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  • Whole House Humidifier Question

    HVAC guys, My house is so incredibly dry. Using a few humidifiers in the bedrooms but am seriously considering trying to get something installed for the whole house. How difficult is it to have a humidifer added to my forced air furnace? Sorry this is a home owner question ;-) but I will have a pro do the work.

    Thanks guys,

    Dry Skin Josh

  • #2
    Re: Whole House Humidifier Question

    well I'm not the dog there home owner

    i need to put one in my house to and from what i here a steam humidifier is the way to go . i will look into it more and let you know .
    Charlie

    My seek the peek fundraiser page
    http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


    http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

    new work pictures 12/09
    http://public.fotki.com/hvachawk/

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Whole House Humidifier Question

      Alot of homeowners do them themselves. I'd have no problems walking you through your specific installation. Theres nothing hard about most installations.

      Theres 2 basic types, bypass and power. I install alot of Aprilaire's. I have no complaints with any of their stuff.

      http://www.aprilaire.com/index.php?z...v3shkib4b8kfs5

      I have the 700 Power on my downstairs furnace at home. I dont have room for one on the upstairs furnace. Aprilaire also has the autotrac control which works out great for keeping the humidity at acceptable levels for varying outdoor temps.

      The humidifier will not come with everything you need to finish the job. You will need 1/4 inch copper tubing and 18-2 stat or bell wire. Also depending on how old your furnace is, it may or may not have humidifier contacts on a circuit board. This will only turn the humidifer on when the heating relay energizes, and the humidistat is calling. If the furnace is old enough, you can use a simple Aprilaire Model 50 current sensing relay. This will get wrapped around the heating speed blower wire. The humidifier will come with a saddle valve which I throw away. I solder in a tee with a ball valve in a cold water line. On the other side of the valve I use a 1/2" sweat fitting x 1/8" fip bushing, and a 1/8" mip x 1/4 compression fitting, instead of the saddle valve.

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      • #4
        Re: Whole House Humidifier Question

        I'm with Ruudacguy in that Aprilaire are great products. I have an older model 110 (not made anymore) that's been in service for 15 plus years and it only needed a solenoid valve. They do need the expendable parts replaced once a year and to be cleaned, but that's less than 15 minutes and it's easy to do. If you have forced hot air heat, a whole house humidifier is a must have. While your at it have you thought about better air filtration too? The SpaceGuard filters work very well. It's the sheet metal work that requires a good pro to get it right for you.

        Installed humidifiers: http://www.aprilaire.com/index.php?z...category=humid

        SpaceGuard air filters: http://www.aprilaire.com/index.php?z...tegory=cleaner
        This is the air filter most used and proven. It's simple and it does work.
        http://www.aprilaire.com/index.php?z...ry=7&item=2200

        The right model depends on your furnace and ducting setup and the size of house you have.

        Be sure to have a good humidistat installed or you'll get your house too moist soon. You'll have water all over your cold windows and mildew sets in if you're not careful. The humidistat keeps your new powerful humidifier working only as needed. Follow the setting chart based on outside temperature. If for health you need it more humid, then be sure to clean windows, frames and sills weekly.
        Last edited by Woussko; 12-06-2007, 11:08 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: Whole House Humidifier Question

          Heres a couple pics of my lone 700 on my downstairs furnace.
          Attached Files

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Whole House Humidifier Question

            The one we just rough in for the HVAC contractor needed water and waste lines,including a drain for the moist air supply duct leading to the main air duct.Do they need this in the residential models as well.

            Also,altho it probably would not be a thought any where else in the world.But Southern Californians are paranoid about mushrooms growing in all the dark moist areas of their homes,funny thing is they used to eat them when they were in college.Anyway would the mold freeks have anything to point a finger at in any of these devices.

            These units are starting some talk in town and I know these question are going to come my way.
            Last edited by drtyhands; 12-07-2007, 12:01 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Whole House Humidifier Question

              Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
              The one we just rough in for the HVAC contractor needed water and waste lines,including a drain for the moist air supply duct leading to the main air duct.Do they need this in the residential models as well.

              Also,altho it probably would not be a thought any where else in the world.But Southern Californians are paranoid about mushrooms growing in all the dark moist areas of their homes,funny thing is they used to eat them when they were in college.Anyway would the mold freeks have anything to point a finger at in any of these devices.

