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Old 11-05-2013, 03:10 PM   #16
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If you have a poorly insulated wall and especially in a corner behind a sofa etc it will get damp as the temp hits the dewpoint then mold grows on dampness. I have had to add HRVs to houses with damp walls and poor circulation as the walls got moldy and the health dept would not allow the health nurse to enter the house. It happens but you need to see it and we have the cold to do it.

Mold will grow on cold damp basement walls easily.
It stays damp, yes because of poor air circulation. You can have a poorly insulated wall, with a couch back there, and have air circulation, no mold will grow. You left out how much stuff the person had piled in their homes, or vents closed in rooms, or doors closed to those rooms, thinking that they are saving money, by shutting off airflow to certain parts of the house. The key is to make sure that you wipe walls down in the Spring and Fall, so that you do not allow dormant mold & mildew spores to lay on those surfaces.

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Old 11-05-2013, 03:16 PM   #17
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I agree and the moldy ones are usually dirty people or someone who cannot clean or afford cleaners etc. I tell my customers that if you have nosebleeds or dry skin bump it up to 35-40% max or the minimum you feel comfortable with. I have never seen one set over 40% where I live so it really depends on your house, air circulation, cleanliness and comfort requirements. Set it unitl the windows sweat and back it up 5% is what I recommend.
I would never set it as dry as 5 or even 10% in the home. Even 35-40% is too low during Winter months. It is a matter of just keeping the air circulating in the home, and not allowing moisture to cluster in rooms, or stay in the structure, is where you run into problems. You can have 47-60% humidity in a space, and never have issues with mold or moisture on windows, as long as you keep the air temp at a proper level.

That means not setting it so low that you have to stay bundled, but also not so high, that you are sitting around in shorts and a T-shirt.

The key is just keeping the air moving in the home, not allowing air to stagnate and keep the home clean, you should be fine. I do find that if we close drapes at windows in the home, and do not allow air to circulate, then we do see moisture problems. I solve that, by opening the drapes and letting the air move to help dry the problem area out.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:24 PM   #18
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I meant turn it back 5%. if the windows sweat at 40% turn it back to 35%. If you have wood frame windows you don't want sweating or they get damaged.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:59 PM   #19
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I meant turn it back 5%. if the windows sweat at 40% turn it back to 35%. If you have wood frame windows you don't want sweating or they get damaged.
You are correct on that. But airflow and keeping the inside temp at a level, that you are not allowing moisture to stay in the air helps.

We run the ceiling fans all of the time. At times when we are between seasons, I have had to actually go downstairs and run the pillar fan down there, to move air, because you can just smell the mustiness in the air, from the a/c not running when it is still too warm to run the heat, but too cool to run the a/c. Running the fan is not going to do much in most homes, because most fan settings in hvac equipment is too low, to move that much air through the system, when you are not running a/c or heat.

Like I stated before though, just keeping the drapes open, air moving during the Winter heating system, heat at a level that it is not too high or too low, is the best thing.

I think more and more people are finding that 67-69 are becoming the best Winter heat settings, since we are seeing warmer Winters now, then years past.
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:28 PM   #20
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I imagine Detroit is pretty darn cold so I doubt our poster is going to be able to get away with 40% or higher w/o window sweating and VERY VERY few people can keep enough air moving over the windows to keep them warm and not sweating plus most people close drapes for privacy. My advice is always for other readers of these posts and more of a rule of thumb do what works advice. all depends on where you live and other factors. usually when the static disappears when walking on rugs and you don't get nosebleeds that is high enough IMO.
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:04 PM   #21
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High forties for the day this week, mid thirties to high forties for the nights. They are running around ten degrees warmer than we are in my area, but not where it is arctic temps.

If you look at the current forecast models right now, this fall and until Jan. is going to stay pretty mild again. They are forecasting wet for the rest of the fall, all Winter, but Snow not to hit until Jan. for majority of the Eastern Midwest.

Land O'Lakes, WI where my in-laws live, it is staying in low forties, mid to high 30's during the day, low 30's to low 20's at night, with some snow. Up North towards the Canadian border and out West, they are seeing snow, but most areas nothing to write home about.

