How tight must a home be to no longer require mechanical humidification?
In an online forum discussion of home inspectors in the USA, the topic of humidifiers and infiltration is receiving a lot of comments. The basic character of many of the comments mirror the position presented by Dr Allison Bailes in his article: “A Humidifier Is A Bandaid – The Problem is Infiltration”. https://www.energyvanguard.com/blog/57151/A-Humidifier-Is-a-Bandaid-The-Problem-Is-Infiltration#blog-comments
While we can all agree that in cold climates, cold air that enters the home and is then warmed and mixed with conditioned interior air lowers the indoor relative humidity. And a tight house may be able to maintain a desirable RH without the need for a humidifier. I note that Dr Bailes did not say that all homes in all climates for all customers with all lifestyles can be made tight enough nor insulated well enough that none will need a humidifier.
When professional weatherization contractors tighten up an existing home and add insulation, does that effort always achieve a “tight and well insulated home” that can maintain indoor RH at a desirable level without additional humidification? The question is: “How often (what percentage) is the weatherization efforts successful enough that home owners can be comfortable in cold or dry climates without a humidifier?”
Is there a sweet spot of Air Changes per Hour that can reliably keep the humidity levels of a home high enough that no additional humidification is needed and what is that ACH level is it economically achievable in existing homes?
GBA Detail Library
A collection of one thousand construction details organized by climate and house part