I have a typical colonial house, with a Aprilaire humifier attached to my
I have it at the Maxium humidity setting, and my house is only @ 26%
humidity (per my Radio Shack meter), and everyone feels dry. I can't crank
it up any hugher, so what else can I do?
It's especially worse on the upper level where eneryone sleeps.
You may also want to make sure you are getting a good flow of water into the
humidifier. Every year when I have my furnace checked in the fall the HVAC
tech will close, open, close and re-open the shut off water valve to the
humidifier. They tell me that all it takes is a bit of stuff in the small
valve to block the flow of water to the humidifier.
When my Aprilaire is running there is a good flow of water going through it
and draining out.
Is the humidifier pad clean. What is outside temp, if its near zero
26% might be all you should have, you should not humidify to the point
condensation develops on windows.
Four quick thoughts.
1. Make sure the water supply is okay.
2. Make sure the pad is okay, wet, and doesn't have too much build up
3. Make sure everything is installed okay and the air is blowing over
4. Eat more pasta.
What do your windows look like if you draw the curtains back. It there
condensation on them? Ice? What is the outside temperature? How old is
your home. How long have you had the humidifier, or lived in that home?
Is water flowing through the humidifier and coming out into the drain?
Is it connected to a hot water supply? When was the last time the media
(the pad) replaced? What model is it?
The aluminum screen calcites up, Lime Away fixes it in 15 minutes. is
it getting water, or is it calcified closed, You need a trusted
heating Tech as you know nothing and probabaly have not had any
cleaning or work done in years, a typical H.O bs question. Thats Home
Owner, or HO as in
Best advice was to start with the drain line. With the Aprilaire,
water flows over the media and only part of it evaporates. The rest
flows out the drain line. There should be about a pencil size flow of
If there isn't there is a tiny screen filter inline with the water
solenoid valve, that could be clogged. You could also check that the
solenoid is getting 24V to open.
I'd also be suspicious of the Radio Shack accuracy. Those widgets are
not very accurate, but given that you also say the house is dry, it
sounds like the humidity is low.
I have an Aprilaire humidifier. When I was having trouble I googled
something like, "troubleshooting Aprilaire humidifier" This led me
fairly quickly to a plumbing supply website that had a good
troubleshooting protocol that solved my problem. In my case the
saddle valve that attached the humidifier water line to the main water
supply had become clogged. I replaced the saddle valve and solved the
problem. There are only a few things that can go wrong with an
humidifier so they are not too hard to fix. Troubleshooting is pretty
much following the flow of water and figuring out where it is stopped.
Furnace humidifiers are only working when the furnace is going, thats
the bad part about them they dont emphasize when they sell you one.
Mine never keeps up, as the furnace only kicks on for a few minutes
each hour, even Saturday when the temp was -4F the furnace will still
not run enough to make it more humid. I still need portables which
work better IMHO and they wet-filter the air simultaneously as a side
benefit. When I replace this furnace I will get rid of my Aprilaire
and not replace it again, as furnace humidifiers are useless unless
your furnace runs a lot. You might want to run the fan on the furnace
even when the heater is not going just to get it to run longer cycles,
assuming the unit is working ok.
This only proves that you or whoever had the furnace installed in your
home grossly oversized it. At the outside heating design temperature
for your part of the country your furnace should be running constantly
if properly sized. If it gets colder than that your home will actually
start losing temperature. Anything above that temperature and your
furnace should start cycling.
Cu ft numbers for sizing are not the whole story, hacks do it that
way. I used to use 100000 btu for 1200 sq and a basement, my last
load calculation was 40000 btu is needed after alot of insulation and
windows, I use a 47000 btu unit with the gas cut back, at the coldest
days it should run 80-100%, turn off the boiler, run the furnace and
duct it to the basement, short cycling ruins equipment and its
When the home was build the basement boiler was no there yet. I
installed the tubing under the slab when we poured, then got a boiler
4 years later after I moved in. Thats why it may be oversized now.
But the furnace was definitely not oversized at construction time.
I've been told numerous times the house is very comfortable, but I do
wish I had gotten water heat instead of forced air heat for
everything, and a simple air handler for the AC. It's 11 years old,
no problems, will probably replace it at 15 years. The boiler I
expect to last till I die.
As for a whole house humidifier, I would not get one again unless the
system can be rigged to turn on the fan between heating cycles IF the
humidistat still calls for more humidity, IOW heat and humidity motors
controlled separately. Having it only run with the furnace cycles was
never accurate enough to control humidity, it will always be hit or
miss that way.
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