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Old 05-04-2008, 02:16 PM   #1
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Honeywell TrueSteam Humidifier Opinions/Experience


Hi, I know the humidification season is mostly over, but the new Honeywell TrueSteam Humidifier is starting to ship and I was wondering if anyone on this forum has any experience or opinions on them. I wanted to get one last fall when they were supposed to come out but product delays forced me to go in a different direction for humidification.

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Old 05-04-2008, 11:11 PM   #2
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Honeywell TrueSteam Humidifier Opinions/Experience


I don't know much about Honeywells new truesteam humidifiers, but I do know from experience steam humidifiers work well when maintained. The problem is the steam will shorten the life of your heat exchanger becuase it will cause it to rust out. I'm not sure if it's worth the trade-off.

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Old 09-12-2008, 02:34 PM   #3
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Honeywell TrueSteam Humidifier Opinions/Experience


Quote:
Originally Posted by sgthvac View Post
I don't know much about Honeywells new truesteam humidifiers, but I do know from experience steam humidifiers work well when maintained. The problem is the steam will shorten the life of your heat exchanger becuase it will cause it to rust out. I'm not sure if it's worth the trade-off.
Hi and thanks for the response.
Why does it shorten the life of the heat exchanger? The install instructions show that its mounted on the supply side after the exchanger. To work properly, when the humidifier turns on, so should the furnace fan which prevents any moisture from getting into the furnace.

I have a 4000sq ft home with a large air exchanger that got the Relative humidity down to 15% last winter. I'm trying to figure out if I would be better suited with a flow through unit like the April Air Model 700 or possibly even the bypass model 600, vs the Honeywell 12gallon Truesteam humidifier. The truesteam will be a little more expensive to purchase/install. The unknowns are, how effectively it will battle the air exchanger which we use to do air exchanges since our house is very tight and cost of operation. In operation, there is electricity, water, and parts/filters. The true steam has the advantage when it comes to water and parts/filters, but I think the AprilAir's come out way ahead on electricity usage. If anyone else has some info or an opinion, please weigh in. Thanks!
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Old 09-13-2008, 07:57 PM   #4
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Honeywell TrueSteam Humidifier Opinions/Experience


Just completed my first TruSteam install last week. Nice unit and there is no comparison against a flow through unit. The install cost and installation is by far higher than a flow through, but if you want humidity, then go with the TruSteam. My customer called me yesterday and said she has never had the humidity in her house until we put it in...and we replaced her flow through unit. You need to have a 120 v dedicated outlet for the humidifier and you can configure it to run with a Honeywell IAQ system or just let it run on its own via an internal fan relay and the humidistat. Good luck.
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Old 09-13-2008, 08:05 PM   #5
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Honeywell TrueSteam Humidifier Opinions/Experience


Quote:
Originally Posted by statman View Post
Just completed my first TruSteam install last week. Nice unit and there is no comparison against a flow through unit. The install cost and installation is by far higher than a flow through, but if you want humidity, then go with the TruSteam. My customer called me yesterday and said she has never had the humidity in her house until we put it in...and we replaced her flow through unit. You need to have a 120 v dedicated outlet for the humidifier and you can configure it to run with a Honeywell IAQ system or just let it run on its own via an internal fan relay and the humidistat. Good luck.
Did you install the 12 gallon version of the Truesteam? I'd be curious to see how much her electric bill goes up. I'm leaning towards the trueSteam but I still have to consult with a couple different contractors to see what their opinions and experience are with my type of setup. One of them will win my business
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Old 09-14-2008, 11:29 AM   #6
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We installed the 9 gallon unit in her house...it is just under 3000 sq. feet but has a unique insulation package and is very tight, so we could undersize the humidifier accordingly. For 4000 sq ft., I would go with the 12 gallon unit. As far as electrical goes, I'm sure you will use more but I dont think your bill is going to increase by 20 % or anything...depends on how long the unit runs and how well your house is insulated.
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Old 10-03-2008, 08:39 PM   #7
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Honeywell TrueSteam Humidifier Opinions/Experience


I sent this question to several companies selling the products listed in the title line.

Hi,
I'm the owner of a 4000square foot home, built in 2004, which is extremely tight. Because of this tightness I purchased a Venmar HE 2.6 air exchanger to exchange the air during the winter months. Unfortunately it did its job too well last year and got my Relative Humidity down to around ~17%. My hard wood floors did not like that very much. I'm considering 3 different model types of humidifier.
STEAM: The Honeywell TrueSTEAM Humidification System HM512DG115 12gallon.

