New Unit - Low Humidity
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At first the unit felt as if it was not pulling enough humidity out of the air. The result was due to the seasonal light load not allowing long enough run times.
Well now that we are at the peak of summer here in Florida with 97+ degree temperatures and days of 90+ humidity, it appears that this humidity thing is coming back up.
It's pulling out too much humidity. No joke. We are waking up at night with dry sinus, bloody nose, cracked lips and dry eyes. Have been sick for months and months with sinus infection and other sinus problems. This is a first as none of us are allergic to anything. An ENT doctor suggested the humidity in the house may be too low. We have two humidifiers running; one in the master bedroom and one in the baby's room. Does not do a bit of good as this unit can really suck the moisture out of the air; good enough to where I have had to trench outside at the drain to water the plants so it does not pool up next to the house. I have also tried to crack a few windows but that obviously brings in the heat with the humidity.
The house is more than comfortable. In the afternoon, it runs about an hour per cycle, sometimes more. Shut down for about 10-15 minutes and run again. I keep it at 80 while we are gone, cool to 79 before we get home and then down to around 78 around 10pm. It takes about 2-3 hours to pull it down fully from 80 to 78. Once it is held at 78 overnight it will cycle about once an hour; run for 15-20 minutes and off the remainder.
I am going to call the installing company today; is there anything specific that I can look out for or suggest to the installers? Fan speeds, refrigerant. We are absolutely dying with these constant sinus infections and dry airways.
With our old Lennox unit, it would run nearly 24/7 in the summer but the humidity was not an issue. ?
RH has been between 25-35% on my lowest special. This morning we woke up (wife and I) with our sinus completely dry. A few sprays of nasal moisturizer and a wonderful bloody nose to start the day.
I stopped by the a/c installer today; they will send a tech out tomorrow to see if there is a way to get this fixed for us. They have been more than willing to help. He Mentioned speeding up the fan and adjusting the TXV....?
For tonight, he said to put a pan of water in the closet under the return and leave the fan running (The fan stays on and the RH stays between 25-35%).
For what it's worth, I have had to trench the condensate water away from the house, there is/was a LOT of water pooling up. I guess the unit is doing it's job, but too well.
Right now I have a window cracked and two humidifiers running and the pan of water under the return; RH inside is 38% (The highest it has been). RH outside on my lowest special is 58% and 96 degrees.
Is there any way to have a thermostat control the humidity with my unit?
Assuming you have your thermostat set at 75^F and have 35%RH suggest that your cooling coil is less than 40^F. Also, because the home is very dry, not much outside air in infiltrating the home. Increasing the airflow over the cooling coil will raise the percentageRH inside the home. Increasing the coil temperature by increasing the air 5^F will raise the percentageRH to 42%RH. I suggest targeting the percentageRH to 50%RH.
Something else is going on here. People living dry, arid climates have less sinus problems than living in the humid south. There could be something like a wet spot with mold growing. I have had situations where people kept their home very cool to the point where moisture was condensing in the walls of the home or moisture penetrating the walls cause biologicals to grow. As the biologicals grow, they produce spores and volatile organics that some people are sensitive too.
How cold are you keeping your home? Are there any odors coming from the walls or ducts indicating biological growth. I assume you are getting medical consulting.
Whatever you do to make yourself comfortable now, monitor the relative humidity to be <50%RH as the cooling decrease. I would consider controlled fresh air ventilation as part of improving the purging the indoor pollutants that might be affecting you.
Curious about the t-stat setting in your home. Looks like you do not need to dehumidify right now!
We all recognize that a very dry home during the winter is evidence of plenty of fresh air passing through the home. In your case, a dry home during the summer humid weather is evidence of very little fresh air is getting into your air. In addition, you are getting sinus infections from something may indicate you need more fresh air. At least to get enough fresh air to get the percentageRH up to 50%RH. Opening windows does not assure any amount of fresh air. You need to fan power the fresh air into the home when it is occupied. As a quickly, a window fan would work. You should at least try it.
The schedule I have set on the thermostat is as follows:
6am - 81deg
430pm - 79deg
830pm - 79deg
1000pm - 78deg
We are pretty chilly at 78 deg, I'm assuming that's because the low humidity?
The wife and I have been to an ENT doctor countless times over the continuous sinus infections, dry nose/throat, and bloody mucus in the mornings, etc. All possibilities are ruled out at this point and the only thing that has changed is the a/c unit in the house. When company stops by they also complain that it feels "dry" inside. I have a humidifier in the baby's room and in the master bedroom that run at night. In addition to that, I use a nasal gel spray 6-10 times a night to keep my nose and sinus somewhat moist. It is completely miserable.
