Does anybody have any experience with the Humidex System? Is this thing just
a fan with a humistat control or is there more to it? I've got a damp
basement and wonder if this thing really works or is it just BS.
Well since they don't say how it is suppose to work, I would guess it
is nothing more than a fan. The claims don't make sense. There are certain
laws of physics that would be violated if it did what it says it does.
There's a "how it works" section...
Humidex is a mechanical ventilation unit engineered to exhaust the moist,
musty and contaminated air that becomes trapped in the house due to the poor
circulation of indoor air... Ventilating excess humidity... High relative
humid air, Molds, Musty Odors and Gases are expelled to the outside via
the Humidex unit, and replaced with Fresh Air from upstairs.
Cool moist air is heavy and will gravitate to the lowest point, namely to
the basement of the house. The basement floor is also cold and will condense
when in contact with moisture seeping in or coming down. In poorly ventilated
areas, the damp air stagnates and creates an environment conducive to mold
growth, structural damage and discomfort. When a Humidex is installed and
operating, this stale, humid, contaminated air is drawn to the bottom vents
of the unit by a... [200 cfm fan.]
It is then expelled to outside of the house through a 6" duct... This [air]
is then replaced with a flow of relatively drier, warmer and fresher air
drawn downward from the upper levels. The interior air is then replaced with
cleaner, fresher outdoor air entering the home naturally via windows, doors,
cracks, etc. The warmer replenishment air raises the surface temperature
which lowers relative humidity. Humidex continues to expel this moist air
until the desired preset humidity level is reached...
Unit is automatically controlled by an adjustable humidistat... When the
desired level of humidity is achieved, the fan will reduce speed. It will
resume a higher speed if humidity level increases. The direct effect of the
air being expelled and the flow of air downwards, creates an air exchange
of approximately 10 times a day. As the moisture is drawn off the surface,
the moisture absorbed in the walls and floor comes to the surface and is
The unit automatically monitors the relative humidity and adjusts the
ventilation rate. In the summer set the humidistat control to between 50-60
percent and in the winter between 40-50 percent. The fan should be set at
the high speed... The fan will expel the moist air and will automatically go
to a minimal speed, after it has reduced the relative humidity to the desired
level. The unit never shuts off providing constant ventilation.
Which claims do not make sense? How?
Which laws? How? What happens on a humid summer day?
PS: They never mention the price on their web page with scary language and
anonymous testimonials. Click on "satisfaction guaranteed" to produce their
10-year parts guarantee, with a notice that this is their only guarantee,
and it does not include any "fitness for purpose."
I missed that somehow. I guess I did not really try all that hard.
In some areas that should help, IF (that's a big if) the local
conditions are right and it can move enough air. Of course a window fan
could do the same, maybe better and I have seen some with humidistats.
I didn't see prices mentioned. But, with a pretty decorator unit like that,
they gotta soak you good.
A heating and AC guy oughta be able to make a dehumidistat and ventilator.
The ad mentions no filter, and no removing moisture from the air. What's
left? Vent fan, and some duct. And a very expensive looking white case.
I'd go with the small town heating guy.
The humidex is one of the dumbest ideas that I have seen in years. I
went to their web site and found it is a basement exhaust fan. It
sucks cool air conditioned air from the house, through the basement and
then blows it outside. Now the house is under a negative pressure and
outside air will come in to the house to replace the exhausted air.
If the humidity ratio of the outside air is lower than the humidity
ratio of the basement air, there is no point in getting the house air
involved, it would be better to blow basement air outside to be
replaced with dry air from outside. You may as well run the AC with the
windows open. Or run the heat in the winter with the windows open.
If the humidity ratio of the outside air is higher than the basement or
crawlspace air, you are adding a lot of moisture to the house and
adding load to the AC system, increasing electric bills in the process.
You could start growing mold in the house. The Humidex just moves the
problem from the basement to the house. Bad Idea.
Buy a dehumidifier instead. In humid climates the Humidex is a
disaster about to happen. In dry climate areas, it is just a waste of
A good dehumidifier will do a better job of humidity control. Humidex
is just an expensive exuast fan. If you dont run AC upstairs and have
relatively high humidity you wont dry anything out, you just circulate
air, and bring in more unconditioned outside air for you to pay to
condition. In my basement an exaust fan did nothing, only when I
instaled a 200$ Dehumidifier at 1/2 the price of a Humidex did I see
comfort. Get a dehumidifier with a hose atachment so you can run a drain
hose. Running my dehumidifier calculates to 3.50$ a month with a Kill A
Watt, Running a 100 watt fan 24x7 for me would be 10$ a month. I see the
Humidex as a waste of energy and of little more effect than an open
I agree with Stretch's reply:
1. the unit appears to be just an exhaust fan with a humidistat control.
2. it only exhausts air. therefore, in an older home you'll be drawing
outside air in through window/door leaks etc - the same areas everyone tries
to insulate in the winter (at least here in atlantic canada). In a newer
home, you'll have a negative pressure in the house and outside air will find
a way in.
If you can afford it and deem it necessary, get a good heat recovery
ventilator - at least they can be controlled by both indoor and outdoor
conditions with the right "thermostat" from the mfg. Otherwise, a
dehumidifier should do the trick for you. I've got one in my basement and
it drains directly in to the sump pit (both by original owner - it works,
why mess with it).
I had a humidex in my last home and it does what it says. My basement
was as dry as it was when I was using a dehumidifier, however, my
electric bill was much lower with the humidex. While the unit was
running, you could feel the moist, cool are blowing out of the vent. I
paid $450 for it back in 2001 and installed it myself. They wanted
another $450 to install it. Installation took me about 2 hours. When
we moved last fall, I called to purchase another one, however, the
price went up to $900 for the unit without installation. For what the
product consists of, I thought that $450 was overpriced and $900 was
outrageous. After arguing with them, I decided to pass on their final
offer of a $500 demo unit and elected to build my own. We were
remodelling our basement, so I installed 6" ductwork in one of the
walls, attached a 200CFM 6" In-Line fan, which is normally used to
boost air flow in heating/cooling ducts, installed vents on both sides
of the wall (it was an interior wall) about 4" off the floor and vented
it out the exterior basement wall. It works pretty well. All parts
cost me under $100. However, this basement is much bigger than my last
house (about 1500 sq. ft.) and there still is a little dampness, so I
will have to try to find a bigger fan. When I used my dehumidifier in
this house, it ran non-stop. I found that the humistat was unnecessary
in both houses since this device also ran non-stop in both homes. I
just installed a switch so that I can turn it off during the dryer
months. All-in-all, this concept does work and is much more economical
than running a dehumidifier. Too bad the Humidex dealers are getting
greedy. I think they would sell more units with better pricing.
Where do you live?
As I said, in a dry climate it is a waste of money, you can do it
cheaper yourself,even though it will work. If you are in a wet
climate, you are exhausting already cooled air from your house through
I currently live near Syracuse, NY. My last house was in Northern New
Jersey. The damp air comes in through the basement walls and floor and
settles near the floor. This system pulls that air out. I'm sure that
some air from upstairs is pulled out as well, but my basement is much
drier when I use this system. Our climate is somewhat humid in the
warmer months, but I am sure there are more humid areas than ours.
Try sealing the walls and floors with a waterproofing compound like
Seal Crete or DryLock to reduce moisture incursion.
Exhaust fans can cause unexpected side effects. You can backdraft a
flue if you have a gas furnace or water heater, for example. I hope
you have a carbon monoxide alarm in your basement.
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