Home & Garden

High humidity on main floor, who to call to assess?

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  • Oct 20th, 2019 12:47 pm
[OP]
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Dec 19, 2005
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High humidity on main floor, who to call to assess?

Hey folks, just looking for input on who I can call to assess why my home has been experiencing high humidity lately, particularly on the main floor. Some background, my home is a semi-detached bungalow (1957 build) with a finished basement, shingles were replaced in July 2018 and no humidity issues.

Just only the last 2 months the humidity has gone up and stays between 50-60%. This is worrisome for me as the temperature has dipped the past few weeks and it still remains this high. I bought a dehumidifier last week and for the basement it is working, but for the main floor the lowest it has gone is 38% and then back up to 50% within a couple of hours. Prior to the dehumidifier, I was pumping the AC and it wouldn't go below 45% and still mainly stays around 50%-55% still. There is no condensation on the windows but I do notice the floors are a little sticky.

Just wondering who I can call to get this checked out. My home runs on a condensation pump so everything goes through a tube and out. In the winter when its extreme cold, I rely on the humidifier to run to keep the tube from freezing the water line. So with the humidity high my humidifier won't be turning on.
24 replies
Member
Jan 12, 2007
340 posts
186 upvotes
Tell us more about your HVAC system. Is it forced air ? Circulation has a lot to do this this. Are the air returns blocked by furniture ?
How about your windows, how old are they ?
[OP]
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Dec 19, 2005
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Home is running on forced air. Two ducts are closed as they sit on top of a wine cabinet, but it has always been like that. I’ve left windows open to try and circulate the air but it does little to help reduce the humidity and ended up just closing them to turn the AC on to try and reduce the humidity a bit.

Windows are about 10-15 years old I’d say, I just purchased this home 4 years ago.

I’m wondering could it be the soffit vents? Could they be blocked preventing the air from circulating out?
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
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Brampton
You didn't say anything about your location.

The GTA has been very humid in the last couple week. It's only started to come down in temp and humidity in the last week.
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
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Paris
Agree with @tebore No HVAC really running this time of year and its humid out. Humidity usually spikes this time of year. 60% isnt that nuts.
Member
Jan 12, 2007
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The return ducts are important, they need to be open and unobstructed.
Windows open during during humid days will make the house humid.
Soffit vents help keep the attic air circulating and won't make an impact to to the livable areas of the home.
My house is at 50% today and the heat was running for a bit this morning (GTA). This is a normal for this time of the year for me.
EscaBoi wrote: Home is running on forced air. Two ducts are closed as they sit on top of a wine cabinet, but it has always been like that. I’ve left windows open to try and circulate the air but it does little to help reduce the humidity and ended up just closing them to turn the AC on to try and reduce the humidity a bit.

Windows are about 10-15 years old I’d say, I just purchased this home 4 years ago.

I’m wondering could it be the soffit vents? Could they be blocked preventing the air from circulating out?
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
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Oakville
tebore wrote: You didn't say anything about your location.

The GTA has been very humid in the last couple week. It's only started to come down in temp and humidity in the last week.
+1, it's very humid now and not warm enough to run AC, so everybody's home will be humid. I have my dehumidifier set to 50% and it's running quite a lot.

That said, do you have good drainage around your house? You shouldn't have water pooling around your foundation. Make sure your dehumidifier/AC/furnace is draining properly and that the filters are clean.
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Jul 7, 2017
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SW corner of the cou…
Gosh. The RH in my house stays around 60% all year. Might drop to mid 50s on a dry, warm summer day.
I smile when I see container ships sailing past my house laden with stuff made in China
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Dec 5, 2009
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My house has also been hovering between 52-57 for the past few weeks. It’s been humid and rainy and we’ve had no A/c or furnace running so this seems pretty normal.
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Jan 2, 2012
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KINGSTON,ON
Does your home have a HRV? If so, running it at this time of year will pull humid air into your home.
[OP]
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Dec 19, 2005
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Thx for the input everyone, makes me feel a little more at ease. I am located in Toronto.

The humidity does seem relatively high to me considering last year I didn’t notice the number that high on my ecoBee. There were times last week where it spiked over 60%.

Right now it’s 10 PM and the humidity is at 50% and the outside temp is 13 degrees. To me this seems high as it’s cool outside.

No HRV installed in the home. In use to seeing 30-40% regularly so seeing anything above 50% of high to me
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Feb 11, 2007
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Oakville
EscaBoi wrote: Thx for the input everyone, makes me feel a little more at ease. I am located in Toronto.

The humidity does seem relatively high to me considering last year I didn’t notice the number that high on my ecoBee. There were times last week where it spiked over 60%.

