white furnace humidifier

Do Furnace Humidifiers Really Work?

Do furnace humidifiers really work? It is a question that many people ask, as there are so many different types of humidifiers on the market. Yes, furnace humidifiers work, and they can be a great way to add humidity to your home during winter.

Humidifiers are a common household appliance that many people use to improve the air quality in their homes. There are many different types of humidifiers on the market, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks. Let’s explore the pros and cons of furnace humidifiers so you can decide if they’re the right type for your needs.

What is A Furnace Humidifier?

Winter in Canada may persist for almost six months or longer, and as a result of rising energy costs, Canadians are increasingly over-insulating their houses. The heat dries up the indoor air and drastically lowers the humidity level, which is significantly uncomfortable for the residents. Fortunately, furnace humidifiers provide a solution to this issue.

A furnace humidifier is a type of humidifier that you can install onto your furnace. Built-in humidistats monitor the air’s humidity and only let the humidifier operate when the humidity falls below its predetermined level. It reduces the possibility of over-humidifying the house, which may result in walls and windows’ condensation, mould, and a hot, sweaty sensation for the residents.

There are two main types of furnace humidifiers: steam and bypass.

Steam humidifiers

It produces humidity by heating water until it becomes steam. The steam is then distributed throughout the house via ductwork. Although adding moisture to your home’s air with steam is quite efficient, steam furnaces are more expensive to acquire and run.

Bypass humidifiers

It adds water to the furnace’s airstream, and the humidified air flows through your home’s ductwork. Since they lack motors, they depend on the furnace’s blower to add moisture to the air as it travels over the water panel and down the ductwork. Hence, they are only operational while the furnace is running. Bypass humidifiers are less expensive than steam models but are also less effective in output.

How Do Furnace Humidifiers Work?

Furnace humidifiers improve indoor air quality by releasing water vapour or steam into the furnace ductwork, distributed to various rooms through the vents. The humidistat regulates the amount of moisture released into the air, which turns the humidifier on and off to maintain the desired humidity level.

Benefits of Furnace Humidifiers

There are many benefits to using a furnace humidifier, including:

  • Reduced static electricity:  Static electricity is caused by a build-up of electric charge on the surface of an object. When the humidity in the air is low, static electricity is more likely to occur. Adding moisture to the air with a furnace humidifier can reduce static electricity and make your home more comfortable.
  • Prevents drying and cracking of wood: Wood is a hygroscopic material that absorbs and retains water from the air. When the air is too dry, wood can become cracked and damaged. Using a furnace humidifier can keep the air moist and prevent your wood floors, furniture, and trim from drying out and cracking.
  • Reduces respiratory discomfort: Dry air can cause various respiratory problems, including nosebleeds, sinus infections, and bronchitis. By adding moisture to the air with a furnace humidifier, you can reduce these respiratory problems and make it easier to breathe.
  • Prevention of dry skin and noses: Dry air can cause your skin and nasal passages to dry, leading to discomfort. Adding moisture to the air can prevent these problems and keep your skin and nasal passages healthy.
  • Eases congestion: Dry air can make congestion worse. By adding moisture to the air with a furnace humidifier, you can alleviate congestion and make it easier to breathe.

Drawbacks of Furnace Humidifiers

There are some potential drawbacks to using a furnace humidifier, including:

  • Condensation: If the air is too moist, it can lead to condensation on walls and windows. It can damage your home and create an ideal environment for mould growth.
  • Water spots: Moisture in the air can cause water spots on surfaces such as windows, mirrors, and countertops.
  • Increased energy costs: Running a humidifier will increase your energy costs.
  • Maintenance: Furnace humidifiers require regular cleaning and maintenance to prevent mould and bacteria growth.


Furnace humidifiers are a great way to improve the indoor air quality of your home and reduce static electricity, respiratory problems, and congestion. However, they have some potential drawbacks that you should be aware of before purchasing one. The system does work and can provide many benefits. If you want to install a furnace humidifier, weigh the pros and cons to decide if it’s right.

For furnace humidifier installation, contact Furnace Repair Toronto for a free consultation.