Heatpump dehumidifying my house

The humidity level in my house (central North Carolina) for the winter is typically 20% or below. We've purchased a Holmes humidifier rated for the size of our house (~1700 sq. feet). Anytime the heater (Carrier heat pump) kicks in the humidity level in the house drops. The humidifier has a hard time compensating in a reasonable amount of time. Its difficult to keep the humidity level to 40% on a steady basis.
Should the heating system be dehumidifying my house to this degree?
Jones
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Jones wrote:

Heating air, not matter where the heat comes from, always reduces the humidity.
It appears you humidifier is not doing the job. It may be in part because it was designed to work with a system with a higher temperature rise. Maybe it is not installed properly or maybe it is not working properly, or maybe it is just junk.
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Joseph Meehan

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There's absolute and relative humidity. Unless you add or remove moisture, you do not affect absolute humidity. OTOH, heating/cooling will reduce/increase _relative_ humidity. Which is important to respiratory tract, etc. 40% R.H. sounds a bit high. Maybe if you set for 30%?
HTH, John
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