Snow & moisture in the outside air is what brings problems. People want it warm and dry inside, but they always forget about the balancing act with the teeter totter, when it comes to not having it too warm or too dry inside.

The worse comment I have come across, is someone stating that they keep their home 10% or less indoor for rh, and temps in the mid to high 70's. I would hate to see their heating bills.
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:08 PM   #22
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here in my area we tell our customers to set humidstat between 25-30 and if you have dryness or nosebleeds bump it to 35-40 ..no complaints...ben sr
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:14 PM   #23
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35% is where I keep mine and I have a UEI hygrometer so it is VERY accurate. my HRV dries my air from ventilating and I bump it up with my favorite General Aire flo thru.
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:51 AM   #24
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I imagine Detroit is pretty darn cold so I doubt our poster is going to be able to get away with 40% or higher w/o window sweating and VERY VERY few people can keep enough air moving over the windows to keep them warm and not sweating plus most people close drapes for privacy. My advice is always for other readers of these posts and more of a rule of thumb do what works advice. all depends on where you live and other factors. usually when the static disappears when walking on rugs and you don't get nosebleeds that is high enough IMO.
You're right, Detroit is pretty cold during the winter, but I doubt it is as chilly as Winnipeg! In December/January we typically see highs around 30 and lows around 18-20.
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:09 AM   #25
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that is around -8 C which is shorts and tank top weather 4 us.

however at that low a temp windows will sweat at around 40% RH I am sure.
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:53 AM   #26
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that is around -8 C which is shorts and tank top weather 4 us.

however at that low a temp windows will sweat at around 40% RH I am sure.

It definitely gets colder than that from time to time, but those are the averages.

It gets much colder up in Northern Michigan where I hunt. I've seen -25F up there on a couple of occasions, although it isn't typical.
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Old 11-07-2013, 01:10 PM   #27
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that is around -8 C which is shorts and tank top weather 4 us.

however at that low a temp windows will sweat at around 40% RH I am sure.
Like the joke goes, in California at 50f they are bundled up, but in Northern Michigan and Canada, they are having picnics in the park.

Like I stated before, we get no moisture on our windows at trying to keep the rh around 50%, even when it gets below 20f, unless we have the drapes closed on a window. I had to bump the thermostat down to 67, since 68 was way too warm for me.
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:15 PM   #28
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I just put in a humidistat that automatically adjusts to the outside temperature. I think it cost $50 or so. Beats the heck out of always having the wrong setting, or having to adjust it all the time.
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Old 11-07-2013, 04:20 PM   #29
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I don't believe in them because a house full of wood is like a human body. It takes several days once wood shrinks for it to get rehydrated and swell up again and same for losing humidity. It takes several days for it to drop. Playing with the humidistat all the time ( every time the temp changes) is not going to really change anything quickly. I find the happy medium and set it there and have been telling my customers to do that for over 30 yrs and it works. That one works but in my experience most people don't want to spend the extra $$ .
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Old 11-07-2013, 04:50 PM   #30
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Hello all,

I installed a Honewell bypass humidifier over the weekend and am trying to figure out how to set it properly. I know you are supposed to set it according to the outside temperature, but it seems like the humidity is too high. I live in the Detroit area and the outside temp has been ranging from the low 30's at night to the upper 40's during the day.

According to the instructions I should set the humidistat to 40 when the outdoor temp is above 20 degrees. I did this, and there is condensation along the bottom of the windows. Is this always an indication of too high of a setting?

I did purchase a digital hygrometer to measure humidity, but I wonder if it is accurate. It said the house was at around 60% humidity, which if true, is definitely too high. I turned the humidifier down to 30, and the hygrometer fell to 54%. I also noticed that at 30 the humidifier isn't even currently running.

How much does the outdoor humidity affect the inside of the house when the furnace is running? The humidity in the area was around 55% yesterday.

Thanks for any advice.
The humidistat for the humidifier is probably inaccurate. or in a bad location. Set it to 30% and see what your hygrometer says 6 or so hours later.

You can get humidistats that have an outdoor sensor that will automatically adjust the humidity for you as the outdoor temp varies.

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