Find out how to humidify an entire house using an existing duct system. Learn how the humidifier works and what kind of unit works well but doesn't require a lot of maintenance.
LESLIE: Frank in New Jersey has a question about humidification . How can we help you?
FRANK: I have a house that’s 1,000 square feet.
TOM and LESLIE: OK.
FRANK: I have hot water heat.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and it’s dry, I bet.
FRANK: And it’s dry. Now, I do have central air installed in the crawl space in the attic.
FRANK: But it’s – you know, there are ducts in my ceiling.
FRANK: I’d like to put some humidity into the whole house ; not just one room.
TOM: Mm-hmm, yeah. Well, you can do that. You can use your air handler. It’s going to require a bit of wiring, Frank, but you can do that. Because you have the duct system, I would install a whole-house humidifier  and you can have that run off a humidistat, which is a moisture-sensing switch. And, essentially, what will happen is as the water trickles down the evaporator pad – I would recommend like an Aprilaire unit, which works very, very well and it doesn’t require near as much maintenance as the kind that have like the squirrel cage in them; they cake up really quickly with mineral deposits. But when you use it, the air blows over the coil, over the evaporator pad; the moisture evaporates into the air, then it’s distributed throughout the house.
Now I will warn you, though, because this is not being distributed by warm air – by warm heat through a furnace – it could be a little chilly.
LESLIE: Yeah, but I’ve heard – I mean when you shop at these kid stores – like, you know, the baby stores …
LESLIE: … all of the humidifiers that they recommend are cool-mist humidifiers.
TOM: Well … (chuckles)
LESLIE: So, I don’t think that there’d be anything wrong with that.
TOM: Yeah, but the difference between the fan in the portable and the fan for a whole system …
LESLIE: Is times a million. (laughs)
TOM: … is pretty huge. Yeah. So, you know, it will be recirculating the heated air in the house. I’m just telling you that you may feel a bit of a draft. But it certainly is an option and it’s certainly more efficient than buying a half a dozen room humidifiers.