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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    8

    Question

    Hello all,

    I'm not sure if this is an HVAC issue, but I'm looking for advice and welcome all opinions. Sorry for being so long...

    I have a 2000sq ft ranch house in Wisconsin that is about 2.5 years old. The house also has a full basement (just one open room, cement floors, poured cement walls, totalling another 2000 sq ft).

    Last winter was my first winter in the house, and there was a significant amount of condensation on the windows when the outside temperature dropped below 35F. At 0F, I would experience dripping levels of condensation from all windows.

    When I called my builder (the house was then under warranty) I was told it was just the new house drying out, and to turn on my furnace fan (to run at all times) and run all ceiling fans/bath vents/etc. Additionally, I bought 2 humistats, and found the humidity levels to hover in the 55-70% range throughout the house.

    So winter #2 is starting, and the Wisconsin weather has had a few nights in the 30's, and again I'm experiencing some condensation on the windows...not dripping yet...but it's also not that cold yet. My humidiy levels are holding between 55 and 75% depending on cooking/showers/etc.

    I have no visible water in my basement or anywhere but the windows...but obviously I have a ton of humidity. I have a small (30 pint) de humidifier that I've had on for a few days. It fills in about 1.5 days, but doesn't seem to be having a great effect on the overall humidity levels. Additionally, I've tried putting it in both the basement and kitchen (so both levels) - and it doesn't seem to matter much. Given, this is way too little de humidification for the size of my house...but before I got buy a bigger one (finally), here's some questions:

    Instead of getting a larger stand alone dehumidifier, is anything made that can attach right to my furnace? (home depot wasn't very helpful with this, since they don't carry anything like this) Is this an unusual request/question - or a normal occurance (so any HVAC contractor would know what I need?)

    While the above might solve my excess humidity issue - I still am kind of wondering where it's coming from. Can anyone offer an opinion about the house still 'drying out'? I was told 3 years, which seems pretty unlikely to me? I'm also kind of wondering about my cement basement...this might be the wrong forum...but could I be getting excess moisture from my large, poured walled basement? If so, would painting/sealing solve it?

    Again, sorry for questions outside of the norm, but thanks for the advice. Jeff


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,704
    furnace itself is usually a great dehumidifier. i would get hvac contractor in to look things over. make sure flues are drafting properly, etc. something don't sound right, what is outside humidity? house may be to tight and may need fresh air system.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    717
    check out HUMIDEX. An installation of a Humidex may solve your problem instead of using an electricity guzzling de-humidifier. The Humidex uses approx 35 watts.
    http://www.humidex.ca

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,597
    a furnace is in no way a dehumidifier. the relative humidity levels will lower in the warmer plenum and ductwork, but as soon as this air returns to room temperature, the relative humidity levels will return to where they were prior to entering the heat exchanger.

    we have installed quite a few aprilaire whole house dehumidifiers, capable of removing up to 90 pints of moisture daily, these can be connected to ductwork or stand alone.

    more info at http://www.aprilaire.com

    good luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,704
    if furnace does not dry out air then why are houses with hot air heat so much drier in winter time than a house with hot water heat???

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold.calm
    Posts
    5,423
    Originally posted by t527ed
    something don't sound right, what is outside humidity? house may be to tight and may need fresh air system.
    You may want to look into a HRV for this house. 2 years old, you might have gotten a builder that did a great job, and the house is not breathing properly. Call your contractor and ask about a Heat Recovery Ventilator.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,597
    Originally posted by t527ed
    if furnace does not dry out air then why are houses with hot air heat so much drier in winter time than a house with hot water heat???
    infiltration.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,704
    Originally posted by billva
    Originally posted by t527ed
    if furnace does not dry out air then why are houses with hot air heat so much drier in winter time than a house with hot water heat???
    infiltration.

    oh, houses with hot water heat don't have that??

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,597
    where do you drain all this humidity removed by a furnace?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,704
    Originally posted by billva
    where do you drain all this humidity removed by a furnace?


    damn if i know were it goes but it sure does dry the house out compared to other types of heat.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    I don't know
    Posts
    2,903
    It's called relative humidity for a reason. Heating systems do not remove moisture - they simply increase capacity of it.

    30F outdoor air is @ 60% RH is very dry when heated to room temperature for example. Newer homes have much less infiltration relative the moisture produced by occupants.

    Homes with natural draft furnaces tend to be much drier - outdoor air has to displace what goes up the stack.

    I would have thought that all hvac technicians grasp the concept of relative humidity. Guess not.



    [Edited by amd on 10-27-2005 at 08:13 PM]

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Suppy NC
    Posts
    4,513
    dumb question
    is there a humidifier on the system and if so is it working properly.
    what was the level durning the ac season or when you were running the ac

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    If I were trying to solve this one, I would merely allow some cold outdoor air in. (fresh air) The RH will drop

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