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Frequently Asked Questions - Aprilaire Humidifiers

What humidifier should we purchase for our home?
Why would one contractor recommend one unit while another one recommends a different unit?
Why do you offer an automatic and a manual control?
Does the outdoor sensor need to be installed in order for an automatic humidifier to work?
How often should I replace the water panel?
Why is there water draining from my humidifier?
How much water should be flowing out the drain of my humidifier?
Should I regulate the water flow to my humidifier at the saddle valve?
Should our humidifier be connected with hot or cold water?
Should we use soft water or hard water?
Should the humidifier be installed on the return (cold air) or on the supply (hot air) ductwork?
Will my Aprilaire Humidifier affect my Aprilaire Air Cleaner?
Where can I purchase the replacement filters for my Aprilaire Humidifier?
What's the difference between the Model 350 and the Model 360?
What causes condensation on my windows and how can I eliminate it?
What will it cost to install an Aprilaire in my home?
Can I purchase an Aprilaire at a retail outlet?
Can my Aprilaire Humidifier be upgraded to operate automatically?
Can I purchase electrical components direct from Aprilaire?
Why do I have to change my water panel on my Model 400 twice a year?
Does a drain hose have to be attached to the Model 400 humidifier?
How often should I clean the floats in the water panel sensor assembly in the Model 400?
Are there problems with standing water with the Model 400?
My dealer is recommending a model not listed on your site. Is the unit out-of-date?
Can I get dimensions and other specifications for the current line of Aprilaire Humidifiers?


1. What humidifier should we purchase for our home?
It is very possible that more than one model humidifier may work for your home, and your contractor can help you choose the best for your application. The most qualified person to help you decide which humidifier will best fit your needs is your local HVAC contractor. They can recommend and install the best unit for your home based on its size, age and construction.

2. Why would one contractor recommend one unit while another one recommends a different unit?
There are frequently several different models which will adequately humidify one's home. Typically dealers will install a unit that they are comfortable with, have recommended to their customers for some time, and meets the technical requirements for humidification in your home. Bottom line, choose the dealer you are comfortable with; they know your heating/air conditioning system and can recommend an appropriate Aprilaire Humidifier.

3. Why do you offer an automatic and a manual control?
As the #1 manufacturer of humidifiers in the country, Aprilaire feels it is important to offer a control option for all applications. The automatic humidifier control is the top of the line when is comes to technology. The automatic humidifier control takes a reading of the outdoor temperature and adjusts the humidity level in the home based on the outdoor temperature. This is achieved by placing a sensor outside that reads the outdoor temperature over 86,000 times per day. However, we realize that there are some applications where it is impractical or impossible to run an outdoor temperature sensor to the outside. That is why we provide a high quality manual control for such applications. Having these two options gives total flexibility to meet every customer's humidification needs.

4. Does the outdoor sensor need to be installed in order for an automatic humidifier to work?
If the humidifier control is installed and is operating in the automatic mode (as referenced by the faceplate on the humidifier control) the outdoor sensor is required for proper operation. The sensor is the component which sends the temperature reading back to the humidifier control and allows it to adjust the humidity level in the home accordingly.

5. How often should I replace the water panel filters?
For the best performance we recommend the water panel filters be replaced every six months or more often in hard water areas. (Model 400 should be changed more frequently during the heating season.)

6. Why is there water draining from my humidifier?
All of the Aprilaire flow-through humidifiers incorporate a self-flushing action. This action flushes down the drain many of the mineral deposits left on the water panel from the evaporation process. This also minimizes the amount of maintenance required

7. How much water should be flowing out the drain of my humidifier?
The water going out the drain line serves the important process of flushing the minerals from the water panel. Depending on the model that you have in your home, it should take two and a half to five minutes to fill a one-quart jar. The actual time is determined by the water-metering orifice in your humidifier. If your humidifier has a yellow or white orifice it will take approximately five minutes to fill a quart jar and if it has a blue or red orifice it will take approximately two and a half minutes to fill a quart jar.

8. Should I regulate the water flow to my humidifier at the saddle valve?
No. The saddle valve is not designed to regulate the water flow. The humidifier has a water-metering orifice that is designed to regulate the water flow to the water panel.

9. Should the humidifier be connected with hot or cold water?
All of the Aprilaire flow-through units as well as the Model 400 humidifier can be connected to hot or cold water. Hot water increases the evaporative capacity of your humidifier, provides more humidity to the home and offers more flexibility in the operation of the humidifier. We would recommend that if the power units are installed on the return ductwork, that they be connected to hot water, as this is their only heat source. With any drain-through Aprilaire humidifier connected to hot water, the heat in the water is used in the evaporation process and the water coming out of the drain will be cold to the touch.

10. Should we use soft water or hard water?
Aprilaire offers total flexibility in the installation of its humidifiers in that they will operate properly with either hard or soft water. Connecting to hard water may leave mineral deposits on the water panel that are scaly and hard in nature. Connecting to soft water may leave mineral deposits that are fluffier in nature. The bottom line is the water panel will typically last a full heating season using either type of water.

11. Should the humidifier be installed on the return (cold air) or on the supply (hot air) ductwork?
Any of the furnace-mounted units can be installed on either the cold air or hot air ductwork. It is recommended that if a power unit is used and is installed on the cold air ductwork, it be connected to hot water to maximize evaporation.

