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Understanding What a Whole House Humidifier Can Do for Your Home

Home Humidity

Installing a whole house humidifier can address a host of problems caused by too dry of an environment. On the negative side; not having the proper controls and monitoring can lead to excessive moisture, and a new set of issues.

With such a long and respected history in the market, we turned to Aprilaire for their extensive list of humidity control information.

Q) So, what exactly is a Whole-House humidifier?

A) “In 1954 Research Products Corporation introduced Aprilaire® Humidifiers, the first evaporative, flow-through-design humidifiers. An Aprilaire Whole-House Humidifier is installed directly to your central new or existing heating and cooling system. Humidity is introduced into your home’s air in the form of water vapor, which prevents minerals from entering the air in your home and potentially into your lungs. Water is supplied to the distribution tray, allowing it to flow evenly across the Aprilaire Water Panel®. The resulting humidified air is then distributed via your heating and cooling system ductwork throughout your home”.

Note:  There is an option of having a Steam Humidifier (model 800). These work slightly different by having their own heater and creating steam that enters your HVAC ductwork instead of relying on the heat of the furnace to evaporate the water droplets like conventional whole-house humidifier. A steam unit also can be remote mounted and feeds the ductwork via a much smaller hole (e.g. 1″).

You can view the Aprilaire owners manuals to do a comparison. Consult a professional for the proper evaluation of your home and needs.

Issues and Causes of Dry Air

When air is too dry, it can be responsible for a list of problems.

  • Dry Sinuses
  • Cracked Wood and Plaster
  • Itchy Skin
  • Static Shock

Too Much Humidity and Window Condensation

Regions that experience very cold winter months are in a lose / lose situation with a whole house humidifier. The purpose of having a humidifier is to eliminate the “issues and causes of dry air”, mentioned above, but window condensation can become a serious problem, as seen in the photo. Condensation can turn to frost or ice…creating pressure between wood frames and glass…then breaking or splintering the wood.

Condensation issues can be further magnified by windows that have blocked airflow from window treatments (curtains or blinds). If wanting or needing a level of humidity that causes window condensation; a daily activity of absorbing the moisture with a towel can prevent long-term window damage.

Window Condensation Damage and Wood Rot
Excessive Window Condensation Damage and Wood Rot

 

Aprilaire Humidifier Controls

Aprilaire humidifier controls and operation are covered in each humidifier owners manual.

Installation Instructions are hosted by Alpine Home Air Products. Specific instructions for each make and model of Aprilaire humidifier – controller combination can be found here under the documents section of each product description. e.g. Aprilaire 700 Series with Model #60 Auto Humidistat.

Note: FAQ topic #42 is very important. “How does my Aprilaire digital humidifier control operate”? Depending on the humidifier and how it’s wired, the humidifier can run in heat call, or fan only mode. If wired for fan only mode, a hot water supply is required for proper evaporation. In heat mode, the evaporation output can also be increased with a hot water supply compared to cold water.

Whole House Humidifier FAQ Topics Include:

Aprilaire has over 50 FAQ questions answered.

  • What is the proper relative humidity to have in my home during the winter?
  • Will an Aprilaire Humidifier cause mold in my home?
  • What causes condensation on my windows and how can I eliminate it?
  • Should we use soft water or hard water with our Aprilaire humidifier?
  • Should our Aprilaire humidifier be connected with hot or cold water?
  • Why does Aprilaire offer an automatic and a manual humidifier control for the Aprilaire humidifiers?
  • Why does Aprilaire offer an automatic and a manual humidifier control for the Aprilaire humidifiers?
  • Should my Aprilaire power humidifier be installed on the supply plenum or the return air duct?
  • Where should my humidifier control be installed?
  • Can an Aprilaire humidifier operate with a tankless water heater?
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