Whole House humidifiers

I have a house about 6 years old with central heat and air. The heat is propane. The unit is in the crawl space.
I have seen those humidifers that add humidity to the house in winter. I live in Kentucky. (Almost in Tennessee). Do these things work well? I have heard they let you run your thermostat a little lower. I also read they can use 18 gallons of water a day which would add to the water bill.
My main concern is I have a newborn and supposedly keeping a high humidity level in your house makes it less likely for people to get sick and decreases respiratory problems along with keeping you skin from drying out.
Is it bad to have too much humidity inside? Do they make a humidifer/dehumidifer for the whole house? What this be beneficial? ANy advice is greatly appreciated!
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Don wrote:

There are two general types. The room humidifiers, sometimes sold as whole house that are located in one room and the real whole house units that attached to he central heating system.
The first type is not going to handle a whole house, unless it is a very small home. It will do well in a single room.
The second is a lot easier and more efficient. They come in a number of types some use a fair amount of water and others not nearly as much. I have an AprilAir brand and it has worked well for me and does not use larger amounts of water, certainly not enough to notice on the water bill.
Check with your doctor and remember that babies have been living and thriving without any such gadgets for many generations. Don't let the sales pitch and fear pitch force you into spending money on something you may not need when the money may be better spend for something else like you new offspring's college fund.
Yes, I do have one and I do like it. I like the fact that I don't have the static electric issues with my cats anymore and I would say it is more comfortable, but I could live without.
BTW the humidifier and de-humidifier are two totally different things.
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Joseph E. Meehan

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A 6 yrs old house may be a tight house and not need one. Wait to see your humidity level. I put one in then redid the house now I need a fresh air ventilator, My new April air has not been used for the last 2 winters and I go to - 16 f
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Don) wrote in message

There are whole house humidifiers that you can easily add to a forced air system. I highly recommend the Aprilaire self powered unit, which is what I have. It installs easy, is easy to maintain, only needing to be cleaned once a season. It uses a cartridge type element that water trickles through. When it shuts off, no water is left, like in the older rotating media ones, where bacteria can grow. It also has a temp sensor that goes outside the house, so it will adjust the humidity to the outside temp, basicly decreasing it as it gets colder outside.
You definitely don't want it set too high, as that will cause sweating at cold spots, like windows, ceiling recessed lights, etc., which can lead to moisture damage. Set properly, they do make it more comfortable, prevent drying out of furniture and allow a setting of maybe a couple degrees lower on the thermostat.
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True, but they are a net heat loss unless you live in a very airtight house.

And the heating bill. Evaporating 18 gallons of water takes about 8.33x18x1000 = 150K Btu of heat, maybe $3 per day, with propane.

...40% RH is nice for health.

...60% may be too much. Mold, mildew, condensation on windows...

Yes and no. Plants and people and their activities naturally evaporate water. Caulking a house to raise humidity seems like a much better way.
Nick
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