Placing ultrasonic humidifier near return

Reply

  #1  
Old 02-12-16, 04:31 PM
F
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 446
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Placing ultrasonic humidifier near return

The air in my condo is ridiculously dry. I was thinking of placing my ultrasonic humidifier somewhere near the return and have the furnace blow some humidity through the whole unit, as opposed to having it in just one room. The humidifier is a Venta VS-207 and has a brand new filter and I normally use filtered water from the fridge to keep down the white dust.

The furnace filter is one week old.

Thoughts?. Any chance of doing damage to the furnace component(s)?.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 02-12-16, 04:56 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 59,118
Received 1,113 Votes on 1,033 Posts
I don't think you'll get enough damp air into the system to hurt anything.
 
  #3  
Old 02-12-16, 06:04 PM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,514
Received 37 Votes on 34 Posts
Hi fx,
The reason your air is dry is because it is constantly being replaced by outside air. When that outside air is warmed up its relative moisture content drops like a rock. If you can slow the infiltration you can raise the moisture level in your home. A condo may be more difficult to air seal, but anything you can do will help. Is your basement finished or can you see the joists and floor above? Do you have an attic access point, is it well sealed? More info, more help.

Bud
 
  #4  
Old 02-12-16, 06:06 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 21,119
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
You also won't get enough humidity increase to help anything. That's a single room humidifier and would be no help for the whole unit.
 
  #5  
Old 02-12-16, 07:53 PM
F
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 446
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The condo is sealed pretty tight. No basement.
 
  #6  
Old 02-12-16, 08:50 PM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,514
Received 37 Votes on 34 Posts
Hi again, the reality is they can't be sealed too tight as they would be uninhabitable. Because you are experiencing low humidity we know your house is exchanging air more than it should. The ideal target is one complete air exchange every 3 hours. More leakage than that and you get dry air. Less and you have high humidity and condensation on the windows.

People and their activities generate a lot of moisture, more than enough if we don't share it with the outdoors.

Here's some reading on the subject: Where is the humidity going? - Fine Homebuilding Question & Answer

Bud
 
  #7  
Old 02-13-16, 04:40 AM
F
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 446
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Very informative article. Thank you. I did it overnight anyway and found the humidity rose by about 10 points in all the rooms this morning, so it looks like it did make a small difference. I am into the mid to high 20's now as opposed to high teens. Will monitor during the day and post again later tonight. Thanks all for the responses.
 
  #8  
Old 02-13-16, 07:25 AM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,514
Received 37 Votes on 34 Posts
The nice part about reducing the air leakage is it's permanent and it reduces your heating costs. With humidifiers you have to keep adding and adding and adding and if you stop you are right back where you started.
https://www.energystar.gov/ia/partne...ide_062507.pdf

Bud
 
  #9  
Old 02-13-16, 10:09 AM
F
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 446
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks, Bud. That last link is awesome. Much obliged.
 
  #10  
Old 02-23-16, 11:59 AM
E
Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 23
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
About the only down side I can see using an ultrasonic unit and feeding the mist into the RAG is that the ultrasonic unit will allow hard water precipitates to fall out after the water droplets have dried. This 'might' result in finding tiny little pieces of white dust all over the home. (Don't use biostatics in these type of units).

(Not certain as to what type of filter you are using on the refrigerator, if it's a sediment filter or charcoal filter, will not help much. They do make small softener cartridges that are recharged by soaking in salt water. These pull out hardness and would eliminate the 'white dust', but are more maintenance.

The mist will not hurt the heating equipment however.

You might have to consider using two units to raise the humidity sufficiently, on the really cold days (<10F).

Let it run for several days, humidity takes time to build up.
 
  #11  
Old 02-23-16, 06:03 PM
F
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 446
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I tried for 2 days, and the humidity level did go up, and had some white dust throughout the condo. I checked the furnace filter and it had quite a bit of white "cake" on it, so I stopped the experiment and changed the furnace filter. The filter on the fridge is a charcoal cartridge type.

In the future, I will just run the humidifier in whatever room it needs to be.
 
  #12  
Old 02-23-16, 07:30 PM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,514
Received 37 Votes on 34 Posts
Even when the ultrasonic humidifier is not feeding the return, it is still pumping those minerals into the air and they will be deposited somewhere.

Solve the air leakage issue and your humidity will go up naturally.

Bud
 
  #13  
Old 02-26-16, 01:18 PM
E
Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 23
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Have you considered installing a furnace mount humidifier? It really makes a difference in the winter months when the air is so dry. No white dust with the evaporative types.
 
  #14  
Old 02-26-16, 01:35 PM
E
Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 23
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
[quote]Solve the air leakage issue and your humidity will go up naturally.
Bud [\quote]

Actually the problem is in modern homes, there are sealed too tightly. In older homes , there was more natural infiltration and that allowed more outside air to leak in (increasing the humidity).

In a modern dwelling, the latest IEEC (International Energy Efficiency Code) requires everything to be sealed; such as where cables pass through holes in the interior & exterior wall top plates into attic cavity), higher infiltration standards for windows and doors, etc.

This drops the infiltration way down and when the outside air is heated, the RH drops dramatically. What might be 20-30% RH outside becomes 5% RH after being heated. Sealing around electrical outlets in walls (BOTH interior and exterior) and around windows and doors, will help to prevent drafts and possibly lower your energy bill. Will have little effect on the dry interior air however.

Showers and bathing help, as does cooking on the stove, but it's a limited effect, not lasting all night when it's needed most. About the only real fix is to install a furnace-mount, central humidifier with an automatic control and fix the problem for good.

Dry air is hard on the nasal passages, lungs, eyes and building products (furniture, walls, floors, etc.) Personally, I would never go a winter without a central humidifier. The Sears Kenmore 3000 on the furnace now was bought somewhere back in the late 1980's or early 1990's and has paid for itself over and over.
 
  #15  
Old 02-26-16, 02:04 PM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,514
Received 37 Votes on 34 Posts
Hi enigma, I need to correct some of your post.
"more outside air to leak in (increasing the humidity)."
This is winter and the op is in NJ, so the outside air once heated will be much drier as you also posted.
Then "Sealing .... Will have little effect on the dry interior air however."
Not correct.
Here is the point you are missing. Too much air exchange results in very dry inside air. There is a sweet spot between too much leakage and being too tight, right around 0.35 air changes per hour. We know when we hit this level by either testing or by watching the window. When condensation forms on very cold nights you are pretty close.

Normal activities showers, cooking, and respiration supply lots of moisture and when this balance between too much and too little is reached no humidifier is needed.

If you have been running a humidifier since the late 80's you have paid thousands of dollars on wasted heat, assuming you live in a heating climate.
Humidity control other than plug in De/humidifier | GreenBuildingAdvisor.com

Bud
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: