whole house humidifier

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Old 04-12-15, 06:02 AM
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whole house humidifier

In the winter, the house here constantly has a humidity around 10%.
We don't have a furnace to attach a system too as the house is heated by baseboard heaters and fireplaces.
2 floors of around 500sq ft
1 floor of around 150sq ft

Is there a system we can get to humidify the whole house? I can only find the individual room humidifiers and we have some open spaces that these small machines don't cope well with.
 
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Old 04-12-15, 06:44 AM
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Hi gwerty,
Here's the problem. Installing a large humidifier with all of the windows open will be marginally successful. 10% RH is about what you get when you bring in cold low RH outside air and heat it up to your comfort level. The fireplace, if it is a traditional unit as opposed to a sealed wood stove, is adding to your already high air exchange. A typical leaky home replaces ALL of the inside air with outside air every 1 to 2 hours, so any system you install will be working overtime trying to humidify all of that incoming air. If you can air seal to reduce the exchange to once every 3 to 4 hours, the RH reading will increase just from the people living their and their cooking and showering activities.

So, air sealing the house will be far more effective at increasing the relative humidity and it will reduce your heating requirements.
http://www.efficiencyvermont.com/ste...ide_062507.pdf

Bud
 
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Old 04-13-15, 04:20 AM
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They make standalone hole house humidifiers.
 
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Old 04-13-15, 05:52 PM
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It's 10% all windows closed and wood stoves closed.
Gets pretty dry in the winters.
 
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Old 04-13-15, 08:04 PM
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I didn't mean all of your windows are actually open, it is just that your house is exchanging so much air that is seems like it. In your cold climate, here is a problem. With air leaking in there has to be an equal amount leaking out and most of that will be finding sneaky paths through your walls and ceiling. If you crank up the moisture content, when that air reaches a cold surface it will deposit that moisture as condensation. That means much of the humidity you are adding is going to end up inside your walls and that isn't good.

Reduce the air leakage and then reevaluate the humidity issue. Chances are good you will need to add less and be able to get by with a smaller unit. And your house will thank you.

Bud
 
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Old 04-14-15, 11:55 AM
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How do you find the air leakage?
Whole place has double glazed windows.
A lot of wood paneling could be absorbing moisture?
 
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Old 04-14-15, 12:18 PM
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Here is the Efficiency Vermont link I posted above:
404 error - Page not found
This all about air sealing, where to look, and how to fix.
Even bad windows contribute very little to total leakage. Your double glazed are just fine.
As for the wood paneling absorbing moisture, the issue is that moisture escaping to the outside and air leakage moves 100 times as much moisture as what passes through the materials that make up your walls.

When you say paneling, is there drywall under that paneling?
Is the ceiling drywalled?
Do you have a basement where you can inspect for major air leaks all the way to the attic?

Bud
 
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Old 04-22-15, 03:10 PM
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10% humidity is an indication of excessive air leakage.

Trying to humidify a house like that is like trying to fill a sieve with water. No humidifier will be able to bring the rh at to 30-40%, where it should be.

You should get a blower door test done and airseal as much as possible. Contact your utility - they may have a subsidized weatherization program.
 
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