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Old 02-12-2014, 10:40 AM   #21
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I ended up pulling the trigger on this and will get it installed tomorrow. I was able to get a cash discount of just under $500 installed. Keeping my fingers crossed that it works.
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:06 AM   #22
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WE have an Aprilaire in this house and had one in our last home. Best one made, IMHO.
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:14 AM   #23
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Much to know about humidity that can help with the decision to install a humidifier. Depending on where you live, and the area's "average normal" relative humidity, the comfort levels may not require additional humidity. On an analog weather station, that has a thermometer, barometer and hygrometer (humidity measure), optimum comfort levels are between 30 and 50, and 20 to 60 are considered reasonable for most people... Outside these levels, health and comfort can be helped by
adding or removing humidity.
Depending on the "air tightness" of the house, inside humidity may be far removed from the relative humidity as seen on your computer weather page or the TV weathercast.
First personal effects of low humidity usually come from having a dry nose and then dry skin and itching. Skin lotion helps.
We use smaller room humidfiers in the bedrooms just to help with sleep comfort. While this has been an extraordinarly cold and dry winter in our area, this is the first time in 10 years that the continuous bad weather has been so dry... enough that the inside humidity has gone below 20... We're going to ride it out and save the $500.

If winter comes, can spring be far behind?
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:36 AM   #24
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Just wanted to add to this thread....

With the bids I am getting on my ducts.... one guy recommended a whole house media filter... said it make a big difference and you only have to change them out every 6 months...

I think that I am going to add that to my work....
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:02 PM   #25
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Just wanted to add to this thread....

With the bids I am getting on my ducts.... one guy recommended a whole house media filter... said it make a big difference and you only have to change them out every 6 months...

I think that I am going to add that to my work....
While I'm clearly a big fan of them for the climate I'm in, do you really have a humidity problem in your house? As imoldernu points out, dry skin, static electricity are good signs of a problem.

We're doing a lot more heating here in N IL (especially this year, brrrrrrrr!), and it actually took a while into the season before ours started kicking in.

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Old 02-12-2014, 12:07 PM   #26
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Living in New Orleans, I find that a humidifier somehow isn't at the top of my "wants" list lately... I really like living in a humid climate.
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:14 PM   #27
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I have one hooked up to the hot water line. I really do appreciate having it. Since I had a problem with my hot water heater about a month ago, I had a small problem with both my washing machine and my humidifier, due to clogged filters. Everything is back to normal now. My heating/ac people change the filter on the humidifier every year when they do my furness maintenance. I KNOW...but I'm a worry wart so furness maintenance is peace of mind to me.
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:19 PM   #28
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Just wanted to add to this thread....

With the bids I am getting on my ducts.... one guy recommended a whole house media filter... said it make a big difference and you only have to change them out every 6 months...

I think that I am going to add that to my work....
I have one of these units, but it's for air cleaning/purification not humidification. You can get them with paper filters that need to be replaced or permanent metal media filters that you rinse monthly. This was installed by to previous owners, we don't really have allergies in our family, so if it breaks I'll just switch back to reg. paper filters.
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:24 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Pleeplus View Post
I ended up pulling the trigger on this and will get it installed tomorrow. I was able to get a cash discount of just under $500 installed. Keeping my fingers crossed that it works.

Awesome! You will enjoy the change. Be sure to monitor the humidity levels carefully for a while. You can damage your house if they are too high. If you see condensation on your windows (in cold weather) this is a sure sign that you are set too high.

We also have the inline "drip" type of humidifier and couldn't be more pleased. I have musical instruments that benefit from constant humidly environments. My piano tech always comments on how stable the instruments are.

One maintenance item I've found to be mildly annoying is the drain/overflow tube on my system tends to get kinked during furnace filter changes (stacked components) and I always have to check after DH (or other helpful person) changes filters or risk a small flood.
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:18 PM   #30
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While I'm clearly a big fan of them for the climate I'm in, do you really have a humidity problem in your house? As imoldernu points out, dry skin, static electricity are good signs of a problem.

We're doing a lot more heating here in N IL (especially this year, brrrrrrrr!), and it actually took a while into the season before ours started kicking in.

-ERD50


You used a quote about a filter when asking me this question.... so I am not sure if they are related....

Yes, we do have a humidity problem when the heater runs when it is cold... not horrible bad so I do not do anything about it here.... but when I shock my cat when trying to pet her, she does not like it...
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:24 PM   #31
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I've got this sucker:
Aprilaire Model 600 Whole-House Humidifier &#124 Bypass Humidifier
hooked to HOT water line. I thought the theory there was that hot water evaporates easier/quicker than cold. Regardless, I'm too lazy to research now. It's done the job for 13+ years now, although I had to change out the controller a couple of years ago. I change the wick ("filter") probably 3-4 times a season. I have a H2O softener but the wicks still develop buildup and become less efficient over time. I have a well, so I'm not paying for water, but I'd expect the cost is negligible.
Oddly enough, just last week I was greeted by a ton of water on the basement floor. Seeing as my H2O heater was one year beyond warranty I ASSumed it had a leak. Only after having it replaced did I check the humidifier to discover the supply tubing had become disconnected, thus it had been the culprit. D'OH! That's literally a one second (free) fix. I just never thought to look beyond the drain tube as part of my cursory humidifier "inspection". It was fine. The supply tube is inside the unit and out of sight/out of mind unless I'm changing the wick. Oh well... I look at it as preemptively replacing my H2O heater. However I bet that thing had years of life left in it, there was very little gunk/deposits/rust visible when it was drained.
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:40 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
You used a quote about a filter when asking me this question.... so I am not sure if they are related....

