I had posted the following message in alt.hvac and it was recommended that I
check with the folks here.
I hired a contractor to replace my heat pump and forced air blower. To make
life a little sweeter I requested that an in-duct humidifier be added.
The HVAC ducting on the supply side of my blower has two branches. One
branch serves the basement and the kitchen area that makes up about half of
the first floor living area. The second branch serves the other half of the
first floor and the entire second floor living area.
The contractor elected to install the humidifier in the duct serving the
basement and kitchen. Since this installation I noticed that I now have
mold growing in the basement and that the relative humidity in the second
floor living areas could only reach about 23%.
It looked to me that they installed the humidifier in the wrong branch. I
wouldn't think anyone would want to have humid air in a basement and I don't
think a kitchen area needs humidification. Essentially about 75% of the
living areas were not being serviced by the humidifier.
Following my complaint, the contractor told me that the installation they
performed was correct. The rationale given to me was that since hot air
rises, it would have been improper to have the humidifier installed in the
duct branch serving the second floor.
I'd really appreciate hearing back from someone with some expertise on the
subject. Am I just an unreasonable customer or did the contractor just give
excuse for a bad installation.
How do you monitor humidity, what % level is it, what are outdoor temps.
Does condensation occur anywhere. How does your humidifier set and
adjust humidity. To have mold it is set to high. How do you know your
humidistat is accurate, analog units must be calibrated by you. There
may be others but April Air has a unit that tracks outdoor temps, you
set it to where no condensation develops and it tracks the proper
setting. Most units you must constantly adjust. You have not shown you
need a humidifier, this late in the season most areas dont need added
humidity. Start by turning it off and get a good digital humidistat.
Condensation anywhere on walls or windows leads to mold and is your
first sign you are over humidifying. Unless I get static shocks I ignore
humidity issues, and I never get static shocks with a tight house and
alot of houseplants. I stopped running my April air several years ago,
soon I will be running a Dehunidifier since it it warmer and rained
recently. The humidity should travel through the home and distribute,
but without checking different areas with a good humidistat you cant
know the instal was wrong , leading to high humidity areas. But my
Bypass goes back into my return.
Hot air rises, but water from the humidifier is cold. Take into account
that the humidifier only comes on when the blower comes on, and what do
Water being blown to the basement and to the kitchen. Hot air rises but
not water, especially when its being blown in the wrong direction.
You have to tell them everything. This is true of not just
contractors but everyone. You had to learn this lesson eventually,
and hopefully you've learned it now. (How old are you? No insult
implied. Just curious if you learned before or after I did.)
Most people will always defend what they did. Example, I fell and
loosened a front middle tooth when I was little and it settled in
crooked. Solely because of this tooth my mother took me to an
orthodontist. And she told him that. He talked about "bite" and
things and the treatment took about 2 years iirc, and cost real money.
When it was over, my front tooth was still crooked, not as much as
before, but it clearly wasn't straight.
He had a final appointement where he showed me off to her, and my
mother said, "His tooth is crooked" and the guy offered to file it off
to make the bottom horizontal. (Of course then I'd have a crooked
tooth that was trapezoidal or triangular.) My mother didn't like
that, and instead of saying he'd work on me more, or apologizing, he
held a wire from appproximately the middle of my forehead to
approximately the middle of my chin and said "No one is perfect. See,
his nose isn't in the middle either." Then he held a wire from
somewhere on my left ear to somewhere on my right and said "See his
ears aren't the same height either." He was willing to destroy my
whole self-image just to not get blamed for something he didn't do
I'm lucky I didn't believe him, and you;re lucky he didn't insult the
rest or your house, or even the rest of you.
Thank goodness my ears are at the same height as far as anyone can
tell, and my nose IS in the middle as far as anyone can tell, and at
15 years old, I knew the guy was lying to try to get himself out of
trouble, or I would have spent decades pining for plastic surgery
until I could raise the money. (and then if they moved my nose or an
ear, I really would be crooked.) And the tooth seems to have
straigtened out a little more and never looked that bad. People don't
At the time the whole thing didn't bother me, but now I realize what a
terrible thing the orthodontist almost did to me, and I wish I had
called him and told him what a jerk he was. By now he's probably
about 80 years old, and retired to Arizona, and I don't know his first
name. I wish I had done this when I was still in highschool, so he
didn't insult others.
It doesn't sound right to me, but I don't know much. Of course the
others do;n't like it either.
I agree that they installed the humidifier in the wrong place. Usually
they are installed in the main plenum, before any splits. But if I
were installing it and had to pick between the two branchs, I would
never put it in the branch serving the basement/kitchen. Basements are
where you typically want to remove moisture, not add it.
I don't know that there is much you can do at this point, except move
it, which I would do pronto. If you're reasonably handy, you can do it
yourself. You just need some sheet metal to cover up the existing
duct hole, then relocate it.
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