I live on Long Island, NY and have a central a/c, forced hot air system. The problem is that it's so dry in the winter months.
Can someone recommend a quality humidifier system that will keep the home humidity level adequate?
The house is 1600 sq ft, and I have a 3-ton a/c unit.
Any drain type-bypass humidifier will do.
Some brand names are: Skuttle (my personal choice)
Any brand that is installed by a competent, trained, insured, HVAC Technician.
I would recommend a EWC atuflo steam humidifier.
They can humidify your house even when the thermostat isn't calling for heat.
If you have a drafty home, a steam humidifier may be necessary to keep the house comfortable. If your house is relatively tight, a bypass humidifier is usually up to the task. Get a consult so you don't spend too much $ for the steam and not need it and so you don't buy the bypass that won't work well enough.
The Auto-Flo is expensive, but if you want a quality humidifier, I have to vote for the auto-flo. The new ones have auto flush and don't refill until the next command for humidity. I replaced 3 aprilaires' with auto-flo units in some small surgical rooms and the customer was very pleased with the control of humidity. That was about 15 yrs. ago. They do need a good filter in the water supply and pull from a hot water source to help control calcium build up and as previously stated, a qualified installer. They will also be able to recommend sound maint. practices to the home owner.
A centrally mounted humidifier is nice to have, but if neglected they can be the furnace's worst nitemare. I've seen too many leak all over the furnace adn in the worst case, rot the heat exchanger out or even the furnace side jacket. Bypass models do much better in regards to problems from neglect, but still need yearly looking at. Hardly no HO remembers to service their centrally mounted humidifier, so in consideration of that, I tell the average Joe homeowner to buy a floor mount humidifier instead. That way it really does get looked at, cleaned, and gets to perform the way the homeowner was looking for in the first place. As a bonus, service techs don't have to deal with that piece of equipment either.