humidifier addition

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  #1  
Old 02-23-04, 10:43 AM
EricT
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humidifier addition

Hi all-

Just curious if anyone here has any DIY advice for a guy who wants to add a whole house humidifier to his hvac system. I have a carrier furnace/fan unit, the units on carrier.com look pretty self contained and maybe (?) simple to install. I know how to pull my own electrical and plumbing, do I need more skills than those and some basic mechanical?

Local guys here wanted a whole lotta money, and I know that they up thier eq like 400% in the margin. Ugh. Would rather add it on myself, if thats feasible. All thoughts welcome.

Eric
 
  #2  
Old 02-23-04, 01:13 PM
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To put a humidifier in is a very good DIY job. Not hard at all . Get a good one for sure. Look aroud at them get one that is called a bypass. This would mount on the cold air drop and a short pipe to the plenum. Dont get any that like just spray the water in the duct. Aprilair, Lau ,General Aire, Autoflo You want it with a humidity control that mounts on the duct there and a relay or a current sensing relay. This will turn it on when the furnace fan is on Dont get the one that has a control that goes out side to tie in. If you can I like to tie the water line 1/4" in to the hot water if you can. If your up to plumbing you could put the water valve for it in the water line and not use the saddle valve that comes with them. ED
 
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Old 02-23-04, 01:20 PM
EricT
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Thanks Ed-

I ended up on an HVAC only board earlier, and got berated for trying to take thier work away from them! Oh brother.

I just found this-

http://www.cornerhardware.com/howto/ht081.html

Seems to be a great overview.

I hate those saddle valves, an excellent point. Too easy to just shut down the main and cut the line, sweat a tee into it.

Now I gotta price it out. Tired of waking up in the middle of the night gasping for water. Ugh.

Eric
 
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Old 02-23-04, 01:30 PM
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There are two www that will take you apart for sure if your not a tech in hvac. I think you will find all of the people here know what is what and just try and help people out. I moved you over to this spot If you want anymore info stay with this same post all the time if its on humidifiers. ED
 
  #5  
Old 03-06-04, 10:02 AM
EricT
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Hey Ed, all

So what is the big diff- besides price- between the fan driven and the bypass? I understand how they work, but I am thinking that my heater being on or off might not coincide with keeping an even humidity level in my house. The humidifier turns on when the fan is on, when its either heating or cooling. Do I have that right?

Our fan pushes alot of air- we got a good one, in that we might expand the house on the top floor, and will need the volume later on for the additional 350 sq ft. But, its also a bit distracting, my wife doenst like it on at night.

Note that my house aint all that insulated, so it does come on quite a bit when we turn on the heat. Any thoughts appreciated on this!

Eric
 
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Old 03-06-04, 10:13 AM
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What one did you get and put in ? With any you want to turn it off when your on AC for sure and the water to it also.
Now it should run only when the furnace bower is on and it calls for humidity in the home. It should come on with the blower on heat.You could look and see if you can cut the blower down one speed if you can on heat ,let it on high for cool. ED
 
  #7  
Old 03-06-04, 10:32 AM
EricT
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Didnt get one yet. Tiling my master bath, this project is up after that one is done. Might do it within a week or two. Or, should I need to order one off the net, then I am a slave to shipping times as well.

Just curious about the self fan powered ones. The bypass ones sound fine, hot water sounds like a good idea too. I will look inot varying the fan speed with the heat/cool function.

Its definatley driest here (Prescott, AZ which is at around 5500 feet where I am) in the winter, when we are heating. I was just curious if anyone endorsed the fan powered units, vs the bypass units.

Eric
 
  #8  
Old 03-14-04, 07:28 PM
EricT
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more humidifier questions

Aha! Tiling job done.

So I am now onto this project. Looking to order a unit soon, www.gogiesel.com is the only vendor online I have found that seels the units, although they seem real reasonable.

