Where should my Model 550 Aprilaire humidifier be located?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:

Recently I had central air conditioning installed on my hot air furnace. After installing the coil the contractor found that there was no room left to reinstall the Aprilaire 550 whole house humidifier on the supply side. He then installed it on the return side just before the Hepa air filter cartridge. He ran an aluminum circular flexible duct over to the supply side.
I have concerns about this:
1) won't this simply force water into my hepa filter and create mold /mildew in it?
2) By the contractor running the flexible circular ductwork over to the supply side - is this sufficient to force all the available water moisture coming from the Aprilaire unit into the supply ductwork?
3) Should the unit now be attached to the hot water line instead of the cold water line?
4) Considering the lack of room to install on the supply side [since the a/c coil has been installed] is there any other more preferable place to install this uni
t other than the return side - and risk soaking the Hepa cartridge air filter?

Thank you for your time and consideration on these critically important matters.

Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for contacting us about your humidifier and addressing these issues with us. I'd be happy to explain what can be done here.

1) It is ok for the humidified air to be introduced ahead of the filter. This is because our humidifier is creating a vapor. Vapor is just like the moisture already in the air. Its invisible, light and cannot condense onto anything such as the filter media or the duct work itself.

2) The beauty of our by-pass humidifier models is that the force will be equal no matter which side the unit is installed on. This is because force from the furnace is the same regardless of any new add-ons.

3) Cold water may be ok. If you have a standard furnace and only run the humidifier when the heat is on than cold water is okay. The only time cold water would be bad would be in situations where you run your fan to try and humidify (no heat source in this application).

4) Referring back to question 1, If the supply side is not available and return side is a equal alternative. Air flow will still allow the air to circulate through the air filter without harm and will continue to create and obtain the adequate humidity you are looking for.

If you have any questions please give us a call @ 1-800-334-6011.

Health Benefits of Air Cleaning

Thursday, February 24, 2011 by Tom Ruse

Good point about keeping the carpet clean. Another tip is to keep your system blower fan running shortly before, during and after you vacuum or clean that nasty carpet so air is circulating more often and any crap that is kicked up can be sucked into air ducts and trapped in the air cleaner.

Health Benefits of Air Cleaning

Indoor Air Quality
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Carpet Cleaning State College
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2-24-2011 12:10 AM
The carpet is actually the biggest "air filter" in your home. This is good, as the carpets hold pollutants which would, on a hard surface, be stirred up by people walking or by ventilation. This carpet "filter" needs to be vacuumed frequently with a HEPA vacuum. Even with a HEPA vacuum, it is best not to vacuum when young children are in the room. The carpets should also be professionally cleaned every 12 months.

Cat or Sex - Do you really have to choose one or the other?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009 by Tom Ruse
The linked article talkes about pet allergies and what to do if a new allergic boyfriend or girlfriend suddenely enters the picture.

This article misses out on the full story. It does a great job of calling out what to do if you are allergic to pet dander, but it misses the real advantages of high efficiency air cleaners installed on your HVAC system.

It touts HEPA air purifiers, but it is impossible for them to protect your entire house.

If I were REAL allergic, I'd probably consider using both;  High efficiency air cleaner on my HVAC system, AND a room HEPA filter in a room that may have restricted return air flow or one that I inhabit most.

So there's the rest of the story regarding protection from pet allergies. As for the sex part, pregnancy, STD's, etc., that kind of protection is another story.

Don't Lick The Cat - They Can Clean Themselves!

Friday, July 31, 2009 by Tom Ruse


Good Tips from the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

(ACCAI) and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)

• Avoid hugging and kissing pets if you’re allergic to them.

• Wash hands after handling a pet to help avoid the spread of dander.

• Remove litter boxes from direct contact with pet allergy sufferers and place them in

areas away from vents. Have a non-allergic family member clean the litter boxes.

• Wear a dust mask to vacuum. Use a vacuum with a HEPA (high efficiency

particulate air) filter if possible.

• Wash your pet on a weekly basis. Check your local pet store or ask your

veterinarian for shampoos that may neutralize or inactivate allergens present on

your pet’s skin.

• Don’t use carpeting in your home, try using throw rugs that can be washed in hot

water instead. If you must have carpeting, choose ones with a low pile and

vacuum and steam clean often.

Click here to read more pet allergy information from the ACAAI website


Are Portable Air Purifiers Gadgets?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009 by Tom Ruse
Maybe. Sure, there are room air purifiers with HEPA filters and fans that can do a decent job of cleaning the air in one room.

Then there are


As much as I hate to give these guys a link, there it is.

Do you really want to protect your family with a gadget?

If you want a cute toy, go to Toys R Us (or online) and buy a cute toy. If you want effective air cleaning, do your homework. If you insist on a portable, buy the most you can afford in HEPA filtration with a FAN! If you want air cleaning in every room, buy an air cleaner installed with your HVAC system.

Air Purifiers That Save Energy?

Monday, June 15, 2009 by Tom Ruse
Of all the information out there about HEPA filters and air purifiers that help rid the air of unwanted allergens, it seems clear that you can benefit from a healthier home environment by using a high-efficiency air cleaning system that will reduce airborne contaminants.

There are plenty of manufacturers' claims about how best to clean the air in your home. Portable air purifiers , or even larger HEPA filters can be pretty effective at cleaning air in one room.

Of course, we believe that for homes with forced air HVAC systems and duct work, using an air cleaner installed within this system, is a more comprehensive and efficient way to clean the air, because it works throughout your house. As your system blower operates, air movement takes place throughout your house and airborne contaminants flow through your return air ducts where an air cleaner captures them before the air is recirculated through your system and back throughout your home.

But let's get beyond the obvious health benefits for a minute. If you're in the market for cleaner air at home and doing your homework to make the best decision, but still struggling with which way to go, consider this.

A high efficiency air cleaner installed with your system also keeps your system cleaner, which keeps it running more efficiently, which in turn saves energy! It also prolongs the life of your HVAC system, which saves you even more money!

Here's proof. This photo compares two air conditioner A-coils; both 10 years old. One from a system that used an Aprilaire air cleaner (left); the other used a standard 1" furnace filter.

A-coils are messy, expensive things to have cleaned; even more expensive to replace.

So consider whole-house air cleaning and also consider preserving your expensive HVAC system and saving energy!


Monday, March 2, 2009 by Tom Ruse
And in that order. Those are the 3 tactics to dramatically improving the quality of the air you breathe in your home.
1. Source control. This is the "ounce of prevention" tactic. Keep the nasty stuff out to begin with. Better to not smoke than to try to rid your house (or lungs) of smoke. Dust mites thrive in carpets. Get rid of the carpet! Keep humidity levels in check so your house doesn't become a breeding ground for mold.
2. Ventilation - Air cleaners can trap a lot  of particles but have a heck of a time with VOC's,  or fumes that might be toxic. Nothing like opening a window for some fresh air. There are also mechanical ventilation systems that can provide controlled fresh air without significantly adding to your energy usage.
3. Air Cleaners - even larger, fan-operated room units - can take contaminants out of the air. OK THERE, I SAID IT! Use a portable air purifier! But if you decide to go this route, do your homework. There are tons of small portable purifiers that just don't work at all. Use a larger room air cleaner; one with a fan and a high efficiency HEPA filter - as high efficiency as you can find - But don't expect it to work in more than one room. It's just like a portable room fan. It's only going to circulate air in one room. It can't work through walls.

If you have a forced air heating/cooling system with ductwork, you can install a whole-house unit and every time your blower runs, you're cleaning your air. Every room that has return air ducts is being cleaned.