Whole House Humidifier question


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Old 10-31-19, 09:34 AM
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Whole House Humidifier question

Hello,
Probably not going to do this project myself, but getting as much info on this myself before i hire someone.
Had inline humidifier in my forced air system many years ago, and its probably time to replace before my wife kills me. She seems to get sick in the winters. She thinks its due to the low humidity.
I have a 2000 SF, 1960's 2 story with a basement.
Have a new tank-less water heater.
I have only enough room on the return side for unit.
Would putting new insulation in attic, and having blown in insulation in walls help with keeping humidity levels higher in winter. Would this eliminate the need for a humidifier?
What unit would work best while keeping water usage as low as possible?

Thanks for any info on this matter.

Ednorton
 
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Old 10-31-19, 10:32 AM
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Hi ed, insulation by itself will do little to raise humidity, but you are looking in the right direction. Along with extra insulation the number one energy improvement is air sealing. The low humidity is due to outside air leaking in and when warmed up to 70 it is dust dry.

There are helping guidelines but ceiling and top of the foundation are often major contributors. The bonus is, as you improve air sealing your reduce your heating costs along with increasing the humidity.

Bud
 
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Old 10-31-19, 04:52 PM
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All the insulation in the world will not help when winter humidity drops.

When the furnace, assuming gas, kicks on it draws in that dry air to replace so no mater what you do there is no way your going to maintain a comfortable winter humidity level!

I cant speak for sickness due to dry winter weather but it is uncomfortable!
 
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Old 11-01-19, 05:10 AM
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Hi Marq, where it is true that outside winter air holds very little moisture and when it enters the house and is heated the air becomes very dry, people typically generate plenty of moisture from normal activities to maintain a comfortable level of humidity. In fact some have to open a window or run a de-humidifier to avoid condensation on windows.

A 1960 home would not have been built with air leakage in mind so there are likely many places to make improvements. This link can help find them.

Bud
 
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Old 11-01-19, 08:03 AM
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So, a lot of individual factors involved.

With our GEO thermal heat, thus no combustion loss and a very tight house, we always have our humidifier running through the winter and only have to adjust how much humidity is added depending on the temps.

There is no way we could make it through the winter without some amount of moisture being added.

Again, every situation is different but the OP is indicating he needs more moisture, not less!
 
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Old 11-01-19, 08:40 AM
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The op asked "Would putting new insulation in attic, and having blown in insulation in walls help with keeping humidity levels higher in winter. Would this eliminate the need for a humidifier?"

Insulation "no" but air sealing "yes". Air sealing is a good step that can reduce the need for a humidifier and lower heating bills.

As for your house being "a very tight house", your low humidity is saying not.

Bud
 
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Old 11-02-19, 05:55 AM
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It seems that we are in agreement regarding the benefits of air sealing to improve humidity levels, basically making a house go from a "loose" to a "tight" classification.

people typically generate plenty of moisture from normal activities to maintain a comfortable level of humidity
However your comment about how much a person contributes to indoor humidity/moisture level are not correct.

The data from this study shows that the "average" 4 person household contributes approx 1.9 gallons of water per day from respiration, cooking, showers, etc.

https://www.labenvironex.com/en/envi...ces-in-houses/

And, this chart shows that the "average" 2000 sq ft house requires 8 gallons of water per day to maintain a comfortable winter humidity level!

https://www.just-humidifiers.com/humidifier-sizing.php

Make that a "tight" house and the amount is still 4.9 gallons per day!

It's just not feasible that the water/moisture from daily living is sufficient to maintain a comfortable humidity level by just improving air sealing.

If that were the case then the entire humidifier industry would cease to exist!

As for your house being "a very tight house", your low humidity is saying not.
Now back to my situation, we have a house that was built using LEED recommendations although certification was not pursued. Needless to say we have what would be considered a "tight" house.

So per above data, we have a need for 8.3 gallons per day and with the family of 4 only producing 1.9 gallons per day, then supplemental moisture/humidity per a humidifier is required!

So the low level of humidity that you indiated is somehow a detriment of our homes construction is simply not applicable to the discussion!
 
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Old 11-02-19, 06:14 AM
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Not to takes sides but Marq's remarks make more sense. In today's typically built home adding moisture in the winter is the norm. Getting up in the morning with that "cotton" feeling in your mouth is a sure sign that moisture is needed.
 
 

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