Typical operating cost of True STEAM humidifier

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Old 12-11-08, 01:01 PM
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Typical operating cost of True STEAM humidifier

I am building a first-floor master bedroom/bath addition to my house, which involves adding a new HVAC system. I wanted a humidifier with the system and have narrowed my choices down to a Honeywell True STEAM or Aprilaire/Trane unit. The HVAC contractor strongly recommends the True STEAM unit, and I've been impressed by what I've read about it. My question for the experts here is what is the typical operating cost of the unit during the winter months? I live in Kentucky, where the weather can get quite cold (averaging in the 30s during winter, sometimes as low as single digits).

I spent way too long searching the web, and I found only one post somewhere saying that it cost about $40 a month in extra electricity bills... yet my HVAC guy says he installed 3 of the units in his home and didn't have a noticeable increase in his electricity bill... but he is trying to sell me the True STEAM.

I called Honeywell (which was an exercise in frustration just trying to find out a phone number) and spoke to a representative in India who said that they could only talk about the features of the system, not its operating cost. When I pointed out that the operating cost would surely be considered a feature of the system, he just said it would be "impossible" to give me even a range or estimate. I don't know if that means they don't know or just don't want to say.

So, if any of you have any data, I'd appreciate greatly if you could give me an idea of how much it increases one's electricity bill. I don't mind the larger upfront cost of the unit (compared to the Aprilaire), but I would hesitate if it were going to cost a huge amount every month to run it.

Thanks!
 
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Old 12-11-08, 08:46 PM
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I have no numbers.. It will vary all over the boars since one home it may run more than others.

One member is getting his put in soon, and he said he will post back with the results.
 
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Old 12-12-08, 09:46 AM
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Thanks, Jay. I guess there are just too many variables (prevailing weather conditions, local electricity costs, etc.). I wish manufacturers would track such data and offer at least broad guidelines for different regions of the country. It's hard to make an informed decision without knowing operating costs. I'm still leaning toward the True STEAM and guess we'll just trust that it won't be hideously expensive to run.

This is a great forum, with lots of useful information. I appreciate all the time you take to help so many people so patiently.
 
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Old 12-23-08, 08:01 PM
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TrueSteam Performance?

I'm in the market for a new humidification system and found this forum doing my research. I have a Carrier ultra high efficiency gas furnace and a Herrmidifier G100 Power Flow-Thru Humidifier. The system has been installed for 8 years when the house was constructed. I've never been quite happy with the humidification during winter months. I live in MA and never get a reading beyond 30% on my hygrometer during the cold of winter. I want to try something new and stumbled upon the TrueSteam system doing some internet searches.

The furnace is in the basement which is a full foundation and I have a 2 story, 2400 sq ft home. What should I expect for a humidity level during the winter if I switch to the TrueSteam system?

In terms of operating costs. I would think the water that you save would offset the additional electricity required to heat the element. Well will run less if that's what you have. Just seems to be more efficient but I'd really like to know how they perform in real world installations. Also has an in-line filter if you have sediment or other particulate.

Thanks!
 
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Old 12-24-08, 05:49 AM
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That is a strange but expected reply from Honeywell.

How do hot water heater and refrigerator manufacturers determine their yearly operating costs which are very visible on the yellow sticker attached to the unit?

Take a hot water heater. There are many factors which would affect its yearly operating cost. A few are the number of people using hot water, the temperature of the incoming cold water, whether the unit is located in a conditioned space or say in the garage.

Just my thoughts.

Merry Christmas!
 
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Old 01-07-09, 09:13 PM
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For a point of reference, here is how I determined the operating costs in running my Honeywell TrueSteam 9 gal/day unit.

Assumptions: Unit runs 12 hrs/day to maintain a 35% relatively humidity given an outdoor temp of 30F. Electricity costs in the Washington, D.C. area is about $0.08/kWh.

In considering the electrical cost, you need to combine both the humidifier heater and furnace fan since the latter is used to distribute the humidity.

TrueSteam 9 gal/day unit draws 10 Amps
Furnace fan draws 6 Amps

(10+6 Amps) * (120 V) = 1920 Watts = 1.92 kWatts

(1.92 kW) * (12 hrs/day) = 23.04 kWh / day

(23.04 kWh/day) * (30 day/mo) * ($0.08/kWh) = $52.10 / month

You can substitute your own numbers for how long you think the unit will run per day and the cost of electricity in your area. But I would say your estimate of $40/mo is close.


In answer to the question about how vendors establish their unit operating costs, they make assumptions about "average" usage. E.g. The refrigerator will always be 75% filled w/ cold items, operated in a 72 deg room, the door will be opened for 10 mins/day, and there will be an introduction of 5% of items each day that are at a temp of 100F. Once the assumed usage is established, the calculations are similar to those shown above.
 
