Low humidity can cause problems such as respiratory discomfort and static electricity. Humidifiers can humidify a space either directly or through an air handling system. For satisfactory environmental conditions, the relative humidity of the air should be 30 to 60 percent. In critical areas where explosive gases are present, 50 percent minimum is recommended. Humidification is usually required only during the heating season except in extremely dry climates.

Humidifiers in air handling systems typically inject steam directly into the air stream (steam injection), spray atomized water into the air stream (atomizing), or evaporate heated water from a pan in the duct into the air stream passing through the duct (pan humidification). Other types of humidifiers are a water spray and sprayed coil. In spray systems, the water can be heated for better vaporization or cooled for dehumidification.

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