I still have some questions, but some info first. When we get weather in here, the humidity spikes up to about 80degrees on the barometer. However, when there isnt any weather, be it cold or hot, its between 15 to 20 degrees humidity, per my lacrosse barometer readings. Thats outside, I am sure inside is even a touch drier. (note- I got the barometer this winter, havent taken summer readings yet. it has warmed up to 75 degrees temp already though, and is sitting at 20degrees humidity. I would like inside to be more like 30)

Now, I do want a unit that will run when the outside temp is either hot OR cold. Is that possible? Also, I figure if I want it to run and its hot, I just turn the house fan on, not the heater. But thats a pain, gotta turn the fan on and off all the time. Is there a way around that?

I still dont understand the big diff, besides the 70$ price diff, between the fan powered and the byspass. If anyone could explain that, I would really appreciate it. Seems like the 132$ unit will do me just fine, but once I am done buying the extra parts- like the fan sensor/relay, etc/ I might be up to 200$ anyways.

Also- Ed, you mentioned not going with a unit that needs an outside sensor, which I believe is a humidistat, and is able to turn itself on and off at will, according to interior humidity readings and outdoor temp readings. Um, why not? Curious.

My preference is to have stuff in the house I can program once, and walk away from. That, and no more 2am sandpaper tongue.

TIA guys.

Eric
 
  #9  
Old 03-15-04, 06:12 AM
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Also- Ed, you mentioned not going with a unit that needs an outside sensor, which I believe is a humidistat, and is able to turn itself on and off at will, according to interior humidity readings and outdoor temp readings. Um, why not? Curious.
Just something more to go wrong. Is the way I look at it. You want it to control what is in the home . So you only need the humidistat on the duct.


Now, I do want a unit that will run when the outside temp is either hot OR cold. Is that possible? Also, I figure if I want it to run and its hot, I just turn the house fan on, not the heater. But thats a pain, gotta turn the fan on and off all the time. Is there a way around that?
.

I know of no one that turns it on in the summer. The AC is there to take the humidity out for you. For where you live there You want a swamp cooler in the summer for humidity.

ED
 
  #10  
Old 03-15-04, 07:33 AM
EricT
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Hey Ed-

Thanks always for the prompt and informative replies.

So I am looking to get a carrier large-bypass humidifier. Looks like it comes with the humidistat, the plumbing (or some of it, since I am ditching the saddle valve) and transformer to power it. However, from reading the posts here, it looks like I also need a current sensing relay... and anything else?

As I understand it now, I need to run a hot water supply line to feed the unit, chop 2 holes into the return and feed ductwork, and slap the thing in. I have a power receptacle right there that powers the fan for the heating, so that isnt an issue. I will have to run the hot water line about 30 feet to get it there.

Am I missing any other needed accessory? Is a solenoid valve a necessity? Otherwise I was just going to throw a ball valve shutoff right prior to the feed for the unit.

One last question... is this a stupid time to put one in? Its already about 65 outside. Still 20 degrees on the barometer, but I am afraid to install one just to shut it off come spring, which seems to be a bit early here.

Cool- thanks to... well you Ed, since you've been the man on the replies. Pending the answers on the accessories, I am getting ready to order this thing.

Eric

Edit- I should note that I am not hung up on the carrier name so much (anymore) and am looking at the aprilaire models. They have some models that do not require a floor drain. Is this desirable? If its going to save me on hot water costs, I like that. Wondewring what that carrier does in its stead, I thought they all recirculated the h2o. -E
 
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Old 03-15-04, 07:53 AM
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The unit should come with everything. I think. That saddle valve it should screw out of the holder and go right in a FPT bushing on the water line for you. It should have a duct mount humidistat. A relay to close when the blower comes on OR a current sensing relay to turn it on when the blower is on . ED
 
  #12  
Old 03-15-04, 12:16 PM
EricT
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Hey Ed

The kit actually came with everything BUT the current sensing relay, which I had to order seperately.

2 more questions- I never seem to run out, do I?

1- Humidistat- I was thinking of mounting it by the thermostat, which is centrally located in the house, and also is 4 feet above the downstairs air intake. Should that be okay?