Right now it’s 10 PM and the humidity is at 50% and the outside temp is 13 degrees. To me this seems high as it’s cool outside.

No HRV installed in the home. In use to seeing 30-40% regularly so seeing anything above 50% of high to me
That's not unusual. It sounds like your house is leaky. In that case, you'll be begging for humidity in the winter when the humidity will likely dip under 10-20%.
[OP]
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Dec 19, 2005
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engineered wrote: That's not unusual. It sounds like your house is leaky. In that case, you'll be begging for humidity in the winter when the humidity will likely dip under 10-20%.
Correct, in the winter the humidity in the home dips and the humidifier kicks in.

Thanks everyone for the input. So just wondering now if I should return the dehumidifier I just bought? Humidity on my main floor does still hit around 50-60% at times at the moment but does not go above that rate.
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Dec 5, 2009
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EscaBoi wrote: Correct, in the winter the humidity in the home dips and the humidifier kicks in.

Thanks everyone for the input. So just wondering now if I should return the dehumidifier I just bought? Humidity on my main floor does still hit around 50-60% at times at the moment but does not go above that rate.
I run a dehumidifier in the basement during the summer. Even with the ac running it can get very humid down there. So you can consider keeping it for that purpose.
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Oakville
EscaBoi wrote: Correct, in the winter the humidity in the home dips and the humidifier kicks in.

Thanks everyone for the input. So just wondering now if I should return the dehumidifier I just bought? Humidity on my main floor does still hit around 50-60% at times at the moment but does not go above that rate.
Keep it. I have mine on a timer set from 8pm to 7am and set to 50%, so it helps control the levels throughout the year.

Also look into improving the air sealing on your house to help control the air leakage.
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Jan 25, 2007
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Paris
EscaBoi wrote: Correct, in the winter the humidity in the home dips and the humidifier kicks in.

Thanks everyone for the input. So just wondering now if I should return the dehumidifier I just bought? Humidity on my main floor does still hit around 50-60% at times at the moment but does not go above that rate.
We used to run our AC during the day and open windows on cool but somewhat humid evenings and ran a dehumidifier. I found we had high electrical bills in the summer and bought a kill-a-watt type device. The dehumidifier was sucking up $50 a month in electricity. I returned it and got a different mode thinking it was faulty. Nope, was the dehumidifier. So now I just run AC all day and night which actually saves money. But humidity spikes this time of year and doesnt go away until temps dip under 5 celsius. Which is fine for me as the family is prone to get colds this time of year and humidity makes me feel better. :)
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Feb 11, 2007
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If you're desperate, you could alternate running the furnace and AC to heat/cool the house, and dehumidify it as well, but it'll cost you $$.
Sr. Member
Jun 14, 2009
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Toronto
I noticed this in my house too but have not done anything about it -- eg too cold to turn on A/C but not hot enough to let furnace kick in... my humidity ranges from 55-60% depending on the room and location within the house... What should one do considering this seems "normal" at this time of the year (eg for the 1-2 months it's high humidity? I didn't bother running dehumidifiers on the main floors... So far, my neighbors have said they don't even have any dehumidifiers (but they're both retirees to my left and right and already I could hear them using their furnace)...
Sr. Member
Jun 14, 2009
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Toronto
engineered wrote: If you're desperate, you could alternate running the furnace and AC to heat/cool the house, and dehumidify it as well, but it'll cost you $$.
I originally came from a 90-99% humidity all the time country... To me humidity isn't a concern (I don't know much about mold but I did read about it festering at these levels though if there's no water source, it should be ok) but as you said, do we spend $$ to "dehumidify" at this time?
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Jan 2, 2012
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EscaBoi wrote: Correct, in the winter the humidity in the home dips and the humidifier kicks in.

Thanks everyone for the input. So just wondering now if I should return the dehumidifier I just bought? Humidity on my main floor does still hit around 50-60% at times at the moment but does not go above that rate.
1957 bungalow with a finished basement? Definitely DO NOT return that dehumidifier. Go buy another one! Hell, buy two more! Face With Stuck-out Tongue And Tightly-closed Eyes

Seriously, if you don't want your entire house to smell musty, you need to control this. My olfactory senses are getting creaky, but I can sniff out mold at 40 paces. I've been in homes 40 years newer than yours that, for whatever reason, have the tell tale odour of decay. If I was a home buyer, I'd run for the hills if I got a whiff of mold.

If you want to save money on energy costs, put it on a timer to take advantage of off peak rates, like engineered has done. You'll also want to use the drain hose, if possible, instead of the dehumidifier's tank.

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