              These units are starting some talk in town and I know these question are going to come my way.
              I didnt even realize you guys had furnaces or the need for humidifiers down there. I've never seen one with a drain off the moist air supply duct before, but thats not saying much cause I dont do alot of commercial stuff. Mold and bacteria is definately a concern, but if they are maintained properly it shouldnt be an issue at all.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Whole House Humidifier Question

                THanks for the replies guys. Any problems with ducting rusting? We have been hitting the single room humidifiers for the last couple days and it works ok if you run em constantly. I talked with an hvac friend who complained about mold growth and bacteria in the ducts. Valid concerns?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Whole House Humidifier Question

                  as long as you don't flood the duct with water and keep the air flowing to keep the moisture moving it should be ok .
                  Charlie

                  My seek the peek fundraiser page
                  http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


                  http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

                  new work pictures 12/09
                  http://public.fotki.com/hvachawk/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Whole House Humidifier Question

                    Josh

                    When you have the humidifier installed have them cut a 6 x 6 square hole near it and put a cover over it with screws holding it in place. Then from time to time you can remove the cover and with a good light take a look at the insides for rust, mold, dirt and the like. One thing you might want to consider is while the humidifier and hopefully a good air filter is being installed it might be a good time to have all your ducts cleaned. Area HVAC contractors will either do this or they should know the good and bad duct cleaners in your area. They do very and some are fly by nights while others will spend time and really get them nice and clean for you.

                    PS: If any of you have health issues and your doctor prescribes special air filters or the whole house humidifier you should be able to use it as a tax deduction as a medical expense.

                    HVAC has the right idea. Keep air moving and don't get a sprayer type humidifier. The ones that spray out a water mist make a real mess inside your furnace and in the supply ducts near your furnace. Then you'll keep the duct cleaner busy.

                    If you don't have a floor drain handy a condensate pump and some 3/8 vinyl tubing can make short work of things. If you have central AC now you must have the drainage there for it now and should be set.
                    Last edited by Woussko; 12-10-2007, 04:28 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Whole House Humidifier Question

                      Those posting on this issue have given you what you need. Just for those that may be reading this and are not aware of the need for a humidifier, here is the justification:

                      In HVAC moisture plays a big part in comfort. During the AC season your system needs to remove moisture. It goes something like this: Warm or hot air holds more moisture. As the system cools the air (the return air flows over a colder indoor coil, typically located
                      with the furnace) moisture is "squeezed" (I can't spell) out of the air; thus the need for a condensation drain. Cooler air can not hold as much moisture as warner air. (This is why the weather caster talks about relative humidity) So in summer we want to remove as much humidity as possible from the air. Drier air feels cooler.

                      In heating season (winter for us simple types) we will want to add mositure to the air so that it will feel warmer. It is just the opposite of summer, but less understood by most home owners.

                      Let us take an example: We have a nice warm fall day, sunny and relatively warm; then as the sun goes down the temp drops some 20 - 40 or more degrees. Mositure is "squeezed" out as the temp falls (this is where the dew and frost are coming from), but now we feel cooler inside so the funace comes on and we heat up the air to a more comfortable temp around 68 - 72 dgrees, etc. However, there is no natural increase in humidity, now the air inside has a very low realative humidity. This dry air will absorb any moisture present and we may experience dry skin, sinus problems, loose joints of wood furniture and so on. The solution is a hudmidifier, but as we see we only wish to add moisture during the heating season. One of the other benifits to this is the moister air will feel warmer and we may save some energy costs. Now we have HVAC MAJIC.

                      Good luck with the installation.
                      Last edited by thepapabear; 12-10-2007, 02:22 PM. Reason: spelling as usual
                      thepapabear<BR>When a bureaucrat has a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Whole House Humidifier Question

                        I'm ready to have a humidifier installed in my home and have heard good things about the new Honeywell TrueSteam products.

                        I guess they use water more efficiently, take cold water, and can produce steam without the furnace running.

                        I'm in the process of getting quotes now, but I think they're more expensive than the AprilAire flow-through models that I've been looking at.

                        Does anyone have opinions on whether these steam humidifiers are any better or what sorts of problems I'd run into?

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