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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Cornwallville, NY
    Posts
    1

    Question Heating a humid home

    Hi, my home, a 2000 sq.ft. bi-level contemporary, does not have an affordable heating system. Electric baseboard is expensive. I want to install either a radiant heating system or forced air system run with biomass alternative fuel sources. The main consideration is the humidity in the home. I have dehumidifiers working in the basement to remove humidity that can typically rise to more than 70%. Will radiant heating contribute to the humidity problem? Is forced air a better option for driving off humidity?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: Heating a humid home

    Curt:

    No, radiant heat wouldn't add any humidity to the air---I was surprised that you list humidity as the main problem.

    A certain amount of humidity is desireable in the winter---humid air holds a lot more heat & thus humidifiers are often used for this purpose in winter---in summer, the goal of the AC, of course is to eliminate as much water vapor from the air for comfort and energy savings.

    Which type of heating system you choose will have to be based most of all on local conditions---what do you pay now per kwh for elec??

    Do you have nat. gas pipelines in your area, propane service, #2 fuel oil???

    What are your neighbors doing for heat---are there any wood-burning stoves, pellet furnaces, geothermal, heat pumps---does the elec co. allow for off-peak rates if you have an elec boiler???

    Since you live in a rural, cold area do you lose elec due to storms in the winter??

    What are the coldest temps you get in winter??

    Do you have adequate insulation of R19 in the exterior walls, & R40 in the attic??

    Perhaps you could call the State Dept. of Energy in Albany & ask if they have any incentive payments if you install solar, geothermal, etc.

    Have you called any local real estate agents & local housing builders to ask them what systems, & why they install the heating systems they do now.

    Do you have a large lot or added land with a lot of trees you could harvest for heat in the winter??

    I know, a million questions, but only you can tell us what's going on in the Hudson River Valley/Catskills.

    Please post back.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Heating a humid home

    70 % is way to high especially during the colder temps in the winter .... the colder the outside temps. the lower the humidty inside.

    The only time forced air heating tends to dry out things is when the heating system is not direct vented as with high efficient systems.

    The mid-efficient furnaces that use a conventional flue for the exhaust draw inside air into the furnace for combustion and that air will continue up the flue to the outside.With this the humidity is reduced.

    You might look into having a Heat Recovery Ventilator ( HRV ) or Energy Recovery Ventilator ( ERV ) installed. These units exhaust inside humid , stale air and replacing with fresh outside air while extracting the heat .
    These units can be installed as a stand alone or incorporated easily into forced air heating systems.


    Just a thought.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Heating a humid home

    Forced air will dry out the house. I have a humdifier running constantly to keep the humidity in our home at around 50% during the winter.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    455

    Default Re: Heating a humid home

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Park View Post
    Forced air will dry out the house.
    I would have to disagree with that being absolute, you need to qualify that statement.
    Forced air heating in it self doesn't dry out the home since it simply circulates the air within. The issue has to do more with the type of combustion equipment being used.
    We used to have an 80% forced air furnace that exhausted out a flue. This type of equipment uses the air inside the home for combustion. When that warm moist air is drawn into the combustion chamber of the furnace it also is exhausted out the flue, this is one reason the home is drier.
    We replaced our forced air furnace with a high efficiency direct vented unit and noticed the humidity increased during the winter.
    So, what's the difference , they're both forced air heat.
    The difference is the direct vented furnace doesn't use the inside air for combustion ,it draws outside air into a sealed combustion chamber. So the humid inside air the home remains unaffected by the furnace and is simply recirculated within.

    Another case in point is we also have a regular fireplace in our finished lower level. When we use that in the winter it dries out the home. Drawing the humid air from the house for combustion and straight up the chimney.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Iowa, Quad-Cities area
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Heating a humid home

    Quote Originally Posted by CurtAbretske View Post
    Hi, my home, a 2000 sq.ft. bi-level contemporary, does not have an affordable heating system. Electric baseboard is expensive. I want to install either a radiant heating system or forced air system run with biomass alternative fuel sources. The main consideration is the humidity in the home. I have dehumidifiers working in the basement to remove humidity that can typically rise to more than 70%. Will radiant heating contribute to the humidity problem? Is forced air a better option for driving off humidity?
    The only way to solve the high humidity problem is to install a heat recovey ventalator. Any new system will not increase or decrease the humidity level (to any great degree).

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