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Humidifiers for the house, which ones, how do you control?


arw01

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the dry dry dry winter here has me thinking of putting in a humidifier shortly along with supported thermostats (thinking I will go Ecobee betting on the come of the built in support).

 

What kind of humidifiers are you guys controlling? Would you buy the same kind again?

 

Personally I am leaning towards a Honey Trusteam unit with a remote kit (boy a tube and a hose are expensive) and putting a UV lamp in. Would probably tie that UV lamp into the fan relay somehow, but may just put an appliancelinc on it and use the Thermostat to tell me when the fan is on and run the UV lamp. Figure i could get quite a bit more life out of the lamp that way.

 

Do you guys just run your main furnace fan every once in a while to stir the air a bit or ??

 

Thanks

Alan

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Would probably tie that UV lamp into the fan relay somehow, but may just put an appliancelinc on it and use the Thermostat to tell me when the fan is on and run the UV lamp. Figure i could get quite a bit more life out of the lamp that way.

 

Damn, why didn't I think of that. Great idea! Every bulb in my house is LED now, and this one was bugging me, due to how much power it consumes, 24x7.

 

I'll probable use an InlineLinc to do this though.

 

Thanks!

 

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD

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Do you think having the UV lamp has helped?

 

I want mine right over the coils, but the HVAC guy plans a bypass humidifier right there and the UV folks say that will damage the plastic of the humidifier. Which means moving the humidifier or going to a steam unit for more money.

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so a trip through costco showed me what a "bypass" humidifier is. Not sure I want a big ugly pipe running from one plenum to the other plenum.

 

All you fellows out there with humidifiers, would you mind chiming in on how they have been, how you automate them and would you do it again? This one below is not mine. My plenums are not straight up and down at all, and I have not been convinced that having a bypass type humidifier is ok on a slope.

 

dsci0461.jpg

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I use a flow through (bypass) humidifier similar to the one in the photo. It runs on 24 V so I use an IO Linc in latching mode to control it. The nice thing about the IO Linc is that I also use the sense with a low voltage detector probe into the mini jack of the IO Linc (that I can no longer find at Smarthome :-() to detect a furnace heat call so I only run the humidifier (and other stuff) when there's a heat call and for about 3 minutes after. These flow through humidifiers drop water down an evaporator pad every 30 seconds and not much evaporates when the air going through is cold. Mine, and I suspect most, has a temp sensor to work around this but I don't use it.

 

I also installed a motorized NC duct damper in the bypass because the bypass needs to be closed at minimum during AC season and, in may opinion, whenever the humidifier is not needed. The duct damper is fed by the same 24V source and controlled by the same IO Linc relay as the humidifier.

 

You can read more on my HVAC and other non lighting stuff at viewtopic.php?f=48&t=10174

 

Hope this helps.

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I use a Smarthome I/O Linc 2450 to control an Aprilaire 600 humidifier. It works very well in conjunction with my furnace fan and a wood heater. I don't use the electric furnace for heat but I do use its powerful fan to push the warm air around the house. The water for the humidifier is taken from the hot water tank.

There is a switch on one of the Keypadlincs that is used to control household humidification. I also have it programmed into my Demopad application used on the iPad.

Basically if the fan is already running when I turn on humidification the humidifier will get activated, if the fan is not running it will turn on the fan and humidifier. I have another program that will turn off the humidification when it reaches a certain level which is always active. If the power to the hot water tank is off then the program will turn it on while humidification is running. I try to keep my humidity level to around 40% but sometimes its not possible because its just too cold outside to maintain that level.

 

Aprilaire_zps380c26fa.jpg

 

Aprilaire2_zps886afbaf.jpg

 

IOLinc2450_zps311aabea.jpg

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All you fellows out there with humidifiers, would you mind chiming in on how they have been, how you automate them and would you do it again?

 

"Automating" the humidifier is one of those things that, to me, is a solution looking for a problem. My thermostat takes care of this. It appears to work well. Yes, it would be pretty cool to integrate HVAC with my ISY so that pressing my "away" button resets HVAC, but I otherwise percieve little value. My thermostat has all the programming I need. It handles humidity. The fan circulates the air when needed and I have control over that. I have remote access. I am not sure what other benefit I would get.

 

It seems a lot of people do it, however. I am sure I am just missing something.

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It seems a lot of people do it, however. I am sure I am just missing something.

 

If you have a standard furnace set up then it might not prove to be an advantage to automate it using ISY, in that case its probably best to let the furnaces own functionality control it.

 

In my case I don't use the electric furnace to heat the house but I do use the furnace fan to push the heat from the wood heater and the humidity around the home. I like to use a mix of manual control and automation to control humidity. When I want the humidifier on I flick a switch on the keypadlinc and it stays on until I turn it off or it hits 40% which is programmed into ISY. At times I get moisture on the inside of the windows and I like to be able to manually turn off the humidifier when this occurs. This is dependant on the outside temperature which is not something I monitor. Its also a little dependant on the how well the house is insulated so a little hard to program for.

