Humidifier Recommendations

shw001February 21, 2013

I am thinking of replacing my General Aire 1137 humidifier. Are other brands, such as AprilAir better, more effective, more reliable? Any opinions, experiences?

My current unit works with water flowing over a pad that has many perforations. A fan blows air over the pad into the plenum. Excess water dripping down from the pad goes through a tube into the drain.

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I would recommend the Honeywell âÂÂTrueSTEAMâ series of humidifier. These units do not rely on evaporation from a hot air stream from your furnace and will work effectively as long as the blower is on. There is less chance of mold or pathogen growth (Legionella); altogether a better system.

However, these units are high-end and will be priced as such.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 10:01AM
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As with any humidifier, be willing to do the necessary maintenance to keep them reliably working. With bypass humidifiers, you should plan to replace the water pad once a year or so depending on your water quality. With steam humidifiers, quarterly or biyearly cleaning may be required as mineral buildup does cause issues (dependent on a home's water quality). I've been happy with a simple bypass humidifier. Steam humidifiers are nice, but they don't eliminate the need for maintenance. In a sense, they require more maintenance to work properly.

Since you currently have a bypass type, what issues are you experiencing? Average winter home RH%? I assume the pad has been recently replaced, as that will improve your evaporation capacity. Lots of people expect their humidifiers to do more than they really can in "solving" humidity problems. The need for humidification arises from poor air sealing/excess dry air infiltration into the home. Humidifiers help, but if your humidity is so uncomfortably low then you might look at other avenues beyond a more expensive humidifier.

This post was edited by ryanhughes on Wed, Feb 27, 13 at 10:18

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 10:05AM
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The General AIre unit is functioning OK, but not great. Humidity is about 40%, which is at the low end of the acceptable range. Pad is fresh, but solenod is going and maybe another part.

Since I have to replace $80-100 of parts, I thought I would replace the unit, which is just over $200 and and easy install, since it is the same model. However, if I knew another unit was better, I would buy it, even if it costs more.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 4:21PM
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What humidity are you trying to achieve? With 40% indoor RH, what is the outdoor temp/humidity? 40% is good when it's very cold out (30s or below) and the air is dry outside. Any more and you could start to develop condensation on the windows.

I'm not sure what %RH you were able to achieve before your humidifier started having issues, but for many old homes, 40% would be great when outside air is cold/dry.

FYI, I keep my humidifier set at 35%, and it's able to maintain close to that (give or take) for the majority of winter weather conditions here in MD.

I'm curious to hear others' opinions on this. I personally like the Aprilaire line of humidifiers, from the model 600 bypass to the 800 steam unit. Just make sure you have realistic expectations whichever route you go.

This post was edited by ryanhughes on Wed, Feb 27, 13 at 19:43

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 7:32PM
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"FYI, I keep my humidifier set at 35%, and it's able to maintain close to that (give or take) for the majority of winter weather conditions here in MD. "


This is precisely the way I operate my heating humidifier in my 40 year old home.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 8:47PM
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I think 35% is a good setting, although some people desire more, which is fine. But 45% is the maximum the Aprilaire (bypass type) are designed to maintain (per their manual). And that's not easy to achieve in older homes with more air leakage through the envelope. Not to mention the potential for window condensation due to difference in indoor/outdoor dew point. The steam type would theoretically be more affective at adding moisture as they add steam to the supply air vs. bypassing some amount of air through a water pad.

Humidifiers aren't really a cure to low humidity problems. They are an accessory to add comfort in the winter when air conditions are typically dryer. If you really want less humidity problems and to save energy costs, best thing to do is seal your home better to solve the actual problem.

This post was edited by ryanhughes on Wed, Feb 27, 13 at 22:02

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 9:44PM
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I bought this one a month ago and I put it in my room, I like the light of this humilifier, if you want to get one in your baby room,
you'd better get one without noise.

Here is a link that might be useful: best humilifier

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 3:17AM
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