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Old 01-27-2011, 11:13 PM   #1
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New Home--humidity at 18-22%--suggestions??

Hi All,
I'm posting this question to the board to see what I should do. Here's my info:

New home as of August 2010 in Minnesota
Contemporary, flat roof, spray foam insulation, ICF foundation, high efficiency everything...
Concrete floors on main and lower level with radiant heat--our ONLY head source, no furnace (love is so far by the way!)
HRV (Broan HRV-90H) is our air exchanger
2355 sq. foot house

The thermostat has consistently read the humidity as decreasing as fall turned into winter and I saw it hit 18% this week (at this moment it's at 22%). Now, I know we have a well sealed house and we are getting fresh air, but in the little I've researched, I'm thinking this percentage is too low. It's definitely dry in our house and the drywall is cracking in more places than normal I think (but our drywaller was pretty sub-par and we're having a lot repaired coming up in the next month) so I want to make sure we're taking care of the dryness issue before we have the drywall repaired.

What is a recommended amount and what should we do to correct this? I don't want to have portable humidifier that has to run every night, but since we don't' have a furnace, there wasn't one installed. Can our HRV unit have something put on or would an ERV be any different?

Any thoughts on this would be very helpful! Please let me know if you need any other information


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Old 01-28-2011, 04:44 AM   #2
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Your HRV is bringing in lots of dry air. So you need a humidifier.

Might want to check into an Aprilaire 360 humidifier. It is designed to be installed in a closet wall.

Even at 0 degrees outside temp, your humidity shouldn't be under 20%. And should be higher the warmer it is outside.

An ERV instead of an HRV would help keep your humidity higher by not removing as much moisture from your house. But may often have to go into bypass to prevent freezing.


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Old 01-28-2011, 11:11 AM   #3
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Hi Beenthere--thanks for replying. Do you know if you can get an ERV or HRV with a humidity option? Since we do not have a furnace we can't "add" it on, but we do have the air conditioning unit in our mechanical room (which is small since there are less components than normal)--I'm wondering if something can be added. Our HRV runs a lot it seems and it would be easiest if it could run off of it. The ERV switch out sounds good but will it have a negative effect on the house if it goes into bypass mode (I'm assuming this means it turns off??). We have a 2400 sq ft house and for 90% of the time, it's just the two of us.
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