Are home humidifers a bad thing?

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Tony Hwang wrote: <snip> My house is built on R2000 spec. air tight

The _last_ thing I would want to live in is an air tight house.
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Cory wrote:

From Calgary, no humidifier in winter is bad thing!. I have a grand piano made in 1912 sitting in my living room. Before anything else I don't want to have sound board cracked on it. Tony
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One of my big concerns is prematurely corroding our furnace heat exchanger (which means a new furnace).. comments?
Mold is also another issue, as well as reduced air flow (lower heating efficiency, though Bob states "A 6" round bypass humidifier will only take a maximum of about 100 CFM from the main trunk duct system.")
comments?
Howie

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Cory wrote:

They are not a bad thing, but some are poorly designed or poorly made. Some may be used in a manor that results in bad things.
I have one and I would certainly put another in if I moved or this one goes out. It helps maintain a level of moisture that prevents most static issues, it also feels better.
The one I have, an Aprilair, adjusts the humidity level based on the outside air temperature. When properly adjusted for your home, that will eliminate the kind of damage to a home that too high a humidity level can cause.
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Joseph Meehan

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Joesph,
any comments for this model I bought?
http://www.thermolec.com/pdf/Manuel%20inst%20%20200D,M200%20M240.pdf
anyone else care to comment?
Howie

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Cory wrote:

It looks like a standard model to me. Some are well made and should serve your needs. Many are cheap and last a year or two and people generally just give up thinking they are all like that.
Be sure to keep up the maintenance and keep replacing the media on a regular bases. If you live in a hard water area, do it even more often.
It also appears you are going to need to do your own adjusting for the outside temperature. When it gets very cold out, you can't keep the humidity up and you need to turn it down so it does not start condensing on the windows and in the walls. Just where to set it is something of trial and error and is also dependent on your homes construction.
Good Luck.
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Joseph Meehan

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Am I at a big risk of corroding my furnace's exchanger if I use this model? It is a by-pass type that humidifies cold return air, then runs this air over the hot heat exchanger... what does everyone think?

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Read this post on what Macrohard has to say about by-pass humidifiers : http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t $3777
comments?

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Cory wrote:

Well it really depends on the quality of the unit, but it is not one of the problem types that mist the water.
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Joseph Meehan

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so does the humidified air travel over the heat exchanger? What is the path of air (direction) using this unit? (http://www.thermolec.com/pdf/Manuel%20inst%20%20200D,M200%20M240.pdf )???
Howie

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Cory wrote:

I can't say for certain, because I do not know this model, but it appears that the warmed air travels through the unit to the return air passing through the furnace and heat exchangers then on to the home.
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Joseph Meehan

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that's what I think too... I emailed Thermolec to inquire...

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I had one of this type. The humidified air does, in fact, return to pass over the furnace's heat exchanger. But remember, the heat exchanger is well above the temperature of the passing air and no condensation will occur there. What other problem are we imagining?
Evaporating water requires energy. If your comfort and other factors require humidification, these furnace filters would seem to be as efficient as any other method. I can't imagine that the energy demand would be a significant load on any reasonable furnace.
The big problem with this type is that they generally do not provide bypass drainage so that salt buildup in the filter and pan require frequent cleaning and maintenance. With our hard water and inconvenient access, I was happy to convert to a cabinet type humidifier after I installed a heat pump for normal winter heating.
SJF
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Joseph Meehan wrote:
<snip>

I'm not wealthy/lucky enough to live in a manor house, so no problem.
:-)
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says... :) We live in the cold Saskatchewan, Canada climate and we don't have a :) humidifier (our home used to, but it corroded out so I removed it) to :) moisten the dry winter air. I haven't notice much of a problem with dry air :) in winter time, but that might just be me. Would higher humidity be better :) for our home ? This website says not:: :) http://www.empireservice.com/humidifiers.htm . :) :) They state: "Humidifiers can help you fight the problems of dry air in the :) winter months. If you want to cut down on static electricity, dry skin and :) cracking furniture - and feel warmer - a humidifier's the perfect answer. :) I pulled this statement off a major air conditioning suppliers website. :) While it is true that Humidifiers do help you breath, they can cause a lot :) of damage and that damage can make it impossible to breath." :) :) Anyone have input on this discussion? :) :) Howie :) Every Winter, I and every other pest control company in the country will get calls about "mystery bites". In my experience it usually effects just one or two in the household and and I can't recall if any have been men. The whelp usually are on the torso but can be found on neck arms and legs. My suggestion is that it is probably from static in the dry air causing fibers of clothing and paper to become a skin irritant. Of the five that I have talked to this Winter and suggested humidifiers two have called me back to say it took care of the problem, I'll find out about the others later in the year when I see them again.
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Lar

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I can tell you from personal experience the spray nozzle type will cause damage (2 years for me) even after servicing at the end of each season (nozzle cleaning with CLR). Mainly a problem if you have hard water. With just the slightest buildup, you'll have a nice stream (not mist) of water shooting right into your A coil and down to your burner. This was a Thermo-mist 2000 (if memory serves) and the best RH I could get was 28-29%. Just installed a Aprilaire model 700 and it works like a dream!
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427Cobraman wrote:

Tony
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Tony Hwang wrote:

I have a question about the spray type humidiers.
I had a room type ultrasonic unit and it worked well except for the fundamental problem that all water has minerals and the humidifer placed the minerals into the air which left a white dust on everything. It seems to me that the spray type humdifier has the same fundamental issue, the minerals in the water are dispersed into the air.
The media type humdifier where the water evaporates off of a filter leaves the mineral sin the humdifer which eventually clog up and needs to be cleaned. But this is better then having the minerals dispersed into the air. And the type of humidifer that has drain water, i.e. some water passes through the unit ot the drian, provides a path for these minrerals to be disposed.
So I don't know of any really good solution to the minerals in the water problem except for the units that have drain water.....
Comments please.
Mark
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I'm in New York state, USA. I do have a humidifier, and really like it. Can't imagine life without one for the winter time.
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Christopher A. Young
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Evaporating water takes more a lot more energy than raising the air temp, for equal warmth, except in extremely airtight houses which need DEhumidification in wintertime.
Nick
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