No odors coming from the walls or anything growing that I can see. I remodeled the house in 06 and pretty much started fresh and sealed this place up well. It was like cooling a home with the windows open previously. With the old Lennox, 2.5ton (B25 series) humidity inside was around 50-55% with the unit running just about 24/7 in cooling mode.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that something can be adjusted or added. At this point, I don't care if they need to install a $500 thermostat and super computer system; in the long run it will be cheaper than taking the little one and ourselves to the doctor every 3 weeks with another sinus/upper respiratory problem.
Thank you kindly guys for your help.
I'll ask about the relays and thermostat deal tomorrow and report back. Time to go water the humidifiers.
Does your thermostat have a "fan on", constant air circulation mode? This increases the inside humidity some. Have you double-checked the accuracy of the humidistat reading - 21% just doesn't sound right in FL this time of year!
The fan is on and has been on. Tonight I placed a pan of water under the return; it did not help much.
I have another thermometer/humidistat that was reading 27%. Judging by how dry my nose, eyes and throat are. It's "accurate" or close to it.
Walking outside in the 90-degree heat is relief. A shower is like going to heaven.
I have more than covered the medical side of it. The Mrs. is an RN and I have been able to see the best of ENT doctors in town. Both have said it is an air quality problem most likely related to low humidity somewhere.
I was able to get the inside RH up to 58% last night in here. The a/c fan was running (as it has been for weeks now- and is killing my electric bill), I have two exhaust fans (one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen) that have been on, and had two HUGE ghetto pots of water boiling on the stove. The first morning we have woken up in the morning without sinus pain.
I turned the fan off on the AH this morning and by 1pm the RH has dropped to 38%. The outdoor RH according to NOAA this morning was 85%.
If they raise the fan speed on this thing will it lose it's ability to cool as well as it does now? It would be nice if they can connect a thermostat to control the fan speed automatically to control (raise) the humidity and not lose the ability to cool.
I'm really thinking that I should have just bought the Lennox and not the Amana.
Tech came out today..Thank God!
As luck would have it I came home today to a H-O-T house and the outside unit was raising hell making noise.
LONG story short...
- Put the blower speed on high (T5) speed.
- Said the temperature difference between the air coming in and air going out was 27degrees.
- My humidistat from lowest was reading the same as his calibrated meters. Not bad for $12.00.
- Compressor overheated causing the noise and it went into protection mode. Cooled it off with water and got it running again.
Looked things over and discovered the breaker was loose for the condenser. - To prevent the compressor from reversing he is going ot install some sort of relay/time delay.
- My thermostat shows 81 degrees and it's actually 77 inside. It's also about 6 years old; he suggested getting the Honeywell prestige HD. This way he can add relays to help control the humidity with the thermostat controlling the fan speed calls. Also it has a "plus/minus" feature that will allow him to calibrate the temperature reading properly.
Cold coil (27 degree delta) + compressor power interrupt (low pressure switch). Sounds to me like it's low on refrigerant.
He checked the refrigerant as that was his first thought, said it was dead on?
1. Fan speed increased to High- unit now short cycles at night. It certainly moves some air through the house; vents sound like a hurricane.
2. Humidity is now 45% steady, occasionally 47% but quickly drops back and holds at 45%.
3. Compressor overheated; suspected cause was a power surge making the compressor run in reverse. A time delay will be installed this upcoming week.
4. Air filter was changed from a MERV 9 media to a cheapo pleated filter.
5. Current thermostat is several degrees off of the indoor temperature readings on his gauge and my cheapo humidistat/thermostat.
6. Honeywell prestige HD thermostat ordered and arrived.
7. Data recorder was left in the house next to the thermostat; will record for 7 days.
When the prestige thermostat is installed, he is planning on wiring in several relays to control humidity on the low-load days using the a/c and a lower fan speed. Remember I had the problem with the ultra-high humidity in the house during those times? Now with a heavy load it's the opposite.
45% humidity is very uncomfortable at night for us; dry/cracked sinus and nose in the morning when we get up. It's MUCH better than the 20-30's we were at. I am hoping to get a target of 48%-55%.
My best guess is this:
1. The old Lennox B25 series that I had was installed by a hack job in 1994. It sucked in a LOT of outside unfiltered air through horrible supply duct work. My 8 month old son could have done a better job.
2. The old Lennox ran nearly 24/7 in the summer. Fan was on high on this unit as well. Sucking in the humid outside air and running 24/7 kept it comfortable inside at 50-55% humidity all the time.
3. The new Amana unit is a 3-ton and is sized perfectly for the house. It is properly sealed without any unfiltered humid air getting inside.
Maybe other adjustments can be done to the unit, who knows..I certainly don't. Maybe a humidifier added. Or a fresh air intake? Can the temperature of the coil be lowered with an expansion valve adjustment?
Thank you all kindly again for the tips and the things to ask/suggest to the tech. I know this all seriously sounds like I'm smoking crack and it's a line of sh*t, especially in Florida...