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... It seems a lot of people do it, however. I am sure I am just missing something.

My furnace/stat combo doesn't manage humidity and recirculation so I'm glad I've got the ISY. I have to say even if I had the choice I'm not sure I would pay extra next time I buy a furnace for the heating company to take care of it because I'm betting it's a little crude in its intelligence. Maybe not, though; particularly, I would hope, if there's an outdoor temp sensor.

 

The indoor humidity setting is highly dependent on outside temperature (if you don't want mold in your walls). Based on the mapping indicated on my humidistat and stuff I found on the net, I wrote some programs to set the recommended indoor humidity level. It's brute force programming but there's no easy equation for it (I think it actually requires Calculus):

 

Here is my HomeSeer program (script) for it, which is both easier to post and was easier to program - but I happily moved it to the ISY:

 

Temp is in Celcius

 

if lngTempToUse < -28.8 then
 intTargetHumidity = 15
else
 if lngTempToUse < -27.7 then
   intTargetHumidity = 16    
 else
   if lngTempToUse < -26.6 then
     intTargetHumidity = 17
   else
     if lngTempToUse < -25.5 then
       intTargetHumidity = 18
     else
       if lngTempToUse < -24.4 then
         intTargetHumidity = 19
       else
         if lngTempToUse < -23.3 then
           intTargetHumidity = 20
         else
           if lngTempToUse < -22.2 then
             intTargetHumidity = 21
           else
             if lngTempToUse < -21.1 then
               intTargetHumidity = 22
             else
               if lngTempToUse < -20 then
                 intTargetHumidity = 23
               else
                 if lngTempToUse < -18.9 then
                   intTargetHumidity = 24
                 else
                   ' 0F = -17.7 C -> 25%
                   if lngTempToUse < -17.7 then
                     intTargetHumidity = 25
                   else
                     if lngTempToUse < -16.6 then
                       intTargetHumidity = 26
                     else
                       if lngTempToUse < -15.5 then
                         intTargetHumidity = 27
                       else
                         if lngTempToUse < -14.4 then
                           intTargetHumidity = 28
                         else
                           if lngTempToUse < -13.3 then
                             intTargetHumidity = 29
                           else
                             ' 10F = -12.2 C -> 30%
                             if lngTempToUse < -12.2 then
                               intTargetHumidity = 30
                             else
                               if lngTempToUse < -11.1 then
                                 intTargetHumidity = 31
                               else
                                 if lngTempToUse < -10 then
                                   intTargetHumidity = 32
                                 else
                                   if lngTempToUse < -8.9 then
                                     intTargetHumidity = 33
                                   else
                                     if lngTempToUse < -7.8 then
                                       intTargetHumidity = 34
                                     else
                                       if lngTempToUse < -6.7 then
                                         intTargetHumidity = 35
                                       else
                                         if lngTempToUse < -5.6 then
                                           intTargetHumidity = 36
                                         else
                                           if lngTempToUse < -4.5 then
                                             intTargetHumidity = 37
                                           else
                                             'max is 38%     
                                             intTargetHumidity = 38
                                           End If
                                         End If
                                       End If
                                     End If
                                   End If
                                 End If
                               End If
                             End If
                           End If
                         End If
                       End If
                     End If
                   End If
                 End If
               End If
             End If
           End If
         End If
       End If
     End If
   End If
 End If
End If

Below is a snapshot of my ISY programs (to show why it would be hard to post). There's probably many ways to do this but I like this way because (FWIW) the fewest required number of programs actually run, and only one when the outside temp is above -4.5 C. I use only integer variables and only check the temp periodically since it doesn't have to be adjusted that precisely given that outdoor temp changes relatively slowly.

 

Edit: yes, the low temp in my programs is an extreme, even where I live in eastern Ontario (Canada) where it can get very cold (-22 C last week) but that low and below is rare.

post-2125-140474157718_thumb.png

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I use a fan-powered Honeywell. It's very similar (same water system) to the bypass but uses a fan to recirculate the air on the furnace outlet side so no bypass ducting is required. You never have to bother with closing a duct because it doesn't exists, you just don't turn the unit on.

http://yourhome.honeywell.com/home/Prod ... HE360A.htm

 

I agree with Oberkc on keeping this away from HA. If you have a thermostat that supports humidifiers, use it.

I have a Honeywell VisionPro IAQ which does, I set the desired humidty level on the thermostat and it does the rest. It also has a "frost" level setting and outdoor temperature sensor to handle johnnyt's concerns about mold/mildew.

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