What’s the Best Steam Humidifier for Your Application?


Looking for the best steam humidifier for your application? Here are a few factors to keep in mind.

If you want to combat dry air, you need to find the best steam humidifier for your application. So what makes a good humidifier? Let’s discuss whether bypass or steam humidifiers are better. We’ll also look at the cost and effectiveness of steam humidifiers, and reveal a favorite, top-performing brand.

Bypass vs. Steam Humidifiers: What You Need to Know

First, it’s important to understand precisely what bypass and steam humidifiers are. A bypass humidifier merely bypasses warm air across a pad wetted by water from the house. The warm air from the front goes through that pad as it would go through a furnace filter. This causes some of the moisture to evaporate, where it becomes humidity distributed throughout the house.

The problem with bypass humidifiers is that they only use, at best, 25 percent of the water that runs through the pad. That means 75 percent of the water goes to waste. Also, a bypass humidifier only operates when the furnace is heating. That’s because you have to have that temperature differential to help with evaporation of the water off the pad.

A steam humidifier generates humidity by filling a tank full of water, heating that tank up so that the water boils and producing steam. The steam leaves through a distribution tube into the ductwork. Then, it’s distributed throughout the house. The device boils off all the water in the tank and doesn’t waste any water in the humidification process. What’s more, a steam humidifier can operate even when the furnace is not running.

So, to sum that up: No water waste + No need for furnace running = steam humidifiers emerging as the best choice for humidification.

Cost and Effectiveness of Steam Humidifiers

Yes, it’s true that bypass humidifiers are cheaper than steam humidifiers. That’s why more people choose to install them. Between their lower upfront installation costs and lower operating costs, it’s easy to see why. Keep in mind that bypass humidifiers don’t need to generate their own heat. They merely wet a pad and use the heat from the furnace. That saves on electricity. Add in the fact that installation costs can be up to three times higher, and the bypass humidifier looks like the better option.

However, there are several scenarios in which you may want to avoid a bypass humidifier:

  • When water is costly in your area; that 75 percent wasted water will rack up high utility bills
  • When your home is on septic, all the extra water that will dump into it each time you run the humidifier will result in or frequent septic service
  • When you have a heat pump

The last point is especially important to note. A heat pump generates heat, but not at the temperatures a gas furnace can. As a result, the heated air is at a lower temperature than if it were a furnace. In turn, the evaporation percentage of the water is significantly less. So with a heat pump system, a bypass humidifier is less efficient. If you have a heat pump, you really need to go with a steam humidifier that generates its own heat.

Finally, if the application is humidity critical, you will benefit from a steam humidifier. They can generate more humidity than a bypass humidifier. That makes for a better choice for homes with a lot of wood (which soak up moisture) or larger spaces.

Is a Thermolec Right for You?

One of the best steam humidifiers on the market is the Thermolec. Keep reading for some compelling reasons to take a closer look at this brand.

With a steam humidifier, you must maintain the unit more frequently the harder your water is. However, if it uses elements, this simplifies the maintenance process. Thermolec’s element-style steam humidifier has a 10-year warranty. That means there should be no replacement parts in the first ten years of operation.

The crucial factors to consider are water hardness and operation time:

  • “Hardness” refers to the number of minerals in the water. When your water is very hard, those minerals build up on the inside of your tank and need regular cleaning.
  • Operation time also matters. The more you run your humidifier, the more you’ll need to maintain it.

The difference between a Thermolec and other steam humidifiers is that the cleaning process only takes about 10 minutes. With an electrode-style steam humidifier, on the other hand, the tank and electrodes actually need replacing. You have to disconnect and reconnect wires. The process takes longer. Plus, there is a material expense required that doesn’t exist with a Thermolec steam humidifier.

Finally, the Thermolec unit has a 10-year warranty, unlike others that only have a 1-year warranty. Given that other steam humidifiers have parts to replace every year, that’s a significant distinction.

Ready to learn more about the best steam humidifier for you? Now is the time to call a professional who can walk you through the pros and cons of steam humidifiers. It may also help you to be able to discuss your individual application and make a plan for installing your new humidifier. Now is the time to kill dryness and live more comfortably!

EP Sales maintains a large inventory of Thermolec and Greentek products and parts to service the needs of our customers.