Installing a whole house humidifier

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nkwak
Posts: 595
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:55 pm
Location: Pittsburgh PA suburbs

Installing a whole house humidifier

Post by nkwak »

I'm sure somebody here has done this themselves. My house is about 1800 sq ft in size and at one time had the old barrel type whole house humidifier installed on the supply side of the ductwork right off the furnace. It had stopped working a number of years ago due to excessive lime building - and frankly it was obsolete because of the design of the "filter" - so we had it removed when the furnace needed to be replaced several years ago.

Image

I've been looking at the Aprilaire 600 humidifier and I'm thinking that this is the perfect spot for it to go. Has anybody ever installed anything similar? If so, is it an easy DIY project for somebody like me who's done DIY projects like installing a line from a water supply line to an ice maker on a refrigerator, replacing aerators on sinks and replacing gaskets on lime-encrusted dishwasher air vents?

PS: I'm also thinking of tackling the lime issue with a water treatment system. Does anybody have any recommendations and is this a viable DIY project?
~ Neil
Diane Kauffmds
Posts: 2502
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm

Re: Installing a whole house humidifier

Post by Diane Kauffmds »

My husband is retired from 60 years as an HVAC professional. We have an April Air system in our house. I'm going to have him look at your photos and questions. I'll get back with you.
MaineGeezer
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:14 pm

Re: Installing a whole house humidifier

Post by MaineGeezer »

You might look at APEC water treatment equipment. I installed one of their under rhe sink water filters 5 or 6 years ago.The quuality seems excellent. They have whole house systems as well. (Usual disclaimers.)
See http://www.freedrinkingwater.com

If you decide not to do it yourself, Culligan is good. My paarents istalled a Culligan warer softener, and it was still working when they sold the house sone 50 years later.
Don't believe everything you know.
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
When things are bad, try not to make them any worse, because it is quite likely they are bad enough already. - French Foreign Legion
Cbstark46143
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:49 pm

Re: Installing a whole house humidifier

Post by Cbstark46143 »

I’ve installed a Honeywell in 2 different houses with great success.
It’s a good DIY project and there are plenty of videos available to help you along.
Diane Kauffmds
Posts: 2502
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm

Re: Installing a whole house humidifier

Post by Diane Kauffmds »

Sorry it took so long. I drew some things on your picture.

I talked to Frank and in his opinion, April Air makes the finest humidifiers, and he's worked with all of them. You shouldn't have any problem installing it yourself.

I drew 2 boxes on your photo. Box labeled "1", is the best place to install the unit, assuming you have the room. You'll need 6" round ducting to connect it to where you took off your old humidifier. Since the 600 has a side take off, you should only need 1-6" elbow, if installed in this place. Alternately, you could install it in block 2. You'll need a 1/4" waterline.

The April Air is made for 1/4" copper waterline, but you can substitute the plastic waterline used for refrigrators. You'll have to buy the right parts to connect it. Frank said to make sure that you run water through whatever line you choose, to clean it out before connecting.

Also, make sure you change the humidifier pad and oriface YEARLY.
Screenshot_20180401-174431.jpg
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nkwak
Posts: 595
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:55 pm
Location: Pittsburgh PA suburbs

Re: Installing a whole house humidifier

Post by nkwak »

Thanks, Diane.

I was thinking it would be best to put the unit at box #2 because it's a bigger area. The old drum type humidifier was mounted beneath spot #1 and the electrical outlet where you can see the bolted on patch in the duct. I'm thinking the previous homeowner installed it there himself. I don't recall if he had 6" tubing connecting the supply side vent (which I believe is above the air conditioning coils.)
~ Neil
Diane Kauffmds
Posts: 2502
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm

Re: Installing a whole house humidifier

Post by Diane Kauffmds »

nkwak wrote:Thanks, Diane.

I was thinking it would be best to put the unit at box #2 because it's a bigger area. The old drum type humidifier was mounted beneath spot #1 and the electrical outlet where you can see the bolted on patch in the duct. I'm thinking the previous homeowner installed it there himself. I don't recall if he had 6" tubing connecting the supply side vent (which I believe is above the air conditioning coils.)
Frank immediately knew the old system that you described. I can you you that he didn't think much of them, and he pulled a lot of them out.
We have extremely hard water. We replace the pad and oriface in our April Air yearly. You don't have to buy pads from April Air. You can find generic pads. Frank has always used April Air in our furnace systems.

Your old humidifier wouldn't have needed the supply duct, so the 6" duct wouldn't have been there. The April Air, at position 2, will need enough 6" duct to get it to the position that I marked. Since it's a side take off, you'll need 2-6" elbows.

He also said that the instructions included with April Air, are very good and easy to follow.
Diane Kauffmds
Posts: 2502
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm

Re: Installing a whole house humidifier

Post by Diane Kauffmds »

nkwak wrote:Thanks, Diane.

I was thinking it would be best to put the unit at box #2 because it's a bigger area. The old drum type humidifier was mounted beneath spot #1 and the electrical outlet where you can see the bolted on patch in the duct. I'm thinking the previous homeowner installed it there himself. I don't recall if he had 6" tubing connecting the supply side vent (which I believe is above the air conditioning coils.)
Frank immediately knew the old system that you described. I can you that he didn't think much of them, and he pulled a lot of them out.
We have extremely hard water. We replace the pad and oriface in our April Air yearly. You don't have to buy pads from April Air. You can find generic pads. Frank has always used April Air in our furnace systems.

Your old humidifier wouldn't have needed the supply duct, so the 6" duct wouldn't have been there. The April Air, at position 2, will need enough 6" duct to get it to the position that I marked. Since it's a side take off, you'll need 2-6" elbows.

He also said that the instructions included with April Air, are very good and easy to follow.
nkwak
Posts: 595
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:55 pm
Location: Pittsburgh PA suburbs

Re: Installing a whole house humidifier

Post by nkwak »

I'm so glad I decided to search through my old posts. I'd pushed this on the back burner because of a difficult summer managing my kids. With fall coming this has been on my mind. Diane, your and Frank's advice has been a Godsend. That being said, I think I'm changing my choice from the April Aire 600A to the 600M. My house is about 2,000 sq ft with an open floor plan and if I hadn't mentioned it the thermostat is in the 2 story foyer. If we ever decide to upgrade the thermostat to something more "modern" (i.e. one of those "smart" systems) then I'm told to forego the bells and whistles of the 600A. The 600M is $50 less on Amazon anyway.

My FIL and MIL live in Florida year round and hate coming to visit partly because the climate in our house is relatively inhospitable (bites tongue) but at one point my FIL actually had me drive him out to Home Depot to buy a similar type unit. They're coming to visit in November. If I don't get the chance to install it by then I can enlist him to help! ;)
~ Neil
Diane Kauffmds
Posts: 2502
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm

Re: Installing a whole house humidifier

Post by Diane Kauffmds »

You'll do fine with your choice. I'm glad we could help.
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