Humidity - update

I posted about a week ago, regarding how hard I was finding it to get the house humidity up after realizing I had the humidity control on the 'stat turned off (recap - Minnesota, mostly between 0 and 20F and extremely outside, forced air system with whole house humidifier, fairly large but well sealed house). Thought I'd give you guys an update.
Well, yippee, it finally got up to 35% today. It's been about 9 days since I started from 22%. I checked with the flooring distributor/ expert to get his views, and he counseled me to wait until something in the 40% range and then let it acclimate for a few days before installing. Based on the slow humidification rate I bought a big ass humidifier at Best Buy (pushes out 9 gallons a day) and it's starting to make a difference.
Really surprised how long this has taken. In prior years, when I have not forgot to turn the WHH on, we've had no problem keeping it at the right level. I wonder if there is a latent effect due to not just the air, but everything in the house such as furniture and carpets etc having been so dried out (after all, it did start at 22%...). SWMBO thinks I'm more insane than ever (obsessing about humidity and checking the readings every five minutes) but the thought of having the floors buckle in the humid summer scares the crap out of me.
Cheers
Cub
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 I wonder if there is a latent effect due to not just the

yes, this is true..
the dry air is not good for people either
Mark
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On 1/16/2011 6:56 PM, Mark wrote:

The best my sinuses ever felt and worked was when I lived next to and swam in the ocean or the salt water swimming pool. :-)
TDD
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On 1/16/2011 6:39 PM, cubby wrote:

Looks like we better get a whole house humidifier as our indoor humidity is currently only at 20% as you can see at http://www.crsales.com/weather.htm . We did start a little portable humidifier running a few days ago but since we started it the humidity has only gone up from 19% to the current 20%. :-(
Don
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?

Yes, instead of checking every five minutes, check every 12 to 24 hours for a significant change.
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Did you verify that water is running through the media on the furnace humidifier? You should see a good steady trickle, maybe half the diameter or a pencil flowing through the drain hose.
They have orifices that can clog up and need to be checked, cleaned, or replaced periodically. And also, if it's a bypass model, that the connecting duct is wide open?
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On Jan 17, 9:32 am, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Yes and yes. The flow is fine. It's a "typical" sized Aprilaire unit (by typical I mean the pad is the most common one sold at the home stores) and my sense is that it may be slightly undersized for the house. However, in previous years when it was turned on from the beginning of the winter, it coped just fine, and often I had to trim it down a little at the stat to eliminate condensation.
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People that have temperature setback thermostats obviously need a standalone unit.
And hey, don't forget that if you have an electric dryer you have a resource worth keeping track of. I have one of those boxes that directs the dryer discharge back into the basement past another filter, or to the outside.
I have a vent open to the basement at the far end, and a louvered door at the top of the steps as the path to the air return on the first floor. So I do laundry at night, and set my thermostat on "hold" at its setback setting. Then, in the morning when I get up, I start the dryer and take the thermostat off "hold". While it's bringing the house up from 64 degrees, there's plenty of time for the dryer to run and deliver all its humidity (and heat) into the house. Far better, IMO, than all that heat and humidity being wasted during the winter.
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Why would that be? Like most people, I have a setback thermostat and I set the temp to 67 during occupied periods during the day and to 60 starting at 11PM. I also have a humidifier and it works just fine. The furnace runs enough during those periods to keep the humidity correct. You just need to be sure the humidifier is correctly sized to the house.
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On Jan 17, 11:06 am, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

To everyone their own opinions. And mine is that over the night, my furnace only kicks on a couple of times to maintain the 64 degress I have it set for. So if I had a furnace-based humidifier, it would only be doing its thing twice, too. Also, it tended to be one of those "out of sight, out of mind" sort of issues.
When I had that situation, the humidity in our bedroom was low enough that my wife had problems in the morning that were resolved by having an ultrasonic humidifier next to the bed. No question of it working. And recently when my wife had a flare-up of arthritis and slept in the guest bedroom to be closer to the bathroom, she woke up with a dry throat and nose, even though I had verified that the furnace humidifier was functioning well. But we have Energy-Star windows, wall and ceiling insulation, good infiltration control, etc.
I'm not going to say that you are wrong and I'm right, I'm just making the observation that for me and my situation, a standalone unit is more functional during house setback.
Hope that serves as a reminder, your mileage will indeed vary.
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That would seem to be the principle advantage of a whole house humdifier that is mounted on the furnace. No hauling buckets or water, you service it once a year.

Then where does all that water that's in the air go overnight? No question that for some medical issues having one room high humidity, eg a vaporizer for a chest cold, can be beneficial.

I have used a couple of humidity gauges to actually see what the humidity is doing. And it doesn't change a measurable amount over night. Where do you think all the moisture that is in the air at 11PM goes by the time it's 6AM? Without substantial air leakage, it will still be there, whether the furnace is running or not. Also, the humidifier needs to be correctly sized and installed. IF you have one installed using cold air instead of hot, or it's too small, then you are going to be struggling to put enough water into the air. Mine cycles on and off, probably only running about 1/2 the time the furnace is on. And that's in a 3100 sq ft house.
An additonal point. When you set back the temp to 60, you want LESS humidity, not more. As the air cools, the relative humidity will be going up. That's why I always turn the humdifier way down when I'm going to go away for a few days and have the house set down to 50. If you let it get too high, you can wind up with condensation and water damage, mold, etc. Same thing with outside temp. The colder it is the lower you want the humidity to be.
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On Mon, 17 Jan 2011 10:36:45 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Leaky houses, or those where doors are opened often to let kids and dogs in and out really DO need humidifiers in the winter. A reasonably tight house that stays closed most of the time can often get by on human breath, showers, and cooking to keep the humidity reasonable.
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On Jan 17, 1:36 pm, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Be careful about "vaporizers". They warm the water, it becomes vapor, and then becomes condensate when it encounters cooler air.
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On Mon, 17 Jan 2011 09:28:03 -0800 (PST), Michael B

Well, I decided I didn't want the hassle of maintaining the whole house humidifier when I replaced my furnace about 8? years ago, so I did not have one installed. This is a roughly 40 year old house in south-central Ontario, with only 2 occupants. It is a 1200 sq ft 2 storey with a finished basement (so aprox 1800 sq fr living space) and the humidity varies from 24-28% all winter. We generally find that acceptable, and on the coldest days (below about -4F) we get a wee bit of condensation on the old kitchen window (last of 2 still not replaced with vinyl framed thermo-pane)
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what kind of filter do you use to catch the lint?
I'd also like to retain the heat and humidity, but I don't want the lint.
Mark
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The typical lint filter on a dryer has something the size of window screen wire to serve as a lint catcher. But the kit I use has a screen much smaller. Got it from Home Despot. Other thing is that it doesn't really catch much lint because the lint catcher on the dryer gets initially covered, and then is stopping it all because the lint already there is forming an excellent "mesh" to keep any more from getting past.
Before I used the adapter, I used a nylon "footie" to make a smaller mesh size at the dryer filter, another footie at the end of the dryer vent hose, with it near the ceiling to keep the dryer from pulling warm wet air back into itself.
I must be doing this okay, there isn't lint in the area around the dryer. And the way I do it, if any did show up, it would be caught by my furnace filter since it is being cycled at the same time.
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cubby wrote:

Tell her you're doing it for her. You'd hate to see her skin dry out and begin to flake off...
A woman without skin is a terrible thing.
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wrote:

A woman with a thin skin is bad enough!!
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