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Installing home humidifier - Advice?

Old 01-24-2010, 07:21 AM
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Question Installing home humidifier - Advice?

I am tired of constantly filling up the humidifiers three or more times a day.
Only one works decent enough, in the bedroom, and that's with the BR door closed.
Tho other ones won't get the humidity above 44% on a GOOD day.
My throat gets so dry, it's terrible, and the dogs hate the dryness

My HVAC guy said it would cost me $675, can I do this myself?
I'm moderately capable of doing most home repairs, I just don't mess with natural gas stuff.
Ideas and suggestions on what unit to buy and install frustration factor/tips?
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Old 01-24-2010, 07:25 AM
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Sounds like you are putting alot of water in the air and it's going somewhere. Have you tried tightening up the house?
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Old 01-24-2010, 07:36 AM
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Steve, What type of heating system do you have?

Go to http://www.alpinehomeair.com/

They have great instructional videos on installing HVAC equipment as well as sell the equipment. I was doing the same as you until
I put in an Aprilaire humidifier from them into our forced hot air system. It was real easy to do and makes a huge difference in the overall humidity
of our house. No more filling room humidifiers !
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Old 01-24-2010, 07:42 AM
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From experience $675 doesn't buy much and you want to stay away from the pad and drum types. They get disgusting inside and breed disease. You might want to start with cleaning the duct work now if you can afford it.
I can't recall what brand we installed in the main house here but I'll take a look in the morning when I go up. If you're handy these could be self installed providing you're OK with tin work, minor plumbing, and some low voltage wiring. What we installed works very well and I am planning on installing the same thing into our other home. Thankfully our AC controls support a humidifier option. The house down here is HWBB so we just suffer thru the winter.
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:47 AM
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My HVAC guy started using these and I have had good results with these Honeywell units. The steam is injected directly into the duct with air handler running.

Mist-Rest is right do not use those paddles, they are a science project in the water pan.

Here is the link http://www.pexsupply.com/Honeywell-T...FQKdnAod6DXHqg


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Old 01-24-2010, 09:05 AM
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The inside unit is a Heil.
The house is as sealed as a 50 year old house can be, new windows too.
The prior owners evidently had a humidifier on the vertical vent coming out of the gas furnace.
The dial is still there for selecting the level in %.
There is a small hole in the vent next to the dial with two wires coming out, terminating with blanks.
The wires are both white and adhered together, like speaker wire would be.
The vents were professionally cleaned about 18 - 24 months ago, still pretty clean.

Mist-Rest, can ya give me some links for the unit you installed?
I can prolly handle the install.

*edit* Damn, did I start with "The" enough? LOL!
4/0, checked the link, I'm looking for one I don't have to keep filling up with water.
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve_250 View Post
The inside unit is a Heil.
The house is as sealed as a 50 year old house can be, new windows too.
The prior owners evidently had a humidifier on the vertical vent coming out of the gas furnace.
The dial is still there for selecting the level in %.
There is a small hole in the vent next to the dial with two wires coming out, terminating with blanks.
The wires are both white and adhered together, like speaker wire would be.
The vents were professionally cleaned about 18 - 24 months ago, still pretty clean.

Mist-Rest, can ya give me some links for the unit you installed?
I can prolly handle the install.

*edit* Damn, did I start with "The" enough? LOL!
4/0, checked the link, I'm looking for one I don't have to keep filling up with water.
Steve,

The unit fills by itself and cleans itself, it has small dip switches inside to set ( change )the cleaning cycle, it needs a water line run to it same as an icemaker. here is a different link http://yourhome.honeywell.com/home/P...ouse+Steam.htm

The previous link is the cheapest place I have found to buy them.

Butch
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:40 AM
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My 675 figure was wrong, sorry. I had other work that needed to be done at the same time.

There was a bunch of tin and electric work that was needed to close up the old holes and terminate line voltage. Then we were able to re insulate the duct work. Not major work but time consuming and that is $$$ at 120/hr.

We kicked around steam units but the preventative maintenance involved when you're working on 10 units in one house gets expensive. At the advice of my HVAC guy who I have 100% faith in we settled on the Scuttle brand whole house units. I'm not a real fan of the water use as our condensate pumps were running more than they do in the summer. I solved the problem by closing up the ball valves leaving them about 10% open. This dropped the water use a lot! Also installed were water detection pucks that shut off the fan coil units if they detect water on the floor. With the Skuttle installed using the low voltage source the water supply solenoid is also shut off. These pucks also work in the summer in case a pump fails.
We did this work a few years ago and to my knowledge the new controls that reset themselves relative to outdoor air temperature were not available. Well worth any expense IMO.

