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General Forestry => Firewood and Wood Heating => Topic started by: woodroe on January 13, 2022, 10:54:10 AM

Title: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: woodroe on January 13, 2022, 10:54:10 AM
Looking to hear what other people are using for room or home humidifiers . 
Not having much luck finding decent wicks for my 1.5 gal fan driven honeywell humidifier, although 
the original wick worked good for quite some time.
The new ones I just got only wicked the water good for a few days, wasted money there .
Down to 40% humidity now and using a fair amount of wood these days.
I remember we had a big cabinet unit at the farm as a kid. Had a revolving screen that picked up water
as it went through the reservoir at the bottom and a fan blew through it. Good rig there.  
Not sure about any of the stuff being sold today.
Anyone have any good solutions for a 900 sq ft 1st floor area  ?
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: beenthere on January 13, 2022, 11:29:03 AM
Using and like the Levoit Ultrasonic humidifier. Clean with vinegar about once a week. Puts out about 1.5 gallon of water a day. 

Beats previous models that had water cascading over filters that would crust up all too quickly and have to be changed out regularly. 
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: tawilson on January 13, 2022, 11:37:51 AM
AIRCARE 831000 Space-Saver, White Whole House Evaporative Humidifier 2700 sq. ft Amazon.com: AIRCARE Space-Saver Evaporative Whole House Humidifier (2,700 sq ft) : Home & Kitchen (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WAC9VKQ/ref=cm_sw_r_apanp_p8oKLORk5WJRJ)
I've been using this one for a couple years with no complaints. Replaced one that had tanks to fill. Just fill a bucket and dump it in. 
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: 47sawdust on January 13, 2022, 01:51:00 PM
40% humidity is pretty low.I get a little anxious when ours gets to 50%.
We heat with a wood cook stove and a Hearthstone soapstone stove.
A 2 gallon SS bucket and 2 large teakettles sit on the Hearthstone all the time.
My wife also hangs laundry on wooden drying racks.
Some might think us backwards but it seems a good direction to go.
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: Nathan4104 on January 13, 2022, 07:51:17 PM
Our humidity is also low inside, even into the upper 30ís sometimes.  
Like 47 does, we keep a kettle on the stove and dry laundry on a rack.  
When itís below -25 we look for a few inches of condensation on the windows, nearing -35 itíll start to be frost. (Double pane gas filled vinyl framed 8 year old house)
We donít pay much attention to it, the wood floor moves a bit and the butcher block countertop does itís thing.  
Hot cup of tea anyone? 
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: Nathan4104 on January 13, 2022, 07:54:41 PM
Had me curious so I had to checkÖ.. itís only 33% humidityÖ. Outside itís -25 and thereís hardly any condensation on the windows! Have to shower without the HRV fan I suppose, lol.  
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: mudfarmer on January 13, 2022, 07:55:01 PM
Big old cast iron teakettle on the stove here, too. Lots of houseplants helps a little I think (it must, they need water all the dang time :D)


Try not to kick the snow off your boots when you come inside, just let it go everywhere all over the floor? :)
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: Crusarius on January 13, 2022, 08:18:04 PM
I have a cast iron pot on the wood stove with water in it all the time. But with the radiant floor heat I have been tempted to put water on the floor.
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: thecfarm on January 13, 2022, 08:38:52 PM
woodroe, I had one of those big things too. It worked!!!
Seem like a foot wide, knee high and on wheels. Best part was the brown plastic wood grain.  ;D
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: woodroe on January 13, 2022, 09:23:24 PM
Yup, thats the one, thing could throw out some moisture.
One thing is for sure, the more wood you burn, like we are lately, the drier things inside get.
I've got a clothes line off the balcony in the cathedral living room that I'm going to 
hang a old heavy wet blanket from for awhile for starters. Hopefully it won't drip too much.

Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: sum1 on January 13, 2022, 09:53:20 PM
I have a cast iron pot on the wood stove with water in it all the time. But with the radiant floor heat I have been tempted to put water on the floor.
Same here cast iron pot on a trivet goes thru at least 5 liters a day.
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: kelLOGg on January 14, 2022, 07:29:01 AM
I have a Holmes DH unit and like woodroe I have found the wicks do not last and can't be cleaned for reuse. So I did this: I installed an aquarium pump in the bottom of the unit and directed the water flow to the top of the wick for it to trickle down like a small waterfall and evaporate in the air flow. I use the same filter all season at the end of which the cylindrical wick is hard-crusted with minerals and is tossed out. Without the pump the wick will last about 2 weeks and no longer absorb moisture due to mineral encrustation and has to be replaced. This setup has worked very well for 5 or more years.
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: woodroe on January 14, 2022, 09:21:07 AM
I have a Holmes DH unit and like woodroe I have found the wicks do not last and can't be cleaned for reuse. So I did this: I installed an aquarium pump in the bottom of the unit and directed the water flow to the top of the wick for it to trickle down like a small waterfall and evaporate in the air flow. I use the same filter all season at the end of which the cylindrical wick is hard-crusted with minerals and is tossed out. Without the pump the wick will last about 2 weeks and no longer absorb moisture due to mineral encrustation and has to be replaced. This setup has worked very well for 5 or more years.
Well thats an ingenious concept. And I just happen to have an aquarium pump too. 
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: kelLOGg on January 14, 2022, 12:23:04 PM
If pics of what I did will help I will PM them to you.
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: woodroe on January 14, 2022, 12:41:10 PM
Thanks, I would appreciate that because I'm stumped as to 
how it would work with my setup. I did get the pump out and seems to 
be an aeration device, water cascades out of it onto a 4" shelf.
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: woodroe on January 14, 2022, 03:16:06 PM
But if its too much trouble don't bother. I'll figure something out.
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: kelLOGg on January 14, 2022, 04:14:44 PM
No trouble. I decided to add it to post. The pump has a separate plug because it was too difficult to wire it to the on/off switch on the humidifier. it was a long time ago and I don't remember why.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/13036/IMG_0281.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1642194787)
 

Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: woodroe on January 14, 2022, 05:43:48 PM
That is pretty clever. Thanks for the info.
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: samandothers on January 14, 2022, 09:09:18 PM
Glad you posted that.  I was wondering how you directed the water.  Looks like a piece of pvc, I recon any pipe with holes would work.

I need to do something for humidity.  Just started burning woodstoves in a new house.  The I have a cast iron pot on top of a stove, but it is not supplying enough.  Humidity is about 35.  I feel like I need to get a humidifier of some sort.  

Thanks for all the ideas here.
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: woodroe on January 15, 2022, 06:19:36 AM
When you start getting fingertip sparks at the light switches like I was you know
your air is too dry inside.
Got up to 43% yesterday with a little effort. 
Found a couple heavy cotton curtains to the tune of about 
50 sq ft. 
Soaked and spun out slightly in the wash machine then hung on the cathedral ceiling clothes line, repeat.
Ceiling fan on low helps distribute the moisture. Had a low of 38% humidity few days back. Was getting a spark 
at every light switch then, better now. 
Use what you got right ?
I know someone here who isn't buying new humidifier wicks every other week. 
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: Don P on January 15, 2022, 07:53:31 AM
Having an outside air kit on the stove can help depending on the house. If you are using indoor air for combustion it is being made up by drafts from outdoors, which is low humidity when it warms up. Pulling your combustion air through a duct directly from outdoors to the stove helps with depressurizing the house. I need new windows and doors and a general tightening up before that would be the critical issue. 
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: samandothers on January 15, 2022, 12:36:12 PM
I have an outside air adapter on the upstairs stove that works fine.  The one in the basement is an issue to get it to draw.  I had to disconnect it.  The basement stove draws better without the outside air adapter.  I am not sure the issue.  It feeds under the concrete floor then rises on to exit an outside wall about 12" or so up.  There may be several elbows under the concrete.  I have ran a vacuum hose in it about 8 feet or so.  
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: Don P on January 16, 2022, 07:32:28 AM
It sounds like too much developed length on the intake pipe. There is enough resistance the natural draft cannot easily overcome it. It's basically shutting down the intake. If there isn't a more direct path the "solution" I've seen for making it sealed combustion is mechanical forced draft, less than ideal.
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: farmfromkansas on January 16, 2022, 09:57:34 AM
When I built this house 40 years ago, built my own door frames, and used Maclinburg duncan thresholds.  The rubber strips are worn out from my wife walking on them, and now can't seem to buy those rubber strips.  So my outside air for the wood stove comes from under the doors.
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: Don P on January 16, 2022, 11:04:34 AM
The stinkbugs are telling me there are plenty of ways in  :D.
MD is still around, I'd bet the millwork desk at Lowes or similar has a catalog you can pick and order from.
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: KEC on January 17, 2022, 09:24:43 PM
I sometimes put a pot of water on top of the woodstove. I have a large basement and the stove is down there. During the heating season I oftentimes bring in some wet wood and let it dry inside. Let's me get rid of wood that I don't want to carry over to next year. I might acquire some wood in the winter and bring it straight  inside to dry. Less work than stacking it outside and having to move it again. And it adds moisture to the air.
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: doc henderson on January 18, 2022, 05:07:50 AM
not running the fan when showering or letting tub water sit till it is cool helps with humidity and reclaims some of the heat.  we use a few ultrasonic "cool mist" humidifiers.  the other wick type also will get contaminated with mold and bacteria after a few weeks, like the old vaporizers.  we have a cast iron pot on top of the woodstove, in the shape of a cabin.  the steam comes out of the chimney.  we add a little Christmas smelly stuff to the water to make the house smell good.
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: samandothers on January 18, 2022, 08:40:49 AM
The stinkbugs are telling me there are plenty of ways in  :D.
MD is still around, I'd bet the millwork desk at Lowes or similar has a catalog you can pick and order from.
It sounds like too much developed length on the intake pipe. There is enough resistance the natural draft cannot easily overcome it. It's basically shutting down the intake. If there isn't a more direct path the "solution" I've seen for making it sealed combustion is mechanical forced draft, less than ideal.

