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Whole Home Humidifier

 
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Old 10-16-2010, 02:02 PM   #1
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Whole Home Humidifier


Perhaps this topic has already been covered extensively that someone could direct me to.
But my dog is scratching out all his fur on his ears, my wife has allergies, and I have dry skin.
So I figured a whole house humidifier would be a good solution?
I prefer Lowes over HD so I checked out their web site and saw a couple models that looked good (all of them were much cheaper than I anticipated for this project, under 200 bucks)

But I came here because I wanted to consult with the experts first;
Is there a particular brand you all know that is better than others?
Is installation fairly simple for someone in the construction industry with good mechanical knowledge?
Is there anything in particular that I should watch out for, or make sure of?

Thanks guys
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Old 10-16-2010, 03:11 PM   #2
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Re: Whole Home Humidifier


Something to figure out is what is your target relative humidity going to be. In general, there's a conflict between human and building comfort. We tend to like a higher humidity level than is ideal for the house itself.

Sorry, I can't recall the numbers off the top of my head. I'm sure an expert will be along soon enough to fill in the details.

Cheers,

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Old 10-16-2010, 03:21 PM   #3
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Re: Whole Home Humidifier


What Kind of heating plant do you have?
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Old 10-16-2010, 04:01 PM   #4
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Re: Whole Home Humidifier


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What Kind of heating plant do you have?
This is an important question/thing when choosing a humidifier.

A heat pump has considerations a gas or oil hot air furnace doesn't.
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Old 10-16-2010, 04:34 PM   #5
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Re: Whole Home Humidifier


I'm a very good electrician, but just as specialized the electrical field is, I know the HVAC field is equally if not more specialized. So with that I'll say I really do appreciate all the info that is given.

My furnace is a Tempstar rated 90% efficient with a cooling coil installed as well.
My home is new as of 2 years ago when we moved in, approximately 1900sf, one floor, 3 bedroom and a 'great room', about a dozen air outlets and 2 returns. The sticker placed by installation contractor reads "9-2007"
And if it helps; the outlet at the AHU is 20x20, inlet(return air) is 14x20 (and the filter I buy is a 20x20, in case you got some of those laying around you want to send)
Anyway I got the manual here next to me now if there is any more info needed?

Oh to the first response; I live near Salt Lake City with typical humidity of around 20% and we are going into winter now so furnace will have that humidity level much less in the house(if it could possibly be less)
I am from Long Beach, CA so am more comfortable with humdity around 60% to 70%(also lived in Oregon a few years, but don't care for the 100% humidity there)

Hope that helps
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Old 10-16-2010, 04:40 PM   #6
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Re: Whole Home Humidifier


An Aprilaire 600A bypass humidifier, mounted on the return drop is what I would recommend. if your water rate is cheap. And I would connect it to the hot water line.

Don't know if Lowes or HD sell Aprilaire. But you can buy them online.
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:37 AM   #7
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Re: Whole Home Humidifier


I agree with been there you can't beat a bipass always try to put the unit on the return drop. A few extra bucks spent putting the humidi-stat in the living space as opposed to mounting it on say the return drop will Pay off. A good target humidity will very based on outside temp, but 45% is a good average and never over 50%. Mold is a real issue above 50% because it develops at 60%.
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Old 10-17-2010, 03:43 PM   #8
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Re: Whole Home Humidifier


Has anyone tried the newer steam humidifiers such Aprilaire's 800 or Honeywell's TruSteam?
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Old 10-17-2010, 04:30 PM   #9
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Re: Whole Home Humidifier


The Truesteam are toy humidifiers. Well, maybe the 12 gallon per day isn't a toy.

Haven't tried or read about Aprilaires new steamers.
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Old 10-17-2010, 04:44 PM   #10
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Re: Whole Home Humidifier


The real question is how good are your windows? When it's 10 degrees or colder outside in Salt Lake you aren't going to be able to keep your interior humidity above about 30% unless you want lots of condensation on your windows.
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Old 10-17-2010, 11:24 PM   #11
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Re: Whole Home Humidifier


Beenthere; what is the advantage to connecting the unit to the hot water line ?? Thanks !!
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:27 AM   #12
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Re: Whole Home Humidifier


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Beenthere; what is the advantage to connecting the unit to the hot water line ?? Thanks !!
120 degree water vaporizes faster then 60 degree water. So you reduce the amount of waste water.

All flow thru humidifiers waste water. Because as the name/term implies. The water flows thru them. And then it goes down the drain.
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:11 AM   #13
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Re: Whole Home Humidifier


The true steams work very well but remember they are on a 20 amp circuit for a reason. They are also high maintenance.
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:15 AM   #14
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Re: Whole Home Humidifier


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Beenthere; what is the advantage to connecting the unit to the hot water line ?? Thanks !!
Another disadvantage of using the cold water line is that you are theoretically cooling the air that passes through the humidifier.

The cold water going through the pad is likely to be about 50 degrees during the winter. In general, I think the bi-pass humidifiers are the way to go. The steam humidifiers should be installed downstream of the evaporator, which usually means in the crawl space.

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