Humidifiers, Air Exchangers, Filters, and Adjusting Dampers
HVAC humidifiers are great! ...as long as you keep up on basic maintenance. They basically just drip water over a sponge, and as air passes by it absorbs some of the moisture. The "sponge" (also known as a pad, water panel, or filter) needs to be replaced at least once per year. The model number for your humidifier is on the unit, either on the front placard or on the bottom sticker. I recommend just ordering a handful of the pads so you have them on hand and ready to replace when you need them.
- Humidifier pads should be replaced at least once per year, every fall before you start using it
- Replace the pad, wipe down the inside of the unit, check for leaks
- There is a duct leaving the humidifier with a small damper (arm) that you can adjust to either "summer" or "winter". Adjust accordingly
- As a general rule, never crank it up all the way. Leaving it cranked all the time can lead to moisture problems in your HVAC system.
- More in-depth information on Humidifiers and maintenance is here
Air Exchangers (HRV/ERV)
You probably will have an air exchanger in your home if your home was built post 2010-ish. Most modern homes are so air-tight and energy-efficient that they have this extra appliance to bring in fresh air from outside and remove stale air from inside. So it literally exchanges the ai
- The most important time to run air exchangers is in the winter when all windows are closed and everything is locked up tight. You might not need to run it much during the warmer months
- It is very important that the (usually 2) filters are removed at least 2-3 times per year and rinsed out in the sink.
- Pay attention to where the filters go before removing them. There are little signs with arrows reminding you where they go on the unit itself, and the arrows match up with arrows on your filters. It might not hurt to take a picture before taking them out.
- There will be specific washing instructions for the main big white "core" on the core itself. Read the instructions for your unit and follow them. They typically call for you to soak them in warm water and some dawn dish soap for a while once per year, then rinse them out and let them dry a bit before replacing them.
- For those that are interested in learning more about their air exchanger and how to maintain it, here is a link to a pretty great blog about it.