Yes, we do have a humidity problem when the heater runs when it is cold... not horrible bad so I do not do anything about it here.... but when I shock my cat when trying to pet her, she does not like it...
Right, when I saw 'media filter' I was thinking of the filter in a humidifier. Never mind

But heck, while I'm here I'll add that you need to make sure any filter like that has plenty of area so it doesn't restrict the flow too much.

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Old 02-12-2014, 03:50 PM   #33
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I've got this sucker:
Aprilaire Model 600 Whole-House Humidifier &#124 Bypass Humidifier
hooked to HOT water line. I thought the theory there was that hot water evaporates easier/quicker than cold. ...
Yep, hot water should evaporate quicker. I've had them done both ways, mine is on cold now, and it provides plenty of humidity. From the manual on yours:

Quote:
While the water going to the humidifier is hot, the flushing water to the drain will be cold. The heat is extracted during the evaporation process.
Looks like either is fine on your model. If you want to split hairs, I suppose if your furnace is more efficient than your water heater, use cold

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Old 02-12-2014, 05:31 PM   #34
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I can't imagine why you'd have leaks.
The Aprilaire units I've seen lack a lip or trough at the inside edge of their humdifying compartment. If the unit does not lean back toward its drain, water can leak out the front.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:59 PM   #35
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You all have much more positive experiences with this than I did.

Just before we got married, my husband moved into my house, that I'd lived in for several years. For Christmas (a week before we got married) he gave me a whole house humidifier. This was not something I wanted/needed/cared about. It was soooo not romantic, also.

(edited to add - this was when we lived in suburban Philly.)

He installs it a few weeks later, after we're back from the honeymoon, etc.

It never worked right.

He'd bought a cheap, off brand... botched the installation, and it broke within a month.

I did not miss it. But it's probably the one and only thing I can hang over his head as a truly awful gift.

We're close to the coast in San Diego - we have plenty of natural humidity. No need for one here.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:43 PM   #36
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We have had whole house humidifiers in all our houses, including Aprilaire in several. By now, I'm not sure how much difference there is amongst the brands, but they are pretty simple devices. Ours have always been connected to cold water.

They do help.

I think the colder it is outside, the lower you need to set the humidistat, but you should look online for advice on that.

I would look at an electronic air cleaner for the air filter. Our current house has two of those and when we did an addition I didn't pay much attention to the third they added and it is a media filter type. I don't think it works as well; I wish we had gotten an electronic one. More $$ upfront, but you can just put the filter elements in the dishwasher a few times a year instead of buying replacement filters.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:22 PM   #37
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You all have much more positive experiences with this than I did.

....

He installs it a few weeks later, after we're back from the honeymoon, etc.

It never worked right.

He'd bought a cheap, off brand... botched the installation, and it broke within a month. ....
I'm guessing the installation was the problem, unless you just got a 'lemon'. See below...

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Originally Posted by 45th Birthday View Post
We have had whole house humidifiers in all our houses, including Aprilaire in several. By now, I'm not sure how much difference there is amongst the brands, but they are pretty simple devices.
I took a look after these posts, and I see now my current one is an AprilAire. The one in the old house was the generic 'General' Brand or something.

Yes, very simple, and really no difference in brands that I can see. It's just a generic plastic box, some generic filter media, and a generic solenoid valve and the generic humidistat. Anything should work, until it got so cheaply made that it fell off the duct!

Regarding the leaks earlier - I looked, and as I expected, there is a hole about an inch above the drain port. So if the drain port clogged, water would come out that hole before it would leak into the furnace. Seems reasonably fail-safe - you could put a water alarm on the floor if it was somewhere you wouldn't see a leak for a while.


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I think the colder it is outside, the lower you need to set the humidistat, but you should look online for advice on that.
Well, when it's really cold outside, you'll get condensation on windows/walls/attic, which can be bad. I'll turn the humidity down if I see that, but you still want it higher for comfort, you just can't always do it. Even in the latest cold spells, I've been able to keep it to where we don't get shocks from the carpet (~ 28~30% according to a couple digital humidity gauges), but I turn it higher (~ 35~40%) when I can. I've never been able to trust the old analog humidity gauges, they seem to be all over the map.

-ERD50
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:47 PM   #38
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We have an Aprilair, installed with our replacement heater about 10 years ago. Does the trick; our air must be really dry, as I don't see much water making it to the drain. I replace the diffuser about every other year, if I remember to...
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:13 PM   #39
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Don't forget to turn it to "summer" or off during the summer if you live in a humid area. Most people only need it during the winter when hot furness air dries everything out.
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:00 PM   #40
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Quick update: We had the Aprilaire installed about two weeks ago with it running on 35%. My sons dry skin seems to be getting better with no noticeable rashes this week. To be fair last week was much much warmer than it has been over most of the winter which probably helped. The static electricity in the house is also now completely gone and our dog no longer looks like the picture below! So far so good.

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