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Old 12-12-2013, 01:16 PM   #1
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Humidifier options


I'm looking to add a whole house humidifier to my forced air furnace and was wondering what the best setup would be - bypass or powered fan? I've heard that sometimes the fan powered ones are noisy and that they draw in unconditioned air (and let conditioned air escape when not running), but they are more effective at adding humidity. Any opinions on the options would be helpful, thanks.

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Old 12-12-2013, 02:35 PM   #2
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Humidifier options


I kinda like the bypass setup, Aprilaire seems to have the best product out there.
With the right controls, you can setup the furnace blower to run when humidity is needed. Hot water plumbed to the unit also makes it a little more effictive.

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Old 12-14-2013, 06:58 AM   #3
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Humidifier options


I prefer bypass.
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:19 AM   #4
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Humidifier options


I have a powered humidifier and like it a lot. It's an Aprilaire 700 and is going on 8 years with no issues. I like these for the compact install (no bypass duct to route between supply and return). It does make a little fan noise that gets transmitted into the supply ducts, but I don't find it objectionable, and it needs a 110v outlet to plug into for power. I don't see any significant air leakage from the housing, and certainly nowhere near how much cfm as you lose with a bypass unit. And it puts out good humidity, esp connected up to the hot water line. But most folks seem to go with bypass type for the simplicity... although they have the same solenoid valve that needs to be energized. They just lack the fan. Not really that much difference in complexity IMHO.
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:45 AM   #5
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Humidifier options


Bypass can be installed on the return, where it won't damage the control board of the furnace if it has a water over flow.

Bypass work better on horizontal installed furnaces.

Bypass help with air flow hindered systems, to reduce over heating of the heat exchanger.

Its not the complexity that counts. its the application its in.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:39 AM   #6
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If you are looking at Lennox, beware that their bypass model HCWB12 is not effective. I have it and my house is ~30% despite the thermostat setting being >40%.

The reviews on the Lennox website describe similar experiences.

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Old 12-17-2013, 01:16 PM   #7
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......
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Old 12-17-2013, 06:38 PM   #8
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Is it true that you lose much cfm using a bypass? My Carrier furnace has a dip switch that they say should be set to on when using a bypass humidifier to compensate for the increased temp. in return air resulting from the bypass. I haven't set it to on since my LAT is already below mid point of the recommended temp. rise. However, I could use more airflow coming from my registers.
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:45 PM   #9
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Better then 150 CFM.
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
Better then 150 CFM.
So if I turn the dip switch to on how many degree temp drop do you think I will see?
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepgrady View Post
So if I turn the dip switch to on how many degree temp drop do you think I will see?
No idea. I don't know how much increase in air flow it will give you. best to change it and see what the difference is.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by escapehatch View Post
If you are looking at Lennox, beware that their bypass model HCWB12 is not effective. I have it and my house is ~30% despite the thermostat setting being >40%.

The reviews on the Lennox website describe similar experiences.
The humidifier can only do what it can. It may be undersized. You should try sealing your home more and adding insulation where ever you can. Most homes that can't raise the humidity are losing humidity due to infiltration.

Ensure you have replaced the water panel every heating season, and it may be necessary to plumb with hot water also.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvactech126 View Post
The humidifier can only do what it can. It may be undersized. You should try sealing your home more and adding insulation where ever you can. Most homes that can't raise the humidity are losing humidity due to infiltration.

Ensure you have replaced the water panel every heating season, and it may be necessary to plumb with hot water also.
Fwiw it is a new (7 months) and came with the SLP98. The house is small (1200 sq ft) and pretty well sealed.

The reviewers on the Lennox website seem to have the same problem I am having with the humidifier.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:55 PM   #14
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That humidifier design has been used for many years by Aprilaire. It's not the humidifier... unless it is undersized or not working, but it shouldn't be at only 1200 sqft
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:42 PM   #15
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Finally got the installer back to check on the Lennox (HCWB12) bypass humidifier. They had forgotten to connect the electrical in the furnace! Now it works - kind of. The water flowing into the unit makes a loud hissing sound. Much of it just runs out the hose at the bottom (hate to think how much water is being used/wasted). The humidity level has gone up somewhat but it is not able to get above 40%.

Next year I will try to find a better alternative, even if it means not working with the fancy icomfort thermostat.

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