiers to choose from, each offering pros and cons. Comparing the capacity, size, and costs of these styles can help you determine which one will best suit you and your needs. We hope you found this article helpful when it comes to applying a humidifier to your electric furnace, and maybe you even found some inspiration as to which humidifier is best for you.

Are you looking for more information on humidifier care? Have a look through our blog post, “Should You Use Distilled Water In A Humidifier?”

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