Steam or Evaporative Whole House Humidifer: Which is better?
Greetings! I'm trying to decide which type to install. We have recently done a big remodel to our older home, which included adding Central AC to the entire house and forced hot air to the new parts of the house for heat while retaining the radiators we had in the old house for heat there. Now, we need to add humidification as the house is very dry (it's always been dry, even before the addition). I've been given differing opinions on which type of humidifier unit to install, steam versus pad type evaporative. I'm not afraid of diy heavy systems and have been keeping up with the filter changes on the new units, so differences in maintenance don't bother me, within reason ;-) Thanks in advance for your advice!
My vote is for steam. It seems to maintain a more consistent humidity level. It will usually also allow for greater sq ft humidification. Bypass humidifiers, depending on how they are wired, will usually only cycle with the thermostat's call for heat. This can present a problem on mild but very dry winter days...IE furnace doesn't run/humidifier doesn't run. I recently had to remove a bypass in favor of a steam. The house was VERY well insulated and the furnace only cycled 1-3 times a day. I know you can wire a bypass to humidify w/ fan cycle (like I did for my house) but steam still gets my vote.
"Surprised ?! If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised."
Since only part of your house is forced hot air, go with steam.
A standard evaporative pad unit won't cut it. The other areas of your house will draw the humidity to them. A pad system won't have the capacity when the furnace isn't running for heat.
go with steam honeywell is coming out with a great steam humidifier next month somewhere around the 6th december..........looks like a great product
Get in line for that new Honeywell TrueSTEAM. It's 45 minutes or less to install it, and has all new patented technology. Go here to watch the installation video and pre-order a unit.
Originally Posted by dad211
Last edited by jrbenny; 12-14-2007 at 10:58 AM.
Reason: removed link to your sales site
What about operating costs? The smallest Truesteam draws 7 amps, and puts out 6 Gallons per day. At $.09 per KWH thats $55 per month in electric at full output.
AutoFlo S2000 Steam Humidifier 14 gallons per day.....15 amp
Skuttle brand 60-1 model is 100v, 12.5 Amps, with an output of 3 gallons/day....
etc etc etc....
And your point is?
If you use the smallest true steam. And it runs 24/7, then either your using the wrong size humidifier, or you need to address your homes infiltration problems.
You are on the right track. Steam uses more than 1 KW for 3Lbs. of water evaporated. Using heat pump heat reduces cost by the cop number. Usually one half or better cost reduction with evaporation. House tightening or reducing the ventilation rate also improves winter moisture levels. Natural gas cost even less than heat pump energy. Evaporating water via evaporation is a slower process but during the coldest weather, the heating system operates enough for evaporation to work. Healthier to operate your home on the dry side to moist to point where condensation shows on the windows. Currently the only damp spot in the US is SO FL. Season greetings, TB
Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"
Recent replies (thanks to all who have!) make me ask this question:
How big a humidifier unit do you need?
My house is two stories with a basement and is about 2600 square feet in size after being remodeled.
The size you need depends on your homes envolope tightness.
I have EWC autoflo 2010's on 3000 SF + homes.
1 house we did is about 2800 SF, I should have used the 2020. They now use their coal stove for heat except when they go away for the weekend. With the amount of combustion air they have to bring in for the stove, the 2010 strugles to keep it at 25% when its below 20* outside.
At the time we installed it, he was an over the road driver, gone for weeks at a time. And his wife doesn't like taking care of the coal stove. They had us install a 15 SEER 2 stage heat pump for when he was out on the road. He stopped driving 6 monthes after we installed the system. He loves the coal stove.