The house these units are installed in has large areas of ash flooring. Very nice floors but they move around more than any other wood floor I've seen. With our old nasty systems the wood joints were always open in the winter no matter how high the levels were set. With the Skuttle units that problem has gone away as did the complaints of dry skin and noses. I poked around just a little and it seems everyone is making these flow thru design units.

I have Thermo Pride equipment up North and I see that they also make the same unit. In my own case the circuit board in the FCU has a set of contacts for whole house humidification. The unit is only used for AC but my Honeywell Vision Pro thermostats can control the humidity level with the AC and heat. For our heating, I have radiant floor and baseboard. I'm not lugging 5 gallon pails of water around.

Take a look and see if Heil offers some sort of the same option as Thermo Pride.
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:45 AM
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With the 4/0 link he provided and only one unit required I might change my mind be all over that. Thanks!!

The costs on steam units have come down a lot.
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:05 PM
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Ok, I am going to do this job within two weeks.
My throat is drying out with the heat going, RH down to 15% inside and out.
I just need a little advice.
Obviously there is a $140 difference in the units, but I don't understand what is different about the units?

http://www.pexsupply.com/Honeywell-H...rol-11501000-p

http://www.pexsupply.com/Honeywell-H...rol-11502000-p
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Old 11-29-2010, 07:58 AM
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It's digital the controller which dictates the price difference- the cheaper unit will control only the humidifier while the more expensive unit will control the heat in your house too...I purchased and installed my honeywell HM512 a couple of years ago and highly recommend it. Install will take you the better part of a day but (hardest part for me was running the wire from control unit to humidifier - they now make a wireless model) once it's in they are more or less maintenance free. And check around for a better price...I believe I paid a lot less for mine.
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Old 11-29-2010, 08:01 AM
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I don't have time to read the links right now, so I'll tell you my experience.
Humidifiers were one of the main reasons for furnace heat exchangers to rust out. There's no problem if installed right, follow the directions.

Humidifiers need service!

A steam humidifier is the only kind I would install. I would not install one with a drum, pads or a nozzle that "mists" the air.

If you want, I'll read all the tech spec's on those units later. I have installed hundreds of humidifiers and replace thousands of furnaces, many because of damage from the humidifier.

Also, it make no sense that you're down to 15% RH, something is wrong. It's simply not cold enough, nor are the dew points low enough to lower the house to that RH unless you're keeping the house temp very warm.

BTW, I had a wood stove and a large flat stainless steel pan of water sitting on it.
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Old 11-29-2010, 03:05 PM
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Steve,

I have the units with just humidity control installed and have had no problems with any of them. Sometimes I think it is easier to keep things simple.

They are the only units that I will let them ( my HVAC guy's ) put in.
There are many sources to buy them, just have to spend some time to find a good price.

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Old 11-29-2010, 03:12 PM
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I would get a UV light installed. It will eliminate any possibility of mold problems.
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by davedowneast View Post
Also, it make no sense that you're down to 15% RH, something is wrong. It's simply not cold enough, nor are the dew points low enough to lower the house to that RH unless you're keeping the house temp very warm.
I'm in his general area ( within 75 miles)and my indoor reading right now is 52% humidity and outdoor 74%.

I have never seen a 15% Rh.... ever so you are correct..... It makes no sense.
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Old 11-29-2010, 08:35 PM
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How old is that Heil (Sears) unit? Has anyone done a thorough inspection of the heat exchanger?

With these outdoor temps, dew points and the indoor temp set at 70, cooking and showers should keep the house between 45 and 50% RH. I really think you need to find out what's causing a RH that would come with below zero outdoor temps. A humidifier is still a good idea, I'm just afraid it might mask a more serious problem.
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Old 11-29-2010, 08:45 PM
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Wow.

I fight to keep my household humidity below 65%.

But I can see where you're coming from. When i visit dry places like CO, for instance, the dry air dives me crazy.
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Old 11-30-2010, 10:45 AM
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Aprilaire! I have installed a ton of them. They don't rust out the heat exchanger becasue you install them in the plenum ABOVE THE HEAT EXCHANGER! They are a top quality brand.
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:26 AM
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I'm about to replace the humidifier at my parents house. It's an Aprilaire model 440 that was discontinued in 1996, seems you get your moneys worth out of them. Going to go with the model 500 or 600 now, house will probably be sold before it needs to be replaced again.
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Old 01-01-2011, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by davedowneast View Post
Also, it make no sense that you're down to 15% RH, something is wrong. It's simply not cold enough, nor are the dew points low enough to lower the house to that RH unless you're keeping the house temp very warm.
I took this pic a month ago and forgot to post it.
The temp inside is in the warmest area, which also happens to be within 10 feet of this gauge.
Other areas get pretty low RH, in the 20s.
It clearly was cold enough out there to cause 15% RH.
I still haven't put in a central unit, too many other honey-do's.

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