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  1. #1

    whole house steam humidifier

    We're building a 4000 sq. ft. brick colonial house in NY, using R19 (walls) and R30 insulation, and want to put in a whole house steam humidifier. Any thoughts or comments on the EWC/Autoflo 2020 unit versus the Honeywell 9 or 12 gallon model? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    StL, MO
    Posts
    581
    I've owned two different Autoflos and both were relatively short lived, needed several repairs and were high maintenance. Frankly, I don't recommend steam humidifiers for home use.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Fairfield county Connecticuit
    Posts
    778
    The auto flows /EWC suck lots of problems the honeywells and gennerals are ok but verry tempermental to water conditions me I am a Aprilaire 700 or 600 guy

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Statesville, NC
    Posts
    138
    The Honeywell steams suck up a lot of amps. For 4000 sq ft I'd recommend the 12 gallon. As an alternative, look at the Honeywell flow through. It mounts on the supply plenum and is self powered. It uses a lot less electricity. Put it on the system covering the largest part of the house.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,913
    The EWC Autoflow steam humidifiers, are very reliable.

    Problems with them can crop up like any other one if the water is very poor.

    Usually need far less maintainence then a Honeywell Toysteam. Ooops, I meant Truesteam.

    Since the biggest truesteam is only a 12 gallons a day. Unless your 4,000 sq ft house is very very tight. It won't shut off. Or reach humidity set point.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    6,837
    The question of the need for any humidification should be the original question. The drive toward the addition of more moisture into the home during the heating season is an error. The question that should be asked is, "Why does my house need a humidifier?" The answer to that question is fairly straight forward. The need for humidification is necessitated by the leakiness of the home. That is, excessive air exchange. If your new home needs a steam humidifier, your builder should not only be ashamed, but fired! A blower door test should be done on your new home before you decide what to use as a humidifier. The leak/exchange rate on your new home should not generally exceed 1-9 exchanges per 24-hour period. If in excess of that, the house is leaky and it's the air leaks that should be first addressed. Once you tighten up the home, you'll either need no additional humidification (cooking, showers, laundry, breathing all contribut to humidifying the home) or can use a significantly smaller unit.

    The take away from this posting is that instead of trying to decide on a steam humidifier, I'd recommend that you spend more time making sure that the outer envelope and vapor barrier in your newly constructed home is as tight as it can be. If you truly pay attention, it'll be too tight. Then you can post here and ask about mechanical ventilation and ERV or HRV for your new home.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by skippedover View Post
    The question of the need for any humidification should be the original question. The drive toward the addition of more moisture into the home during the heating season is an error. The question that should be asked is, "Why does my house need a humidifier?" The answer to that question is fairly straight forward. The need for humidification is necessitated by the leakiness of the home. That is, excessive air exchange. If your new home needs a steam humidifier, your builder should not only be ashamed, but fired! A blower door test should be done on your new home before you decide what to use as a humidifier. The leak/exchange rate on your new home should not generally exceed 1-9 exchanges per 24-hour period. If in excess of that, the house is leaky and it's the air leaks that should be first addressed. Once you tighten up the home, you'll either need no additional humidification (cooking, showers, laundry, breathing all contribut to humidifying the home) or can use a significantly smaller unit.

    The take away from this posting is that instead of trying to decide on a steam humidifier, I'd recommend that you spend more time making sure that the outer envelope and vapor barrier in your newly constructed home is as tight as it can be. If you truly pay attention, it'll be too tight. Then you can post here and ask about mechanical ventilation and ERV or HRV for your new home.
    I don't know if this makes any difference, but I should have mentioned that we are planning on hydronic forced air heat. We've heard that this type of heat makes the air very dry and that a humidifier would be worthwhile to install right of the bat. Does the forced air heat change your thinking at all?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,913
    Doesn't make the air any drier.

    Its the fresh air infiltration. Its dry. So it makes your house dry.

    On a tight 4,000 sq ft house. If your bringing in enough fresh air to met ASHRAE specs. You can end up needing a humidifier.

    Some builders will tell you, they build tight houses. But they're not nearly as tight as you are lead to believe.
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