Do I Just Close the Seasonal Damper in Summer Months With an Aprilaire Humidifier?

Air in your home can damage your possessions and furnishings if it is too dry.

Function

Without enough humidity in the air, wood splinters, static electricity builds and even food goes stale faster. Portable humidifiers are nice to have when you’re sick, but to maintain the proper humidity level throughout your entire home, consider a whole-house humidifier.

The purpose of a whole-house humidifier, in addition to preventing damage to your belongings, is to prevent the dry, scratchy throats and rough skin that result from being in a dry environment. Aprilaire humidifiers evaporate water so that it passes as a vapor through your ventilation system. As heated dry air passes over the water panel, evaporation naturally occurs. The humidified air is then cycled through your home's heating ducts. The dial setting allows you to manually adjust the humidity level in your home.

Winter Setting

In the winter months, your Aprilaire humidifier should be turned on and initially set to “5” on the dial. Because regular household activities such as showering and cooking alter your home’s relative humidity, adjust this setting as needed for a comfortable humidity level. An added benefit of a whole-house humidifier is that humid air feels warmer than dry air, so you will feel warmer even when the thermostat is at a lower setting.

Summer Setting

One reason air conditioners are effective at cooling your home is that they reduce humidity in the air. Because of this, it is important to turn off your Aprilaire humidifier during warm months so that you are not forcing your air conditioner to work harder. To turn off your Aprilaire humidifier for the summer, switch the lever on the humidifier to the “summer” position. Then close the valve to shut off the water supply. You do not need to adjust the manual dial. Remember to open the valve and the damper at the end of summer.

Considerations

Aprilaire recommends annual maintenance and changing the water panel at least once a year. The service person who inspects your furnace should also check the humidifier’s condition.

Although the humidifier is designed to operate using hot, cold, hard or soft water, the water feed system should be cleaned periodically to rid the water line and strainer of mineral deposit build-up.

Refer to your Aprilaire owner’s manual for instructions specific to your humidifier.

About the Author

Jennifer Loomis is a certified English/language arts teacher and is a writer of teaching and literature materials. She also specializes in writing home and garden articles. Loomis holds a B.A. in philosophy from Mount Mary College, a secondary English teaching certification from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay and a master's degree in English from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.