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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    somewhere between heaven and hell
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    957

    Dr. said no humidifier

    Last month I put in a new A/C and F300 EAC I was going to also install a HE265DG115 humidifier. The customer wanted humidifier cause her daughter has bad asthma and allergies and so forth. The day install took place she said do not install the humidifier cause Dr. said it would be bad for her daughter and she will be in hospital alot more than she is now. Asthma must be pretty bad. Any inputs on why Dr.said no?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
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    68,931
    Yes, because doctors do not understand humidifiers. As a matter of fact, they only "practice" their own trade, while we strive to be proficient in ours.

    This all started with nasty stuff growing in stagnant standing water in drum type humidifiers. Even these are fine to use as long as monthly maintenance is provided and a little chlorinated treatment is used.

    However, most of todays humidifiers do not hold water so there are none of the problems that uneducated doctors rant against.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Alberta Canada
    Posts
    2,246

    Actually

    Doctors are like black smiths, It is very hard to find a good one, but he could be partially correct about low hummidy. I don't me none but they do reccomend dehumidiers when humidity get higher. My son has astma and I have a tru steam on top floor and 1042 on main floor and it does not bother him at all. I did put a good filtration system in. Hepa450( does get loud sometimes)
    Do it right the first time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Jefferson, GA
    Posts
    46
    That's strange. I have asthma and have had it for 18 years now. I've actually found the opposite to be true. I've had it recommended by a number of doctors to INSTALL a humidifier as drier air has a tendency to exacerbate the inflammation which causes an attack. I know that asthma is one of those things that is triggered different ways in different people, but it's always been my understanding (and experience) that really dry air is universally bad for asthmatics.

    Sorry you missed out on part of your install. Maybe she'll "see the light" and have you back to put it in later.

  5. #5
    Most Allergists do not recommend humidifiers. This is because two of the major indoor allergens are dust mites and mold. Both thrive with higher humidity.

    On the other hand most pediatricians and gp's recommend humidifiers. They feel that moist air helps breathing.

    I'm afraid I have to go with the Allergists on this one. They have by far the most experience with asthma and have seen the results with their patients.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
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    68,931
    Quote Originally Posted by breathe easy View Post
    Most Allergists do not recommend humidifiers. This is because two of the major indoor allergens are dust mites and mold. Both thrive with higher humidity.

    On the other hand most pediatricians and gp's recommend humidifiers. They feel that moist air helps breathing.

    I'm afraid I have to go with the Allergists on this one. They have by far the most experience with asthma and have seen the results with their patients.
    Interesting perspective. I understand where you are coming from and why, and because your posts give me reason to respect your opinions, may I debate this with you from the perspective of the HVAC industry overall?

    Are you suggesting that we should be lowering the humidity levels in the home during heating season in order to decrease the growth of dust mites and mold, despite the need for humidification for many comfort reasons?

    I am certainly not suggesting raising humidity levels to the point of promoting mold, which is everywhere, but at what point does humidity promote dust mite growth?

    We on the HVAC design and install side of the industry highly promote increased humidity levels during the heating season for many comfort and medical reasons, including reducing asthmatic conditions, which are made more sensitive in lower humidity conditions.

    Most homes that require heating wind up having humidity levels below that of desert conditions. This causes moisture from the skin to evaporate, cooling the skin surface and making us feel colder then then actual temperature should warrant. For this reason, when winter air in homes is too dry, the HO must turn up the heat in order to "feel" warmer, whereas if the humidity level were at a point that kept moisture from the body to evaporate on the skin surface, the occupants would "feel" warmer at lower temperatures.

    Along with the evaporation of moisture from the skin comes dry skin conditions which causes itching, cracking of the skin and in areas such as the inside of the nose, easily damaged blood vessels and sensitivity to asthmatic irritants.

    So, do we properly control humidity while reducing mold and dust mite activity through better filtration, UV lighting and basic vacuuming, or do we create dry air problems in order to keep mold and dust mite activity at bay?
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  7. #7
    rbt
    Good points.

    I suppose it depends alot on where you live. In Texas we do not generally have long heating seasons. The ideal indoor humidity level is between 30 and 50 percent. Generally, we are able to keep humidity from getting below 30 percent without the use of humidifiers. I realize this might not be the case in other areas of the country with harsher winters.

    The major issues from an allergy and asthma standpoint are dust mites and mold - especially dust mites which are found in virtually every pillow, mattress, piece of upholstered furniture or square foot of carpeting in our area. Dust mite droppings are some of the most allergenic substances we know of.

    Asthma consists of two components - inflammation normally caused by allergic reactions and triggers. When these things are present at the same time the asthmatic is ripe for an life-threatening episode. Oftentimes, the inflammation part is driven by exposure to dust mite allergens. Dust mites do not do well in humidity below 50%. Given the choice between exposure to dust mite allergen and exposure to dry air (not cold dry air which is a common trigger), allergists will always go for lower exposure to dust mites.

