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Any humidifiers that DONT sound like a 747?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by babalu87, Dec 9, 2005.

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  1. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    Maybe its just me but the noise from both of my humidifiers is getting to me and its not even January yet

    Anyone have one the consider quite?

    Both of ours are Holmes

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  2. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    I use a Honeywell warm mist humidifier in the stove room, in addition to the dedicated units built into the 3 HVAC air handlers in the house. Its completely silent, and keeps the humidity very constant. No filters to replace, and its easy to fill.

    Honeywell Humidifier

    -- Mike
  3. CrazyAboutOrchids

    CrazyAboutOrchids New Member

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    I have a Bemis Whole House Console in the room where the fire is. It's a cool mist, no extra electricity for heating the water, no major upkeep on it, has a huge filter that I rinse and flip halfway through the season, replace it every year. Yes, sounds like a 747 on high, but we never run it on high. Not very noticeable on low. Has a hygrometer, holds 6 or 8 gallons, it's the 800 series. Happy with it.

    I also have an Air-o-Swiss unit upstairs. I like this because it is totally silent, don't hear a peep from this one, not on high, not even gurgling from the water. It can be used as both a warm and cool mist, also has a hygrometer. What I don't like is it only holds 2 gallons so it needs to be filled daily.
  4. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    My new Sears Kenmore 12 gallon humidifier has four speeds:

    1. Whisper Quiet
    2. Annoying
    3. Unbearable
    4. Wind Tunnel Test Only

    It does pump out about 5 gallons a day on high, so I guess it should be called a '5 gallon model' instead of a '12 gallon model'. Marketing dip-wads strike again. Still, that is about twice what one of my warm misters does, and 10 times the other (KAZ). And I don't have to fill it nearly as often. It holds about 4 gallons with an easy fill removable tank that holds 1 and 3/8 gallons (I measured). I'm still gathering data on its performance. I'm not sure how well I like it yet, either.

    I also have a Honeywell warm mist. It got so dirty, so often, it now sits in storage. It was silent though, but only put out about 2 - 3 gallons a day and used a lot of electric to do it.

    I also have one 'in the air handling duct' plumbed, nebulizer that must do something, although I'm sure how well. I run it 'just in case'.
  5. rudysmallfry

    rudysmallfry Feeling the Heat

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    What about using passive humidity? A steamer pot on your woodstove? LLBean has some nice ones.
  6. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    This isn't possible with my insert. Not enough heat on the available surface.

    Where a stove top steamer can work, it is probably much less than 5 (or maybe six) gallons per day. If it does vaporize six gallons a day, that is a whole lot of refilling assuming around a gallon, or maybe just a half gallon, per fill.
  7. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    Hey Mo,

    What on your Honeywell warm mist needed cleaning? Mine is in its second year, works like a champ and I haven't had to clean a thing on it yet. Is it something internal that I should check?

    - Mike
  8. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I have a log cabin steamer on top of my stove. It holds about 1/2 gal and I fill it twice a day. I don't know if it does any good, but my meter says my humidity is normal. Last year I tried a Holmes 5gl humidifier and it ran quiet enough, but I went through alot of filters.

    I think another good idea is to open some windows once in awhile in the winter to freshen up your stale dry air.
  9. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Hey Mike,

    Mine is about 3 or 4 years old and a slightly different model than yours. I don't have a photo, but it seems about the same size as yours, but with different styling. It is a hot steam type, which I think is the same as yours.

    Anyway, mine has a heating loop thing in the bottom that basically boils the water into steam. That cast metal heating loop gets absolutely caked with calcium carbonate or something in my slightly hard water (KH ~ 3.0 - 3.5; GH ~ 8.0) and some other hard brown mineral stuff. My unit also seemed to grow some weird pink slime stuff that was kind of freaky. I guess it was bacteria growing in the constantly warmed up water that condensed into the lower tray that was supposed to stay dry.

    Chipping that stuff off the heating loop seemed necessary to keep it evaporating at a good rate. I used a putty knife and a screw driver. When I pulled it out of storage this year, it was covered with that white powder crap and I hadn't cleaned the hard stuff off last year before storing it. I just couldn't face doing all that cleaning and the pink slime once or twice every week for just a couple gallons of humidity per day that is easily swallowed up in a big room and hardly noticed. I needed something bigger.

    Maybe your unit has some improvements to prevent all this. If it does, I might take a second look if my new Kenmore rocket nozzle doesn't work out for me.
  10. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Maybe since all here heat with wood, asthma is not a problem, but one of our kids has some sensativity. (yes, we took a gamble on a wood stove, but so far, we have almost no smell of woodsmoke inside the house) Anyway, when discussing this with a allergist, he said to stay away from any of the humidifiers with the paper wick "filter" things. They accumulate a lot of mold, then proceed to just distribute it around the house. I believe it. Just look at the wick after a couple days on one of those things.

    The mist or console types are better.

    We have a Honeywell cool mist type, and it works well, but it's very small and only does 1 room.

    It can be finiky in that the little piezo device that vaporizes the water can get deposits on it then it quits working.
    Vinegar for a day or so resolves, but a PITA.
  11. rudysmallfry

    rudysmallfry Feeling the Heat

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    At least with a wood stove and humidifier combo, the dryness from the wood stove probably kills off any mold possibilities from the humidifier. I think I have a Honeywell as well. It's the warm mist type. Can't say I notice much of a sound coming from it. I think my coffee maker is louder.
  12. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Warren,

    My new Kenmore has a 'wick' that looks like plastic, but taking a closer look at the replacement filter I bought, it looks like it might be both plastic and paper. Yikes!