2- Flex ducting. The air feed into the fan is all flex ductwork. On the way out there is a piece that is metal I can cut into, before it becomes flex as well. How can I punch into the flex stuff?

Thanks, Eric
 
  #13  
Old 03-15-04, 12:47 PM
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#1 you just put it on the return duct just up a ways from where the humidifier is

#2 Dont know what you have for sure on the return . That flex pipe should go into a plenum like box there at the return on the furnace. You might have to make a plenum for the flex to go into so you have room for the humidifier. Or is there room on the side of the furnace before the filter that it can go on?

ED
 
  #14  
Old 03-15-04, 01:25 PM
EricT
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flex ducting

Hey Ed-

There is a large box plenum on either side of the furnace/condenser coil assembly, I think. I am assuming that it isnt the fan itself (which is in the middle, I think...) or the condensor coil.

Sounds like I need to post a pic, will do that later on.

Eric
 
  #15  
Old 03-16-04, 08:38 AM
EricT
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pic

http://myweb.cableone.net/erictuthill/images/hvac.jpg


Theres the pic.

The installers did a real clean job, IMO. Everything is very tightly hinsulated, I figure I will have to tear a bit of that up. My other option being cutting the flex lines, hanging some metal ducting between them, and then using that as my punch thru.

E
 
  #16  
Old 03-17-04, 07:10 AM
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Take the blower door off there and see if that box you call it on the cold air there is not metal under the insulation. if so you can cut in there .
I see crawl space and the wall of it dont look like they have insulation on them or that there is a 6 mil poly down on the ground there for a V/B it should be ED
 
  #17  
Old 03-17-04, 07:53 AM
EricT
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Sorry to be an HVAC idiot here Ed, but...

Huh?

I will take off the blower door and look around. These guys insulated everything that was metal ducting. I know that the left metal box with the carier logo on it is the condensor for the AC. I was just talking about the insulated boxes on either side of them. My concern is that the bypass humidifier needs to be a straight run, and I dont want to run it right in front of the access door to the heater. I dont know if thats code, but it would sure be annoying and kind of dumb to do. I may not have a choice though.

As per the insulation, your run-on sentence is a bit baffling. There is some insulation on the ground there, has nothing to do with the hvac sys. Its just crawlspace storage for extra housing materials, theres a bunch of roof shingles just to the right of the pic as well.

So, any clarification as to what you are saying about the crawl space insulation would be good. FYI, underneath the subfloor it is all insulated. The crawlspace is 3-6 feet of cinderblock and then about 2 feet of wood before the subfloor.

Eric
 
  #18  
Old 03-17-04, 01:31 PM
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You need a good 6 mil poly cover over all the ground there for sure. ED
 
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Old 03-17-04, 01:42 PM
EricT
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Ah!

Thanks for explaining Ed, really. Sorry if I was a bit rough earlier, its just that with some projects, I dont mind just jumping in. But with my new HVAC sys, I wanna baby this thing, and now exactly what I am doing before I turn a single screw.

6 mil poly for insulation- wondering why- I have a very large area underneath my home, running that all over will be mucho $$.

Speaking of, I am looking at the install manual for the humidifier, and it shows the run for the airflow going right in front of the heater access panel. This seems dumb to me, I dont want to mak any turns... but if I did, they would be 30 degrees up, over to level, 4 feet across, then down 30 and into the humidifier. That way I avoid the access panel, but dont turn any sharp turns and add too much excess travel. How does that sound?

The alternative, is to cut into the flex ducting above, mount a metal box duct with 12" cylinders on each end. Hang that, re-attach the flex duct. Then, I have a spot to mount the humidifiers ducting.

Any thoughts on either idea? The first one is easier and less costly, therefore more desirable.

Eric
 
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Old 03-17-04, 02:27 PM
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Looked at the picture Why cant you put it on the back side of the furnace???