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Old 01-08-09, 06:44 PM
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"I called Honeywell (which was an exercise in frustration just trying to find out a phone number) and spoke to a representative in India who said that they could only talk about the features of the system, not its operating cost. When I pointed out that the operating cost would surely be considered a feature of the system, he just said it would be "impossible" to give me even a range or estimate. I don't know if that means they don't know or just don't want to say."


Honeywell is the manufacturer not the distributor or the contractor. If you want technical information on their products contact someone who sells it.
 
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Old 01-08-09, 07:05 PM
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I just had my 12 gallon truesteam installed and it raised my RH from 31 to 35 in 1 hour. (4000sq/ft tight home) I'm going to keep tabs on the electricity usage but it all depends on what I set my humidity level to and how often the unit needs to run to keep it there. My goal is to stay between 30 and 40 percent relative humidity during the winter and not develop a lot of moisture on the windows. If I had to guess I think the Unit will run about 6 hours a day. Right now its pretty cold < 10 degrees so I think I will be around the 30% mark most of the time.
 
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Old 01-10-09, 11:04 PM
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Here's a guess at what my monthly bill will be with it running for 5 hours per day as it has the last two days.
I pay about 10.5 cents per kilowatt. The Truesteam takes 12 amps so 12Amps*120Volts = 1440Watts * 5 hours = 7.2Kw * 10.5cents = 75.6 cents/per day * 30 days = $22.58 per month. I didn't consider the water used because I think it is very minimal.
 
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Old 01-11-09, 06:15 AM
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D,

Stop by RPU and you can get one of those "Kill-a-watt" meter from them.

We used it last fall just for kicks, and our TV and goodies pulled 680 watts!

YOu can use that meter for a week or more if you want.
 
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Old 01-11-09, 01:50 PM
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Yea I bought one several years back. Its fun to add up all the watts being used. Even those wall warts still draw current. I put my entire entertainment center and related equipment on a receptacle controlled by a wall switch. Every night before I head to bed I flip the switch so all of the equipment uses 0 watts during the night. I leave my satellite DVR always plugged in so it can record plus it takes a while for it to sync up after being unplugged.
 
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Old 01-20-09, 12:21 PM
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TrueSteam usage/cost update

I've had my truesteam plugged into a killawatt device for 10 days now and it has used 40kWatts which equates to a little less than $5 in electricity (11 cents a kWatt here in MN). I've noticed that it brings up the RH quickly from the 20s into the mid 30s but to get to 40%RH (assuming frost protection lets it) it takes many many hours of constant running, with temps in the high single digits to low 20s, and indoor temp at 68.

One thing to note is that it only uses 1250 watts and not 1440 like I reported above.
 
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Old 01-21-09, 07:46 AM
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I appreciate all the updates. I went ahead and installed the TrueSTEAM, but the addition is still very much unfinished so we haven't turned it on.

In the meantime, I finally found some documentation from Honeywell that includes a lot of charts detailing the typical operating costs of the unit, and they compare those costs with standard evaporative types. They make the argument that once you take water costs and other things into account, the TrueSTEAM is comparable (and in some cases even cheaper) to run than evaporative models. I haven't had the chance to study their calculations in depth, but here's the link to the pdf file should anybody else be interested in looking it over: http://www.forwardthinking.honeywell...in/50_1276.pdf


One issue that this document and some of the other threads on this forum make clear is that it is important that you buy the right size unit for your home. If you are undersized, the humidifier will run constantly (at great expense) yet never get the humidity up where you want it. They also made a reference to needing a bigger unit if you have tall ceilings, and the bedroom portion of our addition has vaulted ceilings to 12 feet. Hmm. I guess I will trust the HVAC guys to know what was required and that they ordered the right unit for us.
 
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Old 01-21-09, 09:58 AM
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It's volume of air in the desired living space that needs to be humidified and not just a square footage number. My opinion as I have stated is that the TrueSteam will most likely cost more to run than a bypass, however for homes that are very tight or have an over sized furnace, it will be more effective at humidifying the air space. I'm not an HVAC expert so this is just my opinion based on all the data I have looked at as an informed home owner.

The link you posted does a good job of explaining all the variables that affect humidification needs. It's slanted towards the TrueSteam of course because the article is from Honeywell. To play the devils advocate against the TrueSteams (even though I had one installed) I have some April Aire presentations that I got from one of my HVAC bids. If you would like to see these PM me or show me a good way to post a link to them and I will do so.
 
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Old 03-15-09, 10:52 PM
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A little over 2 months of operation and the added cost to my electricity bill for running the Truesteam is about $56. It has performed well in keeping my home at 40% RH when not restricted by frost protection.
 
 

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