    I went right over and shut down the bugger and took a close look at the filter. It's been in use for about 5 days now and no 'sign' of mold. They claim to be 'treated' and 'mold resistent'.

    Is this the type of humidifier your alergist is talking about? If so, I guess I'm in trouble since I have something similar in my forced air furnace: a nebulizer. But at least it is not a paper filter. It's a foam type. Seems like foam would mold as bad as paper.
  13. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    Mo,

    I took a look at my Honeywell warm mist... nothing was on the heating element. It was clean. I have a water softening system in the house which also removes iron, etc. Maybe that helps it?

    Also, for everyone else, I have another humidifier, a Hunter "care free" model. It is cool mist, but no paper/fabric wick. Its a metallic wick, coated with an antibacterial agent. Works well, quiet fan. Not as quiet as the warm mist, but certainly cheaper to operate.

    - Mike
  14. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    How long have you been running this thing without cleaning it and how much does it put out?
  15. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Hey Mo,

    The type he mentioned was the kind that looks like it's been cut and expanded. Like expanded sheet metal, only paper.

    I suspect if it's been treated, it will fair better, but we tried using the treatment liquid in the water, and still after about 10-12 days there was someing growing. He also indicated that the mold may not even be visible. I don't want to alarm folks, I hate it when others do that, just that the mist types are likely better. Another solution: Try this. How much water can a large towel hold? I'd bet it's half a gallon. Use a rack and a couple towels next to the stove when you go to bed. No need to look at the towels, and you'll put a LOT of water into the air. And you can wash them if they get full of ash, or what ever. It works pretty well. Not 6 gallons a day like the big console guys, but it doesn't use any electricity either.

    Warren
  16. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    This is year two, it runs 24/7 from November through the end of February, and its the 3 gallon model.

    Also, I do clean it, by disassembling it and cleaning the interior. Parts go into the dishwasher for sterilization, but I've never needed to clean the heating element, other than a quick wipe down. Haven't had the kind of deposits that you mentioned. I think its the water.


    -- Mike
  17. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Well Warren, I was fat, dumb, and happy for a few days, there. I guess that is all one can ask for.

    I have that expanded looking wick type filter. If yours molded in 12 days, then mine should be good for another week. Let's see, using my lucky number 13 as a basis for calculations, if I replace the wick filter every 13 days for $13, that'll be about 13 x $13 = $169 per year in filters. Hmmm. Not so good.

    Let Mo review what he's learned about humidifiers recently.

    Cold Mist: quietly nebulizes chemicals, minerals, and bacteria into the air. Uses a moderate amount of electric.

    Warm Mist: partially distills and quietly nebulizes fewer chemicals, minerals, and bacteria into the air, grows lots of funky pink stuff, requires a jack hammer to clean if you have hard water, and requires an over sized circuit breaker to operate.

    Wick evaporative console: Sounds like a jet engine, grows mold, and blows it all over the room, even if you can't see it. Uses modest amounts of electric.

    Forced air handler evaporative nebulizer: grows mold in a constantly warm, dark environment and blows it to every square inch of the house. Cheap to operate.

    Mo's conclusion/solution: Hang laundry in stove room or stay in bed all day and urinate on myself. That will conserve water, energy, and should keep the room well humidified. It also precludes being run over by a giant SUV, or maimed in a chain saw accident.
  18. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Well there you go MO , i think you have it now.
  19. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like all the alternatives except one....You could not humidify the house, whereupon you're lungs will dry up into small prune like sacks, leaving you caughing like you've got tuberculosis and emphazima. You'll be hacking up all kinds of nasty, unidentifiable chunks until you we all decide to donate enough to hook you up with a plane ride to Aruba for the winter.

    ;-P
  20. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

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  21. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    To get rid of lime and mineral deposits try using "THE WORKS". You can get it in the dollar store and Wally World. Its less than half the price of LIME AWAY and related stuff and works better. I don;t know whats in it but it has to be the same acid that the others use, just at half the price. We live in ledge country and have to deal with huge lime headaches with all our plumbing.
  22. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Thanks Driz, I'll look for it around here and maybe try to resurrect my Honeywell warm mister.

    BTW: What's ledge country?
  23. rudysmallfry

    rudysmallfry Feeling the Heat

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    I was in Bed, Bath and Beyond yesterday. I walked past a warm mist nebulizer that was working but silent. It's not very big, but fits the quiet you're looking for. I can't remember the name, but if you've got a store near you, give it a look.
  24. paulgp602

    paulgp602 Member

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  25. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    hey mike your water softener is the key. it takes out everything.
    i live in northern ma our water is loaded with things i had to clean our cool mister every week. and yes i used vinegar. but it wouldn't take a day. what i did is soak it in vinegar 2 hours then take it outside and turn it on with the vinegar in it run it dry and wash it out. if you ran it inside with the vinegar you could clear the house of everybody in about 5 minutes. it got old cleaning it and i stopped using it. this christmas i got a steam dragon for on-top of the stove. it holds about half a gallon of water. you have to fill it each time you fill the stove but wow what steam comes out of this thing. i put it right on to of the stoves cook plate. it sounds almost like a steam radiator. and it's also kind of funny looking at this thing blowing steam out it's nose.
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