Low Humidity

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-14-09, 07:59 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NJ
Posts: 453
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Low Humidity

I have humdity readings all over the house and they all say 25% - 28%. Is that considered low? What should it be? If low, are those whole house humidifiers any good?

Is it OK to run on a treadmill with this humidity level?
 
  #2  
Old 01-14-09, 08:25 PM
T
Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,818
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Is your house sufficiently sealed against cold air infiltration? Cold, dry air that infiltrates homes reduces humidity indoors. A properly sealed home will have a higher humidity level than a drafty one.

With a whole house humidifier, it is very important to monitor the humidity levels in rooms. Humidity tends to vary from room to room with kitchen and bathrooms having the highest humidity.

You can monitor humidity in rooms with a hygrometer (sold where you buy thermometers). Humidity is best maintained 35-55% year round. When you notice condensation on windows, this is usually a sign of too high humidity. Too high humidity can result in mold and mildew on interior walls and within wall cavities.

Keep in mind that warm, humid air rises. It will pass into attic area where it tends to condense in cold attic. It's important that all gaps along perimeter of attic and around pipes, chimney, etc. are sealed to keep out the warm humid air. It is also important for attic to have adequate ventilation so that air can pass in and out of the attic.

Another consideration re: whole house humidifiers is that they need to be maintained. This means keeping filters and all parts clean and free of mineral buildup. If not, the humidifier will get all gunked up with mineral deposits. You want to be sure that the humidifier does not grow mold and mildew.

Humidifier, whole house, Housekeeping & Cleaning Guides, Explanations, & Definitions - HousekeepingChannel.com

The upside of not having a too low humidity level is that you alleviate problems with dry, itchy skin, and dry nose and throat symptoms. Maintaining proper humidity level eliminates static electricity. A humidity level of 35-55% should be maintained year round to protect hardwood flooring and furnishings, art, and electronics. And, more humid air heats quicker and holds heat better than dry air, thus allowing you to lower the thermostat and save on the energy bill.
 
  #3  
Old 01-14-09, 09:36 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NJ
Posts: 453
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
So, if I choose a portable one do I place it in the center of the home on the 1st floor and let the humidity spread throughout the 2nd floor. Does portable humidifiers work that way?

The most widely used rooms are the family room on the 1st floor and master bedroom on the 2nd floor about 300 sq ft each. Do I purchase one for each room? When we have a baby, do I need one for that baby room too? I just thought the whole-house eliminates having to buy so many portables and it's out of the way and you dont have to worry about filling it with water.

I was looking at the Aprilaire 500a or 600a model if I went whole-house. Which one would you recommend for portable ones.
 
  #4  
Old 01-15-09, 03:01 PM
Jay11J's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Rochester, Minnesota
Posts: 18,427
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by MikeyBoy View Post
So, if I choose a portable one do I place it in the center of the home on the 1st floor and let the humidity spread throughout the 2nd floor. Does portable humidifiers work that way?
It depends on how big the unit is, and how open the floor plan is.

I was looking at the Aprilaire 500a or 600a model if I went whole-house. Which one would you recommend for portable ones.
Any brand of whole house are pretty much the same. I kinda like the Apilreair's control since they are Automatic w/ the outdoor sensor. The 500/600 are both the same, if your home is bigger than 3k sq ft, then you want the 600.
 
  #5  
Old 01-04-10, 07:54 AM
J
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: US/Pennsylvania
Posts: 2
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Extremely low humidity

Hi,

I have a similar issue, but I think it's a real problem.

I had my house built about 3 years ago. I have had majorly low humidity issues throughout the winter (about 16% max relative humidity with a humidistat). I have almost no tree coverage around my properly and figure that a big part of it is the major winds that hit my house.

I have had a skuttle 2000 whole house humidifier installed and still the humidity is 16%. I have kids and have had to put in-room humidifiers in their rooms to deal with their comfort.

Walking around my house, you build up so much static electricity that you constantly have to discharge on metal objects.

Does this sound like my house isn't properly sealed? I.e. where the heck are we losing all of our humidity? Shouldn't the humidifer do the trick if my house isn't sealed well enough. Also thinking that it may be the house sealing, we run our furnace like crazy. We have very high heating bills relative to friends and family.

I am considering contacting my builder (big builder) and asking him to come and look into remedying the situation but I want to feel more comfortable with this not being normal, especially with a 3 year old 2x6 constructed house! At the very least, it would be nice to have some fire power to throw at him when I tell him I'm having another expert to come in and look over the house and I'll be sending the information to the local newspaper if the inspector finds anything that my builder will not fix....

Does anyone know of the kind of inspector I should look for too?
 
  #6  
Old 01-04-10, 08:26 AM
Jay11J's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Rochester, Minnesota
Posts: 18,427
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I would look and see if your local gas or electric utilty offers a home energy audit.

I did mine about a month ago, and it was $125 for the service.

It's worth it! My recess lights were the worst, and I figured it would be. but kinda cool to see where else may be an leaker. My house wans't too bad for it's age (40 years old) and my humidty stays in check with the set point with no issue.

Do you have an air exchanger (HRV) system in your home?
 
  #7  
Old 01-04-10, 08:35 AM
J
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: US/Pennsylvania
Posts: 2
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the super quick reply!

I am not sure about this... We have a port that blows air out when the furnace runs (it's propane), so I'm guessing that's exhaust and not an air exchanger? There doesn't appear to be an input port anywhere...

I have found some minor holes in my wall where electric and pipes were run in the basement where cold air was entering (right beside my heating unit). The important thing to me to note here, is that my heating unit's duct work is sub-par. I have found numerous "leaks" (even right off of the unit) in the duct work where air is escaping... Should I consider this to be "major?"

I had the hvac person back to my house once already when I found a 4"x12" hole in a heat duct, and he told me that that was no big deal and just taped it shut... I really am hating looking for contractors at this point and finding ones that aren't going to take my money and give me bad service... What has professionalism in your job come to?
 
  #8  
Old 01-04-10, 08:14 PM
Jay11J's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Rochester, Minnesota
Posts: 18,427
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by jiffynut View Post
I am not sure about this... We have a port that blows air out when the furnace runs (it's propane), so I'm guessing that's exhaust and not an air exchanger?
Yeah, that's the draft motor to pull the exhaust out of the heat exchanger.

You have a fireplace and/or recessed lights in your home?

The important thing to me to note here, is that my heating unit's duct work is sub-par. I have found numerous "leaks" (even right off of the unit) in the duct work where air is escaping... Should I consider this to be "major?"
No. Unless the ducts are in the attic or crawl space.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: