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Old 11-18-2008, 12:24 PM   #1
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Need to lower humidity levels


We have a 1,000 sq ft ranch home with a basement, built 1964, in Western NY. Since installing additional insulation in the attic last year and now installing new double pane glass windows throughout the house the humidity has been high, im guessing to a more air tight environment and less variance between attic and living area. Also after residing part of the house, I found that there is no vapor barrier felt paper over the sheathing on the exterior walls, cedar sided with fiber backer board.

We usually run a dehumidifier in the basement due to excessive humidity down there but had to bring it upstairs to help bring it down in the living area. In the living area without the dehumidifier running the levels will go up to 65% and there will be dripping condensation on the lower portion of the upper sash on the new windows. I understand that some fogging condensation may be normal, but this is actual droplet formation that will eventually ruin the windows. Also there has been some mild mold formation in the dark corners of the master bedroom.

My questions are...
1) Other than using the dehumidifier, which does bring it down to 50%, although running an awful lot, can an air to air heat exchanger (also known as heat pump??) help to reduce indoor humidity?
2)Also would installing faced insulation in the floor help to reduce humidity vapor comming into the living area from the basement?
3)Would putting vapor barrier over the exterior sheathing help to reduce vapor comming in through the wall, or does the facing on the insualtion in the walls prevent this?

The climate here is cold and snowy in the winter, may get down to 0 degrees F at times in Jan/Feb, we get alot of lake effect from Lake Ontario and Erie. Fall and srping are typically rainy and wet at times, summer can be hot and dry or humid, depends year to year.

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Old 11-18-2008, 12:57 PM   #2
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Need to lower humidity levels


The interior of the house will need to be conditioned. You can't keep the house at a lower humidity by applying any surface material.
Humidifiers are sized to the space and conditions you have. One size doesn't fit all. If you want the humidity lower than 55%, you'll need a larger unit. Or two smaller units spread out over the space.
Ron

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Old 11-18-2008, 01:24 PM   #3
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Need to lower humidity levels


The idea is I am trying to get away from running a dehumidifier if at all possible in the living area, so I am exploring other ideas.
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:02 PM   #4
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Need to lower humidity levels


The choices are air conditioner or dehumidifier. You can't get the indoor moisture levels any lower than the exterior levels without removing the moisture from the air.
The standard way to do this above the basement level is an air conditioner.
Ron
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Old 11-18-2008, 05:07 PM   #5
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Need to lower humidity levels


I live in much the same environment!
Most homes like ours, require a humidifier to add moisture to the very dry air that infiltrates into our homes.
In recent times, houses have been sealed up tight with caulking and a vapor barrier that prevents infiltration of dry air into the home.
Due to this, humidity can build up!
There are a few ways of reducing the humidity! You have already tried a dehumidifier.
Another option is to open a window and let cool, dry air in.
This doesn't seem like a good idea after spending money to avoid heat loss.
So, I installed a heat recovery ventilator. This expells the humid air from the house, but extracts the heat before its vented.
The dry replacement air is preheated from the exhaust air as it is drawn into the house.
Two good things occur. Fresh, dry air is brought into the house, and the stale, humid air is exhausted.
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Old 11-18-2008, 05:31 PM   #6
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Need to lower humidity levels


I appreciate the responses so far. How much do these heat recovery ventilators cost to operate?

Last edited by creamaster; 11-18-2008 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:59 PM   #7
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Need to lower humidity levels


Quote:
Originally Posted by creamaster View Post
I appreciate the responses so far. How much do these heat recovery ventilators cost to operate?
Mine is a Venmar unit ( http://www.venmar.ca/HRVPage.aspx ) and I would judge that it has a 1/4 HP motor. The label indicates that it draws 232 watts.
Its about 85% efficient, so there is loss of some heat when its running.
When i purchased mine it cost $750 plus the vent kit was $100.
Mine is the 3000 HEPA model and the HEPA filter lasts about 2 years. At which time, it will a $100 for a new one.

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