    Filtration, UV lights and none of the other "indoor air" products are effective against dust mite allergen. What is effective is encasing mattresses and pillows in dust mite proof encasements and lower humidity.

    I don't think any allergist would have a problem with humidifiers if they were properly maintained and not used when the humidity goes over 50%. Unfortunately, their experience has shown otherwise and they have had to deal with the consequences for their patients.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
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    68,931
    Proper setup and maintenance are the key points to humidifier usage. No humidifier should ever be set to produce 50% humidity. This is where doctors should be promoting that only HVAC professionals with experience and knowledge in humidification be employed to install, set up and maintain humidifiers for better health.

    Here in the Mid-Atlantic states, we have trouble lowering humidity in the summer and raising the humidity in the winter.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  9. #9
    rbt
    In my experience doctors - particularly Allergists - will not promote anything without good clinical evidence supporting their recommendation. Unfortunately, there is not a good way to prove to these physicians that even a good HVAC company can provide consistent results that benefit their patients.

    But I will tell you what really hurts the credibility of the HVAC industry are all of the health claims that are being made in advertising, marketing materials and sales presentations for HVAC products and services. Every ad that appears promoting UV lights, magic air cleaners in a box, air duct cleaning and so on, lowers the opinion of the HVAC community in the eyes of doctors. That is why I am so opposed to people who make these claims.

    We need to stick with the facts. If we don't have good clinical evidence supporting the health benefits of a product, don't make the claim.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
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    68,931
    Quote Originally Posted by breathe easy View Post
    rbt
    In my experience doctors - particularly Allergists - will not promote anything without good clinical evidence supporting their recommendation. Unfortunately, there is not a good way to prove to these physicians that even a good HVAC company can provide consistent results that benefit their patients.

    But I will tell you what really hurts the credibility of the HVAC industry are all of the health claims that are being made in advertising, marketing materials and sales presentations for HVAC products and services. Every ad that appears promoting UV lights, magic air cleaners in a box, air duct cleaning and so on, lowers the opinion of the HVAC community in the eyes of doctors. That is why I am so opposed to people who make these claims.

    We need to stick with the facts. If we don't have good clinical evidence supporting the health benefits of a product, don't make the claim.
    I am 100% with you on this one. I don't deal well with hype either. I don't see why our industry cannot just come up with a reasonable standard for measuring humidity output of humidifiers, resistance factors for filters and exposure limits of UV lighting.

    When it comes to health, it should not be as confusing as our industry marketing makes it.

    Then again, there must also be a certain amount of consumer responsibility as well. If a consumer is concerned about the humidity in there home, whether it be too dry or too humid, there are good hygrometers on the market that can be utilized to let consumers know what is happening in their home. The new Honeywell thermostats also tell the humidity level right on the stat. There is no reason to panic in either direction on this issue. We have the technology...we can make it better
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Alberta Canada
    Posts
    2,246

    Our Doctor Also gave us Some information

    I read it and made sense but went against his information and put 1 in. Does not bother my son at all. He is 15 years old.
    Do it right the first time.

  12. #12
    21
    In your area with long, harsh winters a humidifier (properly installed and maintained) is probably OK for a person with asthma. But just because your son has not had any problems does not confirm this. In fact it could be that your son has just grown to the point that the asthma does not result in episodes as it did when he was younger. Asthma episodes frequently occur in an inverse bell curve - higher numbers of episodes when very young, much lower episodes when the body reaches maturity and higher episodes again in later life.

    It would be interesting to see if the "no problems" is confirmed by spirometry or even peak flows. Inflammation could still be present without the episodes.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    906

    Humidity helps prevent winter diseases

    I remember reading some studies that said dry mucous membranes (sinuses) make one more vulnerable to infection. It's not hard to find similar statements from relatively trustworthy sources:

    "The most common cold-causing viruses survive better when humidity is low -- the colder months of the year. Cold weather also may make the nasal passages' lining drier and more vulnerable to viral infection. "

    http://www.weather.com/activities/he...coldfacts.html

    But everything is a question of balance. Too much humidity can help unwanted things grow (dust mites, mold, etc...). The 30-50% range makes sense, as BE said. The 30% level is typically not maintainable without a humidifier in the midwest winter if you have a moderately leaky house and a furnace and gas water heater using a chimney. That's because the chimney draws a lot of air from the ambient space. Hot air tends to rise ("stack effect") and gas water heaters (I'm assuming the common not power-vented type) open the chimney to the ambient interior air continuously. Sealed combustion versions of the furnace and gas water heater (or an electric one) are advantageous in this regard.

    Maybe your doctor is from the south or is really afraid of poorly maintained humidifiers that keep stagnant water (and so may support the growth of mold).
    Last edited by pmeunier; 05-06-2009 at 10:57 AM. Reason: statement about 30% level not maintainable needed to be qualified

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