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We are moving to an area where it gets cold and snows in the winter. We come from a desert area where it is never very cold except for the dead of winter, and where we use the heater very seldom. We noticed then that the heater made us feel dry and uncomfortable. We are thinking about installing a full house humidifier. The company I am talking to says the kind they recommend is the steam/mist style. Cost w/install: 3000.00. I don't know much about them. He said he would install it in the garage near the hot water heater where the water source is and run the line up into the attic where the furnace is.

Can anybody tell me how well these work and if this price quote is reasonable?

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Do you currently have central A/C or forced air heating system? – mikes Jun 12 '13 at 8:41
Cost questions are generally off topic here because there are too many variables that go into them: location, time, availability of stuff. But what currency is that 3000.00 figure measured in? – Niall C. Jun 12 '13 at 14:23
Hopefully Pesos! – DMoore Jun 12 '13 at 16:29

Honeywell humidifiers are really good - with experience with one in last house. Our heating costs went down by 15% and our house didn't have static everywhere in the winter. Mine was a steam too and it cost me about $400 total after a couple of quick trips to Lowes. Took me about 3 hours (counting the 2 trips) to install.

So let's say it takes a whole day for the pro to install (8 hours) - I am not an hvac pro. Is it worth $300 an hour to get this done in your area? Also maybe your unit costs more but the unit I got had great reviews and near top of line...

Also I think this should be installed on furnace not garage. I don't know your whole setup so I don't want to call out the company. It doesn't make sense to me that a line from humidifier to furnace would be run because that has to diminish the steam going in and may make the humidifier work constantly... But I do understand that you don't want plumbing to freeze - which I am guess it doesn't in your climate being that the water heater is in the garage....

So I would run a water line to furnace and install it there.

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Very interesting unit, must be a big improvement over trickle or rotating pad. Much maintenance? – HerrBag Jun 12 '13 at 12:14
I only was in the house 2 years. No maintenance. – DMoore Jun 12 '13 at 15:00

The quote is fair for what they offer, but to me, steam is not where to start. Cost on a evaporative pad based humidifier, installed, should be under $1000 even if labor is $100 an hour.

Also note that steam is generated with an electric heater, which can get expensive, quickly, fast, all heating season.

I think I would start with a evaporative pad system, and then add steam, if you still have a humidity problem. Who knows with coming from the desert, you might not need the humidity of someone from the tropics, to feel comfortable.

HVAC guys say my whole house humidifier works well, wife and I are too dry, but we also are not 20 anymore either.

39F outside with 41% RH and 76F inside with 33% RH. With an Aprilaire 560 working whenever the condensing natural gas furnace is running, in Baltimore, MD.

Two different HVAC guys I have had into the house, said humidifier was working well, one of them told me before I even asked.

Neither one wanted to sell me a new whole house humidifier, unless I wanted to buy steam humidifier. House is 1600' split level. We run 2 tabletop humidifiers full time, one hot (sucks electric), and one cool.

Other information, mostly house efficiency stuff, if not interested, it is not worth reading. I had an Aprilaire installed at the same time as my condensing furnace, a few years ago. I had an energy inspection done, at a '75% discount' from the power company. It seemed legit, and not a profit deal. I got a blower door test, a couple of IR pictures, 12 CFL lamps, and a 3-4 page report for $100.

The end result, was if I use one of about 150 'approved' contractors who service my area (almost everyone)- The gas/electric company will pay me 50% of my cost to install insulation up to $2000 out of their pocket. So my home leaks bad, it seems, and that means that humidity is going out with it.

This seems like it is not a scam for money, just a way to hit state mandated avoided costs. I just can not get enough humidity in my air. I guess I will start with the half price insulation. BGE for gas/electric if anyone is interested.

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