Electric steam humidifiers are used when a source of steam is not available. Electricity and water create steam at atmospheric pressure. Electrode-type units pass electrical current through water to provide proportional output. Using pure demineralized, deionized or distilled water alone will generally not provide sufficient conductivity for electrode units.
Water quality affects the operation and maintenance of electrode-type humidifiers. Use with hard water requires more frequent cleaning, and pure softened water can shorten electrode life. Microprocessor-based diagnostics assist with troubleshooting.
Electrode units are easily adaptable to different control signals and offer full modulated output. However, the need to boil the water means control will not compare with that of direct-injection units.
Ionic bed electric humidifiers typically use immersed resistance heating elements to boil water. Since current does not pass through water, conductivity is not a concern. Ionic bed technology makes the humidifiers versatile enough to accommodate various water qualities.
Ionic-bed units work by using inserts of fibrous media to attract solids from water as its temperature rises, minimizing the buildup of solids inside the humidifier. Water quality does not affect operation, and maintenance typically consists of simply replacing the inserts.
Ionic-bed humidifiers are adaptable to different control signals and offer full modulated output. Control is affected by the need to boil the water.