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  1. #1

    new construction- "tight" house, hydro air, do I need humidifiers?

    From the few searched threads I've found, there may be as many opinions as there are people:

    I'm having a new home built with walls and ceilings sprayed with open cell insulation. I'm in eastern Massachusetts. The basement has radiant heating, the "ground" and 2nd floors each have a heat exchanger from the boiler. In my previous three furnace heated houses, I've needed humidifiers on the furnaces for the winter. Will I need humidifiers for this house- considering it's a "tight" house?

    Thanks! AL

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,837
    If your home is truly tight, then humidification may be unnecessary. I'd recommend you purchase a good instrument of your choice that includes reporting RH%. The DOE states that a tight home with a family of 4 living within will normally generate enough moisture through normal living to eliminate or at least greatly reduce the need for additional humidity. In fact, we're in the throws of installing a whole house dehumidifier for use in winter into a home that has no one living it right now but is experiencing RH% levels of 45% on the first floor and 58% in the finished basement. The is a Nudura concrete home with double insulated (inside and outside) concrete walls and dense foam insulation in the attic. The house is super tight and the need for even more fresh air exchange than we have already installed is evident. The crowning touch on this house is that we have 2 geothermal, standing column well, heat pumps installed and when they both are working (which is rare) the well water pipes, though insulated, are sweating and making the utility room floor very moist.

    This is admittedly a new experience for our company with the exceptional tightness of the home. If there were a fossil fuel system in the house, I'm sure we'd be having a different experience but the high humidity, low system heat temperatures and cold water pipes seem to make for the perfect conditions for endless humidity issues. Thus the WHD to be installed.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Arnold mo
    Posts
    3,967
    If your home is super tight & very well insulated, you will certainly need a means to bring in fresh air. The air in a home has to have a means of getting fresh air changes so indoor pollutants do not build to excessive levels. You will also likely need a dehumidifier in summer. This is do to the fact that since your home is so tight & well insulated, your air conditioner will possibly not run enough to dehumidify the air in the home.
    Whether or not you will need a humidifier in winter involves how large the home is, how many occupants are in it, lifestyle choices such as how much cooking is done, whether there is a hot tub, how many indoor live plants you have etc.... Enough moisture can easily be created internally to keep the humidity levels under control, even with fresh air being brought in mechanically.
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