Home humidification

Home humidification is an important component in maintaining satisfactory indoor air quality for residential applications. Accurate Heating & Cooling is an established HVAC contractor in the Omaha area. And we specialize in air conditioning, heating, home humidification, dehumidification, and air filtration for residential and light commercial applications. So count on us as your professional HVAC installation and service experts.

Dehumidification During the Summer

During the summer, your home’s air conditioning evaporator will automatically dehumidify the indoor air. The refrigerant evaporator is usually installed on top of the furnace in residential applications.

View of refrigerant evaporator coil installed above the home furnace

The photo above is of a refrigerant evaporator with the front cover off

The refrigerant that circulates inside the evaporator coil is normally maintained at a temperature of around 40F to 50F. As return air from the house flows across this cool evaporator, moisture in the air condenses onto the coil. The condensed moisture then drains through a drain line and is removed. Thus, the air is then dehumidified by the normal operation of the home air conditioner.

A comfortable living environment normally has home humidification levels or specifically relative humidity levels between 40% and 50%. The home air conditioner removes extra humidity from the air in summer to establish comfortable indoor humidity levels.

Home Humidification During the Winter

The outdoor air is dry in the colder months. Moisture must be added to the indoor air to maintain a comfortable home humidification level. When indoor air is too dry, we can experience dry skin as well as dry nose, throat, and mouth. Static electricity may also be present. And we can see the affects in wood floors, trim, and furniture where the natural wood loses moisture. Wood can crack or have joints separate.

A Trane humidifier provides the right amount of moisture in every room, and can help alleviate allergy symptoms. The THUMD comes in two models: the THUMD200 and the THUMD300. The THUMD200 has a capacity of 12 gallons per day, while the THUMD300 has a capacity of 16.8 gallons per day. The professional technicians at Accurate Heating & Cooling can tell you which system is best for the size of your home.

Home Humidification using the Trane THUMD300 Humidifier

 

Trane model THUMD300 humidifier

The photo above is of a Trane model THUMD300 humidifier

Trane whole home humidifiers are designed with high-quality components. Each helps ensure that time after time, your HVAC humidifier will provide total comfort your family can rely on.

The THUMD300 Humidifier includes:

Large bypass

Automatic control

Ability to work with all furnace models

Capacity for up to 4,000 square feet

Output up to 17 gallons per day

Eliminates need for portable appliances

Photo of a Trane THUMD300 Humidifier

Humidifier with cover removed showing humidifier pad and bypass damper

The image above is of a Trane model THUMD300 humidifier that is installed on a residential furnace.

Also, the humidifier cover is removed showing the humidifier pad. The humidifier uses water from the home water piping. A saddle valve or similar type valve attaches to the home water piping. The saddle valve connects to a length of ¼” copper tubing that supplies water to the solenoid valve on the side of the humidifier.

The above humidifier is commonly used to provide home humidification in the Midwest. This design of humidifier is frequently referred to as a bypass humidifier. It is called a bypass humidifier because a small amount of air from the furnace supply (the outlet of the furnace where warmed air leaves the furnace) is redirected (or bypassed) from the supply through the humidifier and back into the furnace return ductwork. Not all of the air from the furnace outlet follows this bypass route.  Only a portion of the air follows through the humidifier pad.

Connecting to a Water Source

Home humidifier needle valve connected to water supply piping

The photo above shows a valve connected to the home water supply where a ¼ inch copper water line comes off to attach to the humidifier.

A solenoid valve controls the flow of water to the top of the humidifier pad. The water maintains the humidifier pad wet during dry weather. And air from the furnace supply duct is directed over the damp humidifier pad. Then the humidified air is directed back into the return ducting of the furnace. In the photo above, the manual damper is shown on the right side of the photo. Then the manual damper can be selected to the winter position (where the damper is open). Or the manual damper can be selected to the summer position (where the damper is closed).

Humidifier Pad

Humidifier pad with granular clay coating covering wire mesh filter pad media

The photo above is of a new replacement humidifier pad for a Trane residential humidifier.

From the image above, the pad shown is new. The granular clay coating covering the wire mesh filter pad media can be clearly seen. When replacing the humidifier pad, the new pad will have a paint marking on the top edge of the pad. As the new humidifier pad is installed, ensure that the paint marking is on top. The granular clay coating covering the wire mesh pad helps to slow down the water that trickles down the pad. This helps to keep the pad wet. Then dry air passing over the damp pad will pick up moisture from the pad. Thus the humidify level of the air is increased.

The humidifier pad will normally pick up some accumulated material over the course of a winter heating season. And we normally recommend changing out the humidifier pad once a year. We normally do this in the fall, before the start of the heating season. While that is the norm for us, we can change out the pad whenever you would like.

The Humidistat

Home humidifier humidistat controller including optional temperature sensor

The photo above is of a humidistat controller including the optional temperature sensor

There are a few ways to control the indoor humidity level in winter. One common method is with a dedicated humidistat that controls when the humidifier solenoid valve is open or closed. The humidistat opens the solenoid valve when humidity level is low. And the humidistat closes the solenoid valve when the home humidity level reaches the desired upper humidity set point.

Home Humidification Installation Wiring Diagram and Schematics

Trane model 300 humidifier connection diagram for residential application

The schematic above shows the connection diagram of a Trane model 300 humidifier for a typical residential application.

Trane model 300 humidifier installation schematic in home HVAC system

Likewise, the schematic above shows the various ways that the humidifier is installed in the home HVAC system.

For additional information, refer to the Trane Indoor Air Quality product brochure found at the Trane website.

Actual Home Humidification Examples

Older Chippewa model 224 humidifier installed on furnace return ducting

The photo above is of an older Chippewa model 224 humidifier. However, we still see many of these humidifiers in use, like at the home in the photo.

In this case, the humidifier is mounted on the return duct going to the furnace.  And you can see the 6” round metal duct that elbows into the humidifier.

Older Chippewa model 224 humidifier showing 6 inch bypass round metal duct

The 6” round metal duct connects the humidifier with the outlet ducting above the furnace. Hence, this outlet ducting is called the supply duct, as in supplying the home with conditioned air.

There are of course many other designs of humidifiers for residential use. Generally, the humidifier described in this blog is one of the most common designs.

Additional Information

For more information on the Electrostatic Air Filter, refer to this blog.

A list of HVAC maintenance items that homeowners can perform to help ensure their systems operate well is available here.

For a description of what the MERV rating on air filters means, refer to this blog.

A good discussion on what air filter would be best for your home is available here.

For a good discussion about upgrading your existing standard 1 inch filter to a more efficient 5 inch pleated air filter, refer to this blog.

Accurate Heating & Cooling can repair your existing humidifier. Also, we can replace your older humidifier with a new one by Trane. Or we can speak with you about other ways to improve the indoor air quality of your home. Certainly give us a call today. And a trained professional technician can come out and help to improve the indoor air quality of your home. Accurate Heating & Cooling proudly installs Trane HVAC products. However, we also offer as a second line the venerable Armstrong product line. For more information about upgrading your older air conditioner to a new Armstrong air conditioner, refer to this blog.

Accurate Heating & Cooling Omaha