There are some professionals who liken whole home humidifiers to "mold machines".
Since I've started to notice mold in my attic crawl space, I had my HVAC technician drain and disconnect the humidifier while he was doing our yearly maintenance.
Now I'm not so sure it was a great idea. Recently, I have been reading other professionals who say that the "mold machine" accusation is way off base and they talk up the benefits of home humidification; better for sinus and lungs, better for wood floors and trim, etc...
What is your experience/opinion?
They are actually both right. Controlled humidity is much more comfortable for people and much better for wood. However, the common in-duct humidifier that uses an absorbent wheel and fan can become a mold-machine quite easily. Regular application of chemicals can keep mold from starting but unless you have a more sophisticated humidifier that does this automatically eventually you will forget.
Steam or mist type humidifiers are better but even with those you are adding humid air in to the ductwork, creating a place for mold to grow.
We gave up on our in-duct humidifier years ago and use portable mister types in the rooms that need it most.
move to florida, plenty of natural humidity, so much so that you need a DE-humidifier
I knew I could count on you for a reasonable reply
The type of humidifier I have is a Carrier. I couldn't even find it on the Carrier site, but there is a parts seller that has a diagram of it:
I'm not sure if it qualifies as the "absorbent wheel and fan" style you described.
Anyway, I don't really need to remember to clean it, we get once a year maintenance on the furnace and humidifier. Is once a year frequent enough to keep the mold at bay?
nona--LOL-- For lots of reasons, I'd like to move to Florida, but there are even more reasons for me to stay where I am (family, etc...). With respect to the humidity though, I don't feel too left out, because I have to run a dehumidifier in my basement (except in the cold of winter).
Help! I need to reconnect the humidifier, but cannot find the installation instructions. Does anyone know an online source for the installation instructions? I have a Carrier 49BF018120 (Circa 1997). I just had the service tech out to disconnect the thing, now I need to have it reconnected and I'm too much of a cheapskate to have him come back out.
My family members are upset with me for having the humidifier disconnected. They're complaining of stuffy noses, static electricity shocks, and dry skin. One good thing though, I don't need to wipe the condensation off the interior of my windows every morning But, there are more of them than I, so I need to reconnect the thing. Can anyone help me find the instructions?
Thanks in advance.
You mentioned in an earlier post that you were unable to find information on the humidifier you have on the Carrier website, but did you find any contact information? Typically manufacturers have a "contact us" section. If you could call them, perhaps they could patch you through to a service department that could give you verbal instructions on reconnection.
Alternately, did you have a contractor install the furnace and/or humidifier? If so, perhaps they might be willing to just tell you how to make the reconnection without coming out and charging you for it.
Good luck (with both the reconnection and the unhappy family!) In the meantime, pans of hot water can be set in front of the registers. A bit primitive but it will help, as will eating good rib-sticker soups with plenty of liquid. Given that you're in the Arctic Cold Wave belt now, that might not be a bad idea
Your humidifier is the type that used a 'wick' with air blowing through it. All these types are prone to growing mold. Anytime the unit has been out of service you will need to get a new wick before start-up. Also, once a year is not enough, replace the wick and clean the system at least every other month.
As far as reconnecting, it all depends on how it was taken down. Easiest way is to disconnect electrical - look for any loose wires and/or any capped off wires. There also may be some electrical terminals near the loose humidifier wires.
If you want to keep your family happy and not have any humidifier mold problems, then consider one or more of these:
Each is good for an average sized room.
Jaybee and GardenSprite,
Carrier Customer Support says they don't freely publicize installation instructions--it's a safety and liability concern.
I think I know what needs to be hooked up now though. There's a push-fit connector that needs to be reconnected to the solenoid/valve at the top of the unit. Also, the water source needs to be turned back on (no biggie). But, now I don't see how the service tech ever fit the filter/wick into the unit. There just does not seem to be enough room.
I've added a couple of links to photos of the filter angled above the unit. The duct is preventing me from getting the filter straight over the unit.
Try to fit the humidifier filter
Try from the other side
Jaybee, my wife vetoed the standalone units. Good idea though.
It has been very cold this week here in Western New York, so it was extra dry in the house without the humidifier. So, my wife had the HVAC tech come back to reconnect the humidifier.
The HVAC tech had to remove duct-work above the unit in order to fit the filter back in. I was glad to know that it presented some level of difficulty for the tech.
I feel like I really lost out on this deal; had to pay for an extra service call to reconnect the thing that I still think is a bad idea.
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