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  1. #1
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    Confused House stuffy, uncertain what equipment to buy

    Seeking advice before I talk to local pros.

    I am in NJ, house built in 1990, 2600 sq ft single story ranch. HVAC system is Lennox high efficiency forced air heating and cooling. single stage, single speed fan system, it is 3 years old. It works very well. Windows are original, andersen casement. House is relatively tight, but im sure thats subjective.

    The discomfort happens during seasonal transitions. When the outside air is in 60's, high humidity. The house temperature hangs around 68-69 degrees. It will stay there all day. It is too warm to heat, it is too cool to force the AC on. Can't open the windows because its humid outside. The air in the house begins to feel very stagnant and stuffy, since the system may go 2 days (or more) without needing to come on. The humidity will slowly climb to around 50%-55% and then it starts feeling really gnarly.

    If I force the fan on, it feels like im just blowing stuffy air around. My thought was to ask HVAC pro for a "whole house dehumidifier". But isnt that the exact same thing as running the AC system?

    What about a fresh air system? But the air would have to be conditioned if the outside air is too humid. Am i doomed and need a multi stage fan to be comfortable?

    the only way around this seasonal discomfort is to force the heat or AC on to make the air in the house feel fresh. My parents house has a multi stage fan that runs 24/7, their house always feels comfortable. But given my system is relatively new, and works very well, i would like to avoid replacing it (was installed professionally by prior owner). Thanks for any advice guys

  2. #2
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    May 2000
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    Indianapolis, IN, USA
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    With temps in the 60s, there is little need for cooling but great need for dehumidification. A ventilating whole house dehum makes sense. It will keep the humidity down and bring a little fresh air in and dehumidify it as well. It can be ducted into the home system or stand alone duct to the living area. Most of what we install is the latter.

  3. #3
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    Thread Starter
    Thank you for getting me on track!
    How is that different from just running the AC? Isn’t the ac just a big dehumidifier?

  4. #4
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    Southold, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthLake View Post
    Thank you for getting me on track!
    How is that different from just running the AC? Isn’t the ac just a big dehumidifier?
    you don't run your A/C when its 60° outside you'll be uncomfortable.

    A whole house dehumidifier might cool the air slightly, mostly it dry's the air if the home does cool the heat will come on.

  5. #5
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    Thread Starter
    Very good, i think that sounds like exactly what i need, I will start calling around, thanks for the help guys

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthLake View Post
    Very good, i think that sounds like exactly what i need, I will start calling around, thanks for the help guys
    Member Teddy Bear is the one you need to talk to.

  7. #7
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    Thread Starter
    Hopefully he’ll come by, can’t see a way to @mention him or private message to his account

  8. #8
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    Search his name and email him.
    Guests can’t PM

  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    Jun 2003
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    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthLake View Post
    Seeking advice before I talk to local pros.

    I am in NJ, house built in 1990, 2600 sq ft single story ranch. HVAC system is Lennox high efficiency forced air heating and cooling. single stage, single speed fan system, it is 3 years old. It works very well. Windows are original, andersen casement. House is relatively tight, but im sure thats subjective.

    The discomfort happens during seasonal transitions. When the outside air is in 60's, high humidity. The house temperature hangs around 68-69 degrees. It will stay there all day. It is too warm to heat, it is too cool to force the AC on. Can't open the windows because its humid outside. The air in the house begins to feel very stagnant and stuffy, since the system may go 2 days (or more) without needing to come on. The humidity will slowly climb to around 50%-55% and then it starts feeling really gnarly.

    Most modern homes are air tight enough to not have adequate fresh air change during calm mild conditions verses cold windy weather.

    If I force the fan on, it feels like im just blowing stuffy air around. My thought was to ask HVAC pro for a "whole house dehumidifier". But isnt that the exact same thing as running the AC system?

    What about a fresh air system? But the air would have to be conditioned if the outside air is too humid. Am i doomed and need a multi stage fan to be comfortable?

    Adding a small whole house dehumidifier with the fresh air ventilation option will provide fresh air when occupied and maintain low humidity, <50%RH. When installed into the a/c supply duct the fresh air is circulated by the dehumidifier fan and mixed with the house air. If the %RH in the home rises above the set %RH, the dehumidifier part will remove the excess moisture. I would also include the basement as part of control. Heat/cooling will still function normally. Check out the Ultra-Aire 70H for your home and climate.

    the only way around this seasonal discomfort is to force the heat or AC on to make the air in the house feel fresh. My parents house has a multi stage fan that runs 24/7, their house always feels comfortable. But given my system is relatively new, and works very well, i would like to avoid replacing it (was installed professionally by prior owner). Thanks for any advice guys
    Sorry about missing your original post.
    Keep us posted on any additional question and how the solution works out.
    Regards Teddy Bear
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  11. #11
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    Thread Starter
    Teddy thank you pointing me in the right direction!

  12. #12
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    how does the "fresh air" aspect of these work? Knowing some of the local techs around here they may suggest that they want to install without additional duct work to outdoors. I like the idea of bringing in the outside air. how does that work?

  13. #13
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    Jun 2003
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    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthLake View Post
    how does the "fresh air" aspect of these work? Knowing some of the local techs around here they may suggest that they want to install without additional duct work to outdoors. I like the idea of bringing in the outside air. how does that work?
    Typically a 6" fresh air duct is routed from outside to the inlet of the dehumidifier and joined with a return duct from the open part of the home. A 2,500 sq.ft. home needs about 80-100 cfm of fresh air blended with outside air, sucked through a merv 13 air filter and routed to the a/c supply duct. MOst operate the dehu fan when the home is occupied. This will slowly add enough filtered fresh air to change the air in the home in 4-5 hours. The dehu fan and a fresh air damper is operated by a controller timer plus on/off switch when desired. The dehu dehumidistat/heating/cooling controls maintain temp/%RH desired by the occupants. 100 cfm of fresh air typically increases conditioning cost by $150 per year. Very reasonable considering improvement in comfort and indoor air quality.
    https://www.ultra-aire.com/
    There are several manufactures.
    Keep us posted.
    Regards Teddy Bear
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

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