FlowThru: The Honeywell Power Flow Humidifier HE365H8909 or the April Air 700

Bypass: The Honeywell Bypass Humidifier HE265A1007 or April Air 600

I would like your help to determine the pro's and con's of each type. A few things to note about my HVAC setup before I go into my understanding of the pros and cons. I live in MN and have a 4 year old 2 story house with 1345sq ft per level. The basement is unfinished and used only for storage right now. The house was built with a single stage Bryant 90+ furnace, which means it does not have a DC fan. My supply has 2 zones, 1 for the upstairs, and one for the main level and basement. The zones are controled by the Honeywell Environzone system, with an IAQ stat on the upstairs and main levels.

STEAM:
Pros - Much more efficient water usage. Requires cold water instead of hot which means my gas powered water heater doesn't need to run. Does not require furnace to be on, however I'm not sure if the furnace blower needs to be on. Can add humidity much faster than flow thru or bypass (I could be wrong on this though since the 12 gallon is only specced for a little over a 3000 sq ft home). Ease of cleaning??? In the past people have complained about deposit build ups in the steam humidifer tanks and on the heating element. Honeywell claims they have solved this problem with technology, but that remains to be seen since the product is still new.

Cons - Sucks the juice!!! Lots of electricity usage,which means usage costs could be very high. Water is cheap but electricity is not. Complex unit with lots of parts which could fail after warranty. New product with less than a year of consumer testing.

FLOWTHRU:
Pros - More efficient then bypass. DC fan powered so furnace blower does not need to be on (is this true?) I would think if the furnace and furnace blower are not on then a lot of water would be wasted because the cold air wouldn't generate as much heat. Proven product due to years of consumer testing.

Cons - Requires hot water, and electricity to run DC fan. Fan motor can sometimes fail. Filter changes can be nasty if "gunk" has built up.

Bypass:
Pros - Simple operation with very few parts that could go bad. Uses no electricity, and since water is cheap, the cost of operation is low.
Cons- Requires furnace and or blower to be on to operate. Uses hot water. Filter changes can be nasty if "gunk" has built up.

Please add to what I've said above or correct things that I am incorrect on. If you need more information about my setup, please ask. Thanks!


The answers I got back were surprisingly varied, with probably a slight advantage going to the passive bypass.

However thinking about my situation a little more where I'm using an air exchanger to replace stale air during cold winter months, makes me think that the steam approach is the way to go. My concern with the other 2 types is that they require the furnace to be running and because my house is well insulated I found that it didn't run for long periods of time. It will end up being a battle between the air exchanger and the humidifier and I think the air exchanger will win if the humidifier is dependent upon the furnace running.
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Old 11-13-2008, 10:33 AM   #8
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Honeywell TrueSteam Humidifier Opinions/Experience


Hi,
We just had a truesteam humidifier installed yesterday for our Arizona house complete with the visionpro total comfort system control and we are a bit confused by the directions. Can anyone help me?
Do we set the control fan on auto and the system on heat and the humidity level where we want it and wait? Our fan ran all night last night and the humidity barely changed. It certainly didn't get to level at which we had it set. There isn't anything specifically that tells me how everything should be set.
THanks
Let me clarify. What if I need humidity but I don't need heat. Can I just turn the fan on? How much energy does this take and will I get much humidity this way?
THanks

Last edited by Mindo; 11-13-2008 at 11:05 AM. Reason: to clarify
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Old 11-13-2008, 12:11 PM   #9
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Honeywell TrueSteam Humidifier Opinions/Experience


it can take 48 hrs or more to get humidity where you want it, with steam all you should have to do is set the h/stat where u want it and use your heat as you normally would the humid. should be wired to run the fan on its own reguardless of heat settings




to the original poster ive instlled and repaired all three types (aprilaire) the steam is by far the most impressive but also the most in need of repair in just a matter of 3 years i think the heating element went on one and on another the float ball rotted thru but i think the more steps you take to purify the entering water the less likely you are going to have problems the steams i worked on had minerals growing all over them when i pulled them out

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Old 11-13-2008, 03:46 PM   #10
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Thanks Ken,
I appreciate the info. Have you worked on these new Honeywell Truesteams yet? Is there a ball inside as well? I have very hard water in AZ and was wondering if I should clean it more than the once a year recommended.
THanks again
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:36 AM   #11
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Honeywell TrueSteam Humidifier Opinions/Experience


I ended up getting a TrueSteam and after a few days of use here are my thoughts.

Well so far I am pleased with it. I am monitoring the number of flushes it does to determine how long it is running. (I have one of those KillaWatt devices and will plug that into it tomorrow). It flushes every 10 hours and in the first 2 days it ran a total of 5 hours per day. I have a 4000sq/ft house that is fairly tight. I keep the indoor temp between 68 and 70. The outdoor temp has ranged between 5 and 15 the last couple of days. And my indoor RH setting is 30. The first hour after I had it installed, I let it run continuously and it raised my indoor RH from 30 to 34. I verified this 15mins/1%RH the next day when I monitored it bringing the RH up from 29 to 30. Just for the record, my air exchanger is what keeps my RH down and not infiltration. When I don't run my air exchanger the house gets stale fast and you can smell last nights dinner in the morning and I can usually maintain humidity

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.

