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Moon Lake Refuge

Floor standing vs duct mount home humidifier

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Morning, My daughter gets terrible itchy skin in the winter so was looking into a whole home humidifier.  Questions I have are floor standing vs duct mount.  I can get a duct mount on sale right now for 130 and have no issues installing myself, only issue is we're moving in the spring and would be nice not to waste the money.  I'm just curious about how effective the floor standing models are?  Would you put it near a cold air return to circulate better?  I don't know if I should dump a ton of moisture through one vent though and have potential for mold?  Plus the pain of continually filling and cleaning the portable models.  I guess mostly I'm thinking about blowing the money and just leaving it in the house when I sell in the spring but would like to know if anyone has bought a floor standing model for there whole house that they are really happy with?

Thanks,

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I installed one last year. I am not overly impressed with it. It seems to have a hard time keeping up. The main reason that I went this route is because there had been one installed previously, so the holes were already in the discharge and return. I grew up with a floor mount and it seemed to work well... of course the house that I grew up in was about half the sq footage that I am in now. Not sure if that helps or not....

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I have a Honeywell whole house humidifier, the big reasons I got a whole house vs. a free standing is that there was a whole house already installed when we bought this house, and I hate having to fill those containers every other day.  For my house the whole house works good, you can tell when it's not set high enough it does start to feel dry.  The one thing I wish I had if they even make it would be one that automatically senses the outside temp and then adjusts the humidity level accordingly.  I guess I would never buy a floor unit again with 2 little kids running around it's just one less thing I have to try and remember.

If you're looking at the Save big money store that is the same one that I have.

Edited by Musky hunter 82

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Installed a whole house humidifier about eight years ago and it was the best thing I ever did. We have an old farm house so it is not as air tight as newer homes these days. I installed electric heat using dual fuel rate and we have a forced air furnace as well. Both of these systems are notorious for drying the air inside the home. Couple that with an older home where the humidity level is going to pretty much match the outdoor level and you have a recipe for dry air. 

 

The humidifier is mounted on the cold air return along side the furnace with a hot air connection that loops from the plenum back to the humidifier so it uses heated air to pass through for more efficient evaporation. When using the forced air furnace I have to take care or I can create a lot of icing on the windows. The system includes a humid stat that allows me to adjust the amount of water delivered to the system so I can control the humidity. 

 

I have a low ceiling in the basement so I could not fit an electric plenum heater in the duct work above the furnace so I installed baseboard electric heat throughout my home. When the price is right and I use that system I run my furnace blower at low speed 24/7 to maintain humidity. Since the air is not heated by the forced air furnace, the efficiency of evaporation is not as good so it struggles a little more to keep up but it still works better than nothing. 

 

Here's another advantage of adding the humidifier. Dry air does not conduct heat very well and is actually a great insulator. As a result, dry air feels colder than moist air. You experience this every summer when the humidity is high how much hotter it feels than when the humidity is low given the same air temperature. Home heating is more efficient with humid air than dry air. Before installing the humidifier my family was not comfortable unless the house was up around 74 degrees or so. After installing the humidifier, the thermostat was more often set to about 68 degrees and everyone was comfortable. 

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I have a Honeywell HCM-6009 Cool Moisture Console Humidifier. The old one I had just did OK but this Honeywell really can put out some moisture. I like the fact that they want you to flip the filter every time you add water. Even with the furnace running a lot right now we are always between 42 and 50 percent humidity and we are not running it on high.

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Update, humidifier went on sale even further.  With two rebates and the sale it came out to like 80 bucks.  Done deal, have since turned the temp down a few degrees in the house and it feels much better!  Our oldest daughter is usually the one to go with itchy skin when it gets dry so we'll see over the next few weeks if this does it but so far feels great!

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What you need now is a device that gives you a reading on the humidity in the house.  Easy to find and relatively cheap.  The level of humidity varies with the outside temp and you should pay attention.  If you don't you could end up getting moisture in the walls and creating a mess.  http://www.joneakes.com/jons-fixit-database/1626-What-is-the-proper-level-of-humidity-for-a-house-in-the-winter

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I just had an Aprilaire 600A installed yesterday. It's fully automatic with humidistat and outside air temperature sensor, because I know from experience I won't change settings as the outside air temp changes. We shall see how well it works.

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On 12/31/2016 at 9:33 AM, delcecchi said:

Also, if you have decent windows and are getting condensation that might be a sign of too much humidity.   

Condensation will typically appear first on windows because they are going to be colder than the walls so I would suspect that is a good place to watch. I read that it should be kept down to less than 1/4" of moisture along the bottom of the windows. Any more than that and you can figure your inside air is getting more humid. While it might feel nice it can be damaging to the structure if it remains that strong for lengthy periods of time. 

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