Some humidifier owners might not even know that their unit has a damper. This is a very important part of the device that controls the amount of humidity the house gets and it’s up to you to change its position.
The damper should be open during winter when it is essential to increase the humidity levels in the house. In the summer, the damper should be closed to stop the unit from adding extra moisture into the air and to allow the HVAC to properly dehumidify and cool the rooms.
Below you will find step-by-step instructions on how to change the damper’s position.
But first, let’s find out whether or not all humidifiers have such a feature.
HVAC Humidifiers – How Do They Work?
We will take a closer look at the two different types of HVAC humidifiers – bypass and fan-powered.
The main difference between these units is that the bypass humidifier can’t work if the HVAC and its blower motor are turned off, while the fan-powered device can operate separately.
Moreover, the latter can be installed directly into the system that you already have, while bypass humidifiers require the installation of extra ductwork and a bypass damper. The damper has to be open, otherwise, the system won’t be able to operate.
|Bypass Humidifier||Fan-Powered Humidifier|
|Efficiency||This type is going to work only when the furnace is turned on. The air will be humidified inside the system, then it has to recirculate to the furnace. Only at this stage, the air gets pushed into the room. As a result, a large percentage of humidity gets lost in the system. Moreover, a bypass humidifier requires more water and the majority of it is used not to increase the humidity levels, but to prevent mineral build-up on the water panel.||Such a humidifier can work without the furnace and keep the humidity levels in your house constant throughout the whole day. The humidified air gets pushed directly into the room without having to travel back into the HVAC system. A fan-powered humidifier produces 1 gallon more humidity daily than its bypass brother.|
|Noisiness||Bypass humidifiers are very quiet.||Like any other fan-powered device, this humidifier is going to produce some sort of noise, when operating.|
|Cost||The average cost of the unit alone ranges from around $200 to $500.||The price is going to depend on the model and can be anywhere between $200 and $1000.|
|Installation||In general, a bypass humidifier is installed on the return duct. However, it should be linked to the supply duct and that’s why an extra bypass duct is required. So, such a unit would need quite some space. Moreover, the technician has to install a damper that you would have to manually open or close with the change of seasons.||If you already have an HVAC system, then the fan-powered humidifier is added to the existing system. Such humidifiers do not require additional space.|
|Common breakdowns||Due to the fact that a bypass humidifier has fewer moving parts it, in general, experiences fewer breakdowns.||A lot of repairs are associated with the fan. It is a moving detail that can break down or stop operating efficiently.|
|Maintenance||Any type of humidifier needs to undergo regular maintenance. You might want to pay extra attention to the water panel – this part of the unit adds moisture to the air that is traveling through the system.||The water panel has to be changed regularly. Usually, once a year.|
What Is a Humidifier Damper?
So, bypass humidifiers have this detail called a ‘damper’.
It is usually either a metal cover located in the duct’s opening or a knob with two different settings (winter and summer).
Depending on the kind of damper that you have, you might have to manually open and close the cover or simply switch the knob back and forth once the seasons change.
The main function of this part of a humidifier is to control the amount of humidity your house gets.
Honeywell Humidifier Damper Position in the Winter
As the temperatures fall, so do the natural humidity levels. Dry air in the house can become a huge problem, especially, if you are using a powerful heater to keep your home nice and toasty.
Dry and irritated skin, itchy eyes, nosebleeds, and a sore throat – those are just a few consequences of dry air.
Thankfully, humidifiers are able to bring the humidity levels back to where they are supposed to be. But that is going to happen, only if you don’t forget to change the position of your damper in winter.
How to Open the Damper?
During winter, the damper in your whole-home humidifier has to be open, so that the unit is able to provide the much-needed moisture.
Before opening the damper, you would have to make sure that the water supply is not off (that’s exactly where the humidifier will be getting the moisture from).
To find where your humidifier is connected to its water supply, follow a copper or plastic line from the unit that will take you to a valve.
Now you are ready to open the damper.
It has to be labeled, so you shouldn’t experience any difficulties finding the damper. Simply bear in mind that the thing is located parallel to the duct.
If your humidifier has a knob, the whole process is going to be even easier as all you would have to do is switch the knob to the right position (‘winter’, in our case).
Set your preferred humidity level on the humidistat and be patient – the unit is going to need about 1-2 days to increase the humidity levels in the house.
Honeywell Humidifier Damper Position in the Summer
During the summer, the humidity level in the air is much higher than in the winter as warm air is able to retain more moisture.
This makes the body sweat even more. Ultimately, it might lead to dehydration and cause a wide range of skin conditions.
High humidity levels also encourage mold and bacteria growth and excessive moisture can easily damage the wallpaper, wood, and furniture in your house.
It is incredibly important to close the humidifier damper in the summer so that your HVAC system is able to cool and dehumidify the house properly.
How to Close the Damper?
First of all, turn off your humidistat (or switch it to the lowest possible humidity level).
You would have to either manually close the duct or simply turn the knob to ‘summer’.
Don’t forget to turn off the humidifier’s water supply. The water line will take you to a valve – turn it counterclockwise until the thing stops.
Tip: use the time when your humidifier is off to replace the water panel and clean the unit.
Humidifier Settings Chart
A humidistat allows you to set the desired humidity level.
But what percentage should you go for? And do you have to adjust the settings as the temperature changes?
For your convenience, we have come up with a simple settings chart for the winter season.
Tip: to change the settings, turn the humidistat’s knob to a specific position mentioned below (for example, ‘20’ for minus 10).
|Outdoor Temperature (F)||Ideal Humidity Level (%)|
|+30 F||Around 40%|
If you prefer increased humidity, you, of course, can rotate the knob to ‘50’ and ‘60’. However, do bear in mind that high humidity can be just as bad as low humidity levels.
Hint: before making any other adjustments to the humidifier, allow the system to operate for at least one full day. Also, it is better to change the humidity levels gradually (by around 3% per day).
As the temperatures begin to rise, you should close your humidifier’s damper and let it have a ‘summer vacation’.
To Sum Up
What Honeywell humidifier damper position should be and why?
Now you know that the damper can be either closed or open and it, basically, has only two main positions – ‘summer’ and ‘winter’.
Not all humidifiers have a damper. Fan-operated units, for example, don’t need one as they can work without the furnace.
However, bypass humidifiers have a damper that needs to be closed or opened by the user with the change of seasons.
Once you close the damper, the humidifier will stop adding moisture to the air. In the summer, the humidity levels are already high, so there is no need in adding even more moisture into your house.
During winter, the opposite happens, so the damper needs to be opened.
The great news is that, in the majority of cases, you will be able to change the damper’s position. So, calling a professional to do that is not necessary.