You need that 6 mil poly down there on the ground. Its not insulation plastic sheeting. Lowes here has it for 20'X 100' $40.00

ED
 
  #21  
Old 03-17-04, 05:50 PM
EricT
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Ed-

My apologies for being such a dunce and not realizing that. I am preparing to slap myself on the forehead now...

whack!

Ahh, much better.

Sure, I can lay down the poly, I just dont see what its going to accomplish. Thats what I was asking about. Is it a code thing?

I would rather not give field mice a new condo development if I dont have to. But, I am mainly just curious as to why- thats all.

Eric
 
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Old 03-18-04, 01:07 PM
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We seal them all . The moisture in the ground comes up and gets into the insulation like you have up there in the joist.

Try http://aboutsavingheat.com/crawlspace.html

and read it ED
 
  #23  
Old 03-18-04, 01:16 PM
EricT
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Hmm, good tip Ed, thanks for shooting me an explanation. I really appreciate that.

I do have vents around the crawlspace though, for air circulation. Wouldnt I then have to block those off so as to properly insulate?

The 6 mil poly is a good idea though. Good inexpensive tip! Thanks for that.

Should be getting my humidifier tomorrow, BTW. Will install it this weekend, post how it goes. I downloaded the install manual already, and I have to say it looks pretty easy.

E
 
  #24  
Old 03-18-04, 01:55 PM
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When the crawl space is done this way we block all the vents for sure . But we also put 2 small out let in the duct and a small cold air return. For heat and cool down there . No insulation up in the joist space . Just in and on the sill plate is all . ED
 
  #25  
Old 03-18-04, 02:00 PM
EricT
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Hmm, insteresting.

My joist space is all insulated, in between the joists. The poly seems like a good idea, the rest of the insulation seems like it might be pricey, since downstairs footrpint is about 1200 sq ft

Eric
 
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Old 03-18-04, 02:20 PM
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You only put insulation on the walls of the crawlspace. feel up in the insulation now and see if there is any dampness up there at all. Most of it will happen in the summer. Id put the poly down and see how it goes from there ED
 
  #27  
Old 03-20-04, 04:43 PM
EricT
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Hey Ed-

All insulation questions aside, back to the humidifier...

The large box on the left side is the cold air return. It hooks to 12" flex ducting on the back, so the front mount install is necessary. So, as I read the directions, the humidifier should mount on the front side there. The thing is, I wonder if mayber it shouldnt, in that the humidifier will be on the opposite side of the cold air return duct hole... might it get blasted with too much force? Curious. To diagram it - the cold air return comes from the back of this box, the heater intake is on the left side, and I am proposing to put the humidifier on the front. The humidifiers output then would go about 6 feet, past the heater, into the heater ductwork/plenum.

If not, I can always cut into the flex duct above, put in a square box that mounts on each side of the circular flex, then I have a mount point. But its real tight where the flex duct is too, so that is a pain.

Kind of asking this question to make certain I am mounting this unit on the correct side of the equation. From a linear standpoint, I am suggesting - cold air return - to - humidifier (on same box) - then, cold air goes thru furnace, humidifier output goes around it in 6" ducting, and then its all in the hot air output.

Other question- I need to mount a 90 turn straight into a flat surface, the plenum on the other side. How can I do this? Can you suggest some sort of particular flange I need?

Also, nothing mentions what size sheet metal screws I should use, or what kind of ducting specifically. I have seen both sheet metal and flex metal ducting suggested in my install directions that came with the unit (which are a bit feeble) and tutorials on the net, like the one posted above.

Thanks! (Ed)

Eric
 
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Old 03-20-04, 05:49 PM
EricT
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One other thing I just thought of-

Where I attach the humidifier, should I maybe use some of that sticky foam rubber w/adhesive on one or both sides, so as to give the space between the humidifier and cold air return box a good air sealed gasket? Also, on the other side, where I install the flange and 90 for the tubing in between, should I use some sort of tape, like metal tape, to seal up the area as well?

I will insulate all of this as well, with the exception of the humidifier.

Eric
 
 

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