I think I posted in another thread a link to a biologist who did a video on stink bugs and ways to get rid of them without insecticides.  It was pretty interesting, and he also mentioned once one finds a good hang out they release fermions to advertise the party location.


Thanks Don,
It is probably too long and or too many bends.  I had thought about forced air.  I would need to figure a method to install a fan and control it.  Not much pipe available behind the stove and it gets pretty warm back there.  There is a short section of PVC above the floor before it exits the house.  Since it is pulling air from within the house, I may let it suck for now. ;D

Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: Don P on January 18, 2022, 09:28:11 AM
If you can go straight up and out the band joist you may be able to use a rectangular duct to bring in fresh air. The force of natural draft is very variable as well. When there is a lot of temperature difference indoors to out and a hotter fire going, the draft will be much stronger and can pull past that static pressure vs when it is heating with a lazy fire against a low temperature differential that doesn't produce much natural draft. A taller stack if warm also produces more draft.

I watched the video, interesting. We have a group here, BRDC, that does similar videos and educational events. One caution on "natural", that doesn't necessarily mean safe. Michelle was making soap the other week and had some leftover essential oil. Having already poured it out she didn't want to contaminate the reagent so poured the leftover in a plastic bottle. she created essential oil plastic slime, it ate the plastic. Gasoline or acetone wouldn't have eaten it like that, powerful stuff! She used the chop saw one time to make bars out of a pan of soap... and didn't tell me! The next time I used the saw my eyes were burning, I couldn't figure out what was going on  :D
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: samandothers on January 18, 2022, 09:55:49 PM
If you can go straight up and out the band joist you may be able to use a rectangular duct to bring in fresh air. The force of natural draft is very variable as well. When there is a lot of temperature difference indoors to out and a hotter fire going, the draft will be much stronger and can pull past that static pressure vs when it is heating with a lazy fire against a low temperature differential that doesn't produce much natural draft. A taller stack if warm also produces more draft.
I appreciate the feedback.  I'll need to measure the length of what I have now and what a run up and over would be.  I feel it would be similar in length but may have less bends over head.  The stove vendor warned about going up from the stove versus running as level as possible. 
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: SwampDonkey on January 19, 2022, 06:56:23 AM
I've been using the Aircare H12600 whole home humidifier for 4 years, takes the superwick 1045 and I use the Biostat solution. I'm treating air in a 2000 sq ft house with 9 ft ceilings. I get the wicks and solution online, but not Amazon (too many scabbers over there). I keep my house around 40%, a safe range is 30-50% RH. I find below 40% is dry for me, and 50% is too much moisture for this modern house in severe cold. If I had no humidifier it would be 15% RH here and bloody nose all winter. I find the wicks last about 6 weeks, nowhere near the life they claim. But it does the job and $32 every 6 weeks is pretty cheap for good health. I probably fill the water jug twice a day when fire is running all day. 2-1/2 gallon jug. I'm not saying it is the best solution, I have no idea what is. But it suits me fine.

No static here and none in the bed sheets, zero. Bed coverings are all natural fibers, wool and cotton, even mattress cover.
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: Don P on January 19, 2022, 08:50:14 AM
The house is healthier on the dry side of what you can tolerate. Moisture piggybacks on heat and heat flows from hot to cold. The less moisture driven through the building and insulation the less condensing is going on somewhere in there.

The R value of insulation is tested with no moisture, try to be dry.
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: samandothers on January 19, 2022, 07:48:48 PM
The wood floor put down in June-ish time period is on the move!  It is 32 % humidity in our house. The room with the stove has a 13 - 14' center ridge so some heat rises. With the wood stoves going the floor, particularly near the stove, has developed some gaps.  Not terrible but for someone looking for it it is noticeable.   I think it would be more comfortable with the humidity a bit higher, but I understand the need to not moisten too much.
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: SwampDonkey on January 20, 2022, 03:04:38 AM
The wood floor here moves more around the heat vents in the floor, direct heat blowing on it.

Yes, don't want RH too high, it goes into the attic space. No matter how well vented and sealed. Won't keep it off the windows, even if it's just 30 % if the temp drops below 0F, a line of condensation will form. At 15% it won't, but that it too dry to live in.
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: kelLOGg on January 20, 2022, 06:51:32 AM
  the other wick type also will get contaminated with mold and bacteria after a few weeks, like the old vaporizers.  
Good point. We have a water softener for our well water so as the water flows over the humidifier wick and evaporates it leaves