Do you have a whole house humidifier? Do you like it?

Title pretty much says it all.


Our central air conditioning unit has a dehumidifier built in (just had a new one installed last month). Can’t tell the difference- if anything, the house seems muggier than before.

No not anymore. It was helpful during the extremely cold day’s when almost no water was in the air. It’s worth it if you can afford it and your house gets too dry for you.

That is the opposite that was asked about.

We have an Aprilaire and I love it, but I had to disconnect it. Our water is really hard. Mineral deposits built up in the furnace and the furnace stopped working. The repairman removed probably two quarts of rust-colored particles from the furnace tubing. If I had $40 a month to spend for filters for the Aprilaire, I might use it again, but I don’t want to risk ruining the furnace. (I was replacing the filters twice a season, and that wasn’t enough.)

If you have soft water, go for it. We were able to get the humidity in the 40-50% range with the Aprilaire, and we had fewer colds. It was really comfortable.

I have what looks like an antique Carrier humidifier attached to a forced air furnace. There’s a humidistat in the return air duct just above the furnace. The humidistat has an uncalibrated dial to set the desired humidity level. I found that 1/3 way up is around 35%.

The humidifier uses a “filter” which is really a one foot square box of aluminum mesh about 3" thick. When the humidistat senses the humidity is too low, it opens a valve which lets water flow over the top of the filter and over the mesh. Air flows through the mesh and pick up water vapor. Excess water flows out the bottom into a drain.

The filter gets full of deposits and needs to be replaced once each year. Each filter is about $12. The rest of the system stays free of deposits.

I have one - it “came with the house.” It’s almost exactly as Ex_Chemist describes, except it’s Aprilaire. It’s not fancy, you have to manually move the humidity level up or down as the temperature changes, but I do notice a difference. I never have static until I visit someone else’s house (that’s a big plus since I have a long-haired dog).

I do turn my system off in the summer - I close the flap in the outgoing air duct and turn off the water (the water comes from a tap in the pipe that goes to the hot water heater).

I get my filters from FiltersUSA, which I am only mentioning because IIRC it took me a while to find a good dealer for my old humidifier.

No static, fewer colds, less of that gritty-eyes-oh-yeah-the-furnance-is-running feeling – sounds good.

Do they cause any condensation around the vents?

Love mine. When I replace the HVAC system, I insisted on another humidifier. Those department store misters just don’t do it. I’m from a climate where it’s cold in the winter (Michigan, not Mexico City).

:smack: Sorry.

The house we moved into 3 years ago has forced hot air (natural gas). During the colder winter months, the air can be very dry. The first year we had a lot of bloody noses in the morning. We made do with a room humidifier in the bedroom, but the rest of the house was always very dry. I started to put moisturizer on my hands every morning before leaving for work. Hands and fingertips chapped and cracked. Not fun.

I then installed a whole house humidifer - Hamilton 12HF. Picked it up for < $100 at Lowe’s, and installed it in a couple hours. I do a lot of my own car work nowadays, so I’m comfortable with being handy. If it weren’t for a stupid mistake where I nicked the A/C evap coil when drilling into the ductwork above the furnace, it would have been a quick and cheap project. Oh, except for the fact that you have to run water to it, as well as have a pump to drain away waste water. In my case, when I installed a utility sink in the basement, I was thinking ahead and tee’d off and capped the cold water line, so it was virtually all plumbed by the time the humidifer was ready to be installed. And for the pump, I just used flexible drain tube and run it into the A/C condensate pump that was already in place.

Last winter was the first season it was in operation, and I noticed a huge difference. While things were still dry (especially compared to a muggy summer day), they were much more comfortable. Dry skin wasn’t near as much of a problem, and my bloody noses went away.

The model we have has an easily removable evap filter that gets replaced once/year. What happens is this:

  1. heat turns on
  2. sensor on the humidifier senses that the temperature has risen, and ‘turns on’ the humidifier.
  3. when the humidifier is on, it shoots a 2 second long burst of water onto the filter every 30 seconds.
  4. air from the duct (post heating) gets diverted and crosses over hte filter, evaporating the water
  5. once a humidistat senses the humidity has reached the configured level, it stops.

It works pretty well. It does waste some water, but only shooting 2 seconds of water per 30 seconds of operation is pretty efficient compared to some models. I only noticed a small increase in the water bill (from maybe $70 for three months to maybe $100).
The humidistat function of it doesn’t really work in our setup - the heat isn’t on long enough to actually get the whole house to the configured humidity. So I just leave the dial set to 100%, and it reaches probably 40% or so - the low end of the comfort zone.

Agree with previous poster that the misters dont work. The cool mist ones are a pain in the ass (at least the one I had) to keep primed, and the warm ones get crudded up with minerals - And I live in eastern MA which has very soft water. I’ve never noticed anything resembling condensation - which is something I was actually concerned about before installing it. Probably part of that is the fact that it isn’t able to get the humidity anywhere close to 100%. So in the end, the air going through the duct is still drier than the air going through the ducts in the summer time when things are hot and muggy.

I don’t have a whole house humidifier. However, I do use several room humidifiers during the cooler months, and I find that we are much more comfortable.

This is all great info. We currently use the room units to keep us from having bloody noses / sinus headaches when the furnaces is running. So I am a fan of using humidifiers, but the room ones are such a pain.

We had one installed at the old house when we replaced the furnace, and we were so glad that we did. It was so much more comfortable in the winter with the humidifier. When we moved to the new house there was already a whole-house unit incorporated into the furnace. We use it every winter. Love it.

I’ve never seen any condensation from mine. The manual says that if your windows fog over, you’ve got the humidity too high. I’ve never come close to having that problem.