Figuring out how much a byass would cost is a little harder. I'll take a guess since I don't know how much my water costs or how much my Natural gas costs off the top of my head. Lets assume its hooked to the warm water side of things to increase its efficiency. Most contractors I have talked to in my area suggest that be done. So here is my guess, I'd probably pay 5 to 10 bucks more in water usage since water is pretty cheap even if a lot is wasted. Natural gas to run the water heater more would probably cost 5 to 10 bucks a month more to. I'm not sure if the furnace blower fan would run more with a true steam or not so I'll just say that one is a wash. The install cost for the truesteam is roughly double that of a large bypass. The truesteam has an inline water filter that Honewell recomends changing every year. I priced it out at around 20 bucks. Bypass humidifiers also have a filter that should be changed once a year too. I think they range from 15 to 20 bucks. The truesteam has a lot more parts to go bad then a bypass, so maintenance might be more in the long run.

All in all I like the performance of my truesteam, however I think it will cost me a little more in the long run to operate it.

My recommendation would be if you have a loose house and/or your furnace runs a lot then go with a bypass because it will take advantage of the furnace running. However if you have a tight house and/or your furnace doesn't run much (possibly oversized) then the Truesteam might be a better solution.

I pondered my humidifier selection for a long time, partly because the Truesteams weren't ready for last years heating season. Would I have been happy with a bypass model, hard to say for sure, but my guess is probably yes. I chose the Truesteam because I felt it had the best chance of meeting my humidification needs, and so far it has done that.
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:24 AM   #12
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Didn't figure out for a bypass.

But, for the Aprilaire 700 power humidifier, connected to the hot water line, and water at a temp of 120F.

It would take the Aprilaire 700, 6.23 hours to put the same amount of moisture in the air.
It would use 1121.22 gallons of water total for the month.
It would cause the water heater to use 8.064 therms of gas more a month if the water heater is 80% efficient.

This is calculated for the humidifier to add all the moisture without the furnace running to supply additional heat to the water.

If the furnace were to run, it would lower the water consumption, and the gas usage of the water heater.
And make a slight increase in the gas the furnace consumes. How much depends on how efficient the water heater is.

The Truesteam is a good humidifier for tight houses that the furnace doesn't run much, and no room to install a powered humidifier.
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:30 AM   #13
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Why are you running your HRV down to such a low humidity level? You can set the de-humidistat to 30-35% and cycle it that way. Did the installer set it up to run continuosly/overide the de-humidistat. They do not need to run continuosly unless you have a smell problem or absolutely need lots of fresh air. Not easy for any humidifier to undo what the HRV is doing. I have one in my house. You really need to find a compromise between the 2 scenarios. I have large houses with very wealthy customers with very expensive grand pianos etc and hardwood floors etc. You cannot easily bring in lots of fresh air w/o losing humidity. Most people have to get the humidity up and have less fresh air or the pianos and hardwoods will get damaged. A continuos running furnace fan will give you circulation and help keep the windows from frosting.

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Old 01-11-2009, 04:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Why are you running your HRV down to such a low humidity level? You can set the de-humidistat to 30-35% and cycle it that way. Did the installer set it up to run continuosly/overide the de-humidistat. They do not need to run continuosly unless you have a smell problem or absolutely need lots of fresh air. Not easy for any humidifier to undo what the HRV is doing. I have one in my house. You really need to find a compromise between the 2 scenarios. I have large houses with very wealthy customers with very expensive grand pianos etc and hardwood floors etc. You cannot easily bring in lots of fresh air w/o losing humidity. Most people have to get the humidity up and have less fresh air or the pianos and hardwoods will get damaged. A continuos running furnace fan will give you circulation and help keep the windows from frosting.
Right now the HRV is a venmar HRV with the supra control, which has 3 settings, 20 minutes on 40 minutes off (min speed), constant on (min speed), constant on (max speed). There is also a frost protection de-humidistat. The 20 on 40 off setting is to much, I need something more like 5-10 on and the rest off. I'm working on connecting it to my IAQ environzone board and then I'll be able to fix those settings. Right now the truesteam humidifier is running about 5 hours per day to keep 30%RH in my home with the venmar running 20on 40 off. So in essense I've got more fresh air then I need and I'm wasting money to get it. I should have the HRV connected to my IAQ system soon.
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Old 01-11-2009, 04:13 PM   #15
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If yoou have an evirozone panel.
Why not hook your HRV to it.

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