12. Will my Aprilaire Humidifier affect my Aprilaire Air Cleaner?
The Aprilaire humidifier uses a natural evaporation process to generate humidity. Because the humidity is a gas it passes through any air cleaner with no adverse effects.

13. Where can I purchase the replacement filters for my Aprilaire Humidifier?
Filters-NOW.com has the largest selection of humidifier filters available. You can order online at www.Filters-NOW.com or by calling, toll-free, 1-877-991-0400.

14. What's the difference between the Model 350 and the Model 360?
Both units are totally self-contained and are designed for installation in homes with electric baseboard heat, hydronic heat and even with homes with forced air heating systems with special humidification needs. The model 350 can be hung from the floor joists in a basement and ductwork would connect to a floor vent in a central location in the home for distribution of the humidified air. The model 360 is a through-the-wall unit and can be placed in a central location of the home in a closet.

15. What causes condensation on my windows and how can I eliminate it?
Cold air outside your window cools the air just inside your window more that the air in the rest of the room. If the well-humidified air just inside the window cools too much or too quickly, it can't hold as much moisture as before and water appears on the window. To eliminate this, follow the suggested settings on your manual humidistat and adjust the setting in the morning for the anticipated nighttime low temperature. Another option is to upgrade your manual humidistat to an automatic humidifier control, which always maintains proper levels of humidity with no adjustment needed by the homeowner.

16. What will it cost to install an Aprilaire in my home?
The cost of every installation varies based on your specific application. It is recommended that you secure competitive bids and choose the contractor that you believe best meets your needs.

17. Can I purchase an Aprilaire at a retail outlet?
No, Aprilaire products are sold through licensed dealers, as they are best suited to help you choose the right unit.

18. Can my Aprilaire Humidifier be upgraded to operate automatically?
Yes, any furnace mount Aprilaire Humidifier including models that are no longer a part of the current product offering can be upgraded to fully automatic operation with the installation of the #56 Humidifier Control. You will receive up to 50% more humidity compared to a manual humidistat which means your home is more comfortable. Your Aprilaire dealer can install this component for you and you can enjoy fully automatic operation, just set it and forget it!

19. Can I purchase electrical components direct from Aprilaire?
Electrical components such as solenoid valves and motors are not available for direct purchase. From a safety standpoint and to insure proper humidifier operation, these parts should be installed by a local expert, your Aprilaire Dealer.

20. Why do I have to change my water panel filters twice a year?
To insure peak performance the water panel filters should be replaced twice a season. Over time, the wicking capabilities (ability to draw water up the water panel) are reduced as minerals build up on the panel. The mid season change means you will receive proper humidity throughout the humidification season.

21. Does a drain hose have to be attached to the Model 400 humidifier?
The Model 400 uses new technology designed to use 100% of the water entering the unit. This means there is no continuous flow of water through the unit as with models 600 and 700. However, there is a safety overflow connection at the base of the unit. In the unlikely event of a failure, water can safely be directed to a drain if an overflow hose is attached.

22. How often should I clean the floats in the water panel sensor assembly in the Model 400?
The simple maintenance of replacing the water panel and cleaning the scale control insert, floats and float chambers can be completed in less than 10 minutes. For proper operation, this is required twice a season.

23. Are there problems with standing water with the Model 400?
No. Problems associated with standing water are addressed in the design of this humidifier since it contains at most, 8 ounces of water at any given time. In addition, all the water evaporates, leaving the unit dry for long periods between humidification cycles. Nevertheless, it is recommended that simple recommended maintenance be performed twice a season.

24. My dealer is recommending a model not listed on your site. Is the unit out-of-date?
Periodically, new features are added or refined in the Aprilaire products. When that happens, the model number is changed to introduce the new model number. Models not listed in the main product sections - but still offered by dealers - have very likely been changed quite recently. They are still modern, effective humidifiers that will serve your home well. Your dealer is the expert in recommending the best humidifier for your home and its unique needs. The bottom line is that when you purchase an Aprilaire, you are buying the finest whole house humidifier available today.
Below we have listed model numbers that have recently changed and the significant differences from the current model line.

    Aprilaire Model #Unit Information
  • 445
  • 448
  • Aprilaire's newest humidifier is the Model 400, featuring new wicking technology to draw water up the panel for drain-free operation. Control can be either automatic or manual depending on your particular needs. The 400's new technology and flexibility allows it to replace the 445 & 448 in the product line. The Model 445 bypass humidifier is identical to the Model 448, but comes with manual control instead of automatic control. (See Question 3 above for the difference between manual and automatic controls.)
  • 558
  • 560
  • 568
  • The Model 600 is a large bypass humidifier easily adaptable for use in small and large homes. Control can be either automatic or manual depending on your particular needs. Because of its versatility, the single Model 600 performs the same functions of three earlier models. It replaces Models 558, 560 and 568 in the product line.
  • 760
  • The Model 760 power humidifier performs the same functions as the Model 700, but comes with manual control only. (See Question 3 above for the difference between manual and automatic controls.) Since the Model 700 can be installed in either manual or automatic mode, it replaces the Model 760 in the product line.
  • 768
  • This unit is identical to the Model 700, but simply has a different Model number. See the description for the Model 700 in the main product section.


25. Can I get dimensions and other specifications for the current line of Aprilaire Humidifiers?
Yes! Just click below to view a pdf document that lists product specifications for the current line of humidifiers:
Humidifier Specifications