I would like to install a whole-house humidifier on my forced air furnace.
From what I understand, the steam humidifiers seem to work pretty well,
anyone have experiences or suggest a model for a 2800SF Home?
Thanks in Advance,
fs your water is hard,
flow thru type may be better choice.
Like Aprilaire. My house is about same size as yours.
I installed one in the fall and been working very well.
Our water is VERY hard and it is easy to clean the water panel.
I have two panels, while one is being used one is cleaned.
Out of curiosity I checked the heat of vaporization of water:
Using hot water to feed the humidifier only adds maybe 5% of the energy
needed to evaporate the water. Considering heat loss to the piping,
it's hardly worth it.
It's not about the amount of energy required. The water has to be
heated either way. It's about which gets more water released into the
air. Starting with hot water, the water will evaporate faster
because more of the water is at a higher temp across the media pad.
Using hot water, it's at 130 from the start of the pad. Using cold
water, it's at 45 degrees.
Try an experiment. Take a glass 3/4 full of cold water and place a
saucer over the top. Do the same with hot tap water. Wait 3 mins
and remove the saucers. The bottom of the saucer from the hot glass
will be covered with condensation, while the cold one will not. Also
note that the glass of hot water never reached 212 degrees. That's
the effect you have using hot water in a humidifier vs cold and in
this simple experiment, it's obviously a very significant difference.
At some point as water travels down the media pad, it probably reachs
the same temp in the humidifier using either hot or cold. But until
it reaches that steady state point, significantly more water will
evaporate using hot.
You'll still have deposits in a static system. Many years ago, in first
house, I put in a unit from Sears that had a dip tank with a rotating
sponge using city water and every few months had to remove deposits
with vinegar. Now have an Aprilaire unit in new (now old) house with
well and unit has worked fine for many years on water that is borderline
hard. I change drip element annually, if I remember, but it can
probably last much longer. My French drain handles the overflow.
Whatever you do dont dont let the bastard installer use a saddle clamp
to make the water tap, make him install a soft copper compression
fitting with a quality ball valve plumbed in-line. My saddle clamp
valve looks like it is about to burst any day now (I wasn't home the
day this horseshit was installed).
If you're going to feed it with RO water, you cannot use copper water
lines. They must be plastic. RO water deteriorates copper and you end
up with pinhole leaks.
The steam units are supposed to be great. But they consume more power
and you still have to clean them. They cost a lot more upfront and I
haven't been able to figure out where the cost benefit is.
I would suggest against a whole house unit.
During the coldest part of the time, generally at night, many houses
nowadays have temperature setback. So the system wouldn't be running
much, unless the fan was running all the time.
Far better, IMO, to have an ultrasonic unit over the bed. And use
or clean its transducer with vinegar every so often.
Why does it have to run at night? The humidity generated during the
rest of the day will still be there. If you stop putting moisture
into the air, it takes days for it to drop back down, unless you have
the windows open. In fact, with the temp dropping during setback, the
relative humidity is more likely to RISE than fall due to the drop in
temp, with roughly the same amount of water still in the air.
Last thing I'd want is cold damp air blowing over my bed with the heat
turned down. Plus the ultrasonics can generate white dust from the
water, depending on it's hardness.
For the OP, I've had an Aprilaire 760 for 12 years and am very happy
I will also suggest the April air based on my experience and
most of what the others have said. Other brands seem to have a much
higher failure rate and the steam type have been related to health and
hardware problems. I doubt if RO will change that.
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