Should I run my Aprilaire 800 at 11.5 amps or 16 amps?

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Old 12-01-16, 09:17 AM
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Should I run my Aprilaire 800 at 11.5 amps or 16 amps?

I just had this unit installed on a dedicated 240v circuit. Right now it's set for 11.5 amps and humidifies the house satisfactorily. I'm wondering if I would save money on electricity if I set it for 16 amps.

In my layman's pea-brain, I was thinking maybe it would satisfy the RH setpoint a lot faster at 16 amps and I might be using less electricity. But then the draw at 16 amps would be greater and maybe it would actually be more juice used. What do you experts think? Thanks.
 
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Old 12-03-16, 04:50 AM
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Cheaper to run humidifier at 11.5 or 16 amps?

I posted this question on the humidifiers board, but didn't get any responses. I realized it was a better fit for this board - hope I'm not breaking any rules by posting it again.

I have an Aprilaire 800 humidifier installed on a dedicated 240v circuit. I can set a dip-switch to run it at 11.5 or 16 amps. Right now it's set for 11.5 amps and humidifies the house satisfactorily. I'm wondering if I would save money on electricity if I set it for 16 amps.

In my layman's brain, I was thinking maybe it would satisfy the RH setpoint a lot faster at 16 amps and I might be using less electricity. But then the draw at 16 amps would be greater and maybe it would actually be more juice used. What do you experts think? Thanks.
 
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Old 12-03-16, 06:58 AM
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All things the same, it will cost you more to run it at 16 amps. This is because you pay for electricity per Kilowatt hour. (Kwh) That is 1000 watts per hour. If your rate is .15 cents per Kwh, and you ran 10 - 100 watt light bulbs for one hour, it would cost you .15 cents to run them for that hour.

Your humidifier is running on 240 volts. At 11.5 amps it is using 2760 watts. At 16 amps it is using 3840 watts. That is a difference of 1080 watts. So, it will cost you more at the higher setting, but only about .15 (or whatever your rate is) per hour of run time.

IMO - I would leave it at the lower setting if it is working well for you.
 
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Old 12-03-16, 07:22 AM
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I'd think about this from a different angle. You need to add X gallons of water per hour/day/whatever to the air in the form of steam to hold your RH setpoint.

It requires the same amount of energy to turn X gallons of water to steam if you do it slowly or quickly, assuming incoming water is the same temperature (within reason). So I don't think the cost will be different whether you run it at higher rate for less time or lower rate for more time.

There are other minor factors but the cost of the energy to vaporize the water is the biggest factor by far.

Running at the low rate for longer probably gives you more even humidification, as long as it can hold the setpoint.
 
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Old 12-03-16, 07:23 AM
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Thanks for the responses

Tolyn Ironhead - So it sounds like I need to do some experimentation and then some arithmetic. I know that I could satisfy the RH setpoint faster at 16 amps, so the number of hours needed to run each day would be fewer than running at 11.5 amps. But exactly how many hours fewer will determine whether the overall kwh used is greater or less. Right?

If I needed to run it for, say, 10 hours at 11.5 amps to achieve the same humidification as running 5 hours at 16 amps, then I would have used 27.6 kwh at the 11.5 amp setting, but only 19.2 at the 16 amp setting. Is this right?

Carbide Tipped - This sounds right as well.

If anyone had some real-world experience with something like this that they could add, it would be appreciated. The experimentation route is time-consuming, and if I knew the answer in advance, it would save some money.
 

Last edited by kancamagus; 12-03-16 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 12-03-16, 07:38 AM
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I would say that running it at the higher setting would not get it to the setpoint in half the time. Math will tell you that. I would suspect it would only get there about 30% faster.

All in all, I would think it would be a wash. It would get to the set point 30% faster, but it would use 30% more power to get there.

Also, you should think about how fast you want the humidity to get into the air. Just like it is better for an A/C unit to run longer because it removes moisture from the air, I would think it would be better to introduce moisture into the air more slowly. Just my opinion.
 
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Old 12-03-16, 12:41 PM
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Your two threads are merged.

They are not very common humidifiers. I've only worked on two of them.

Based on maintenance.... I would run the unit on the lower amperage setting as long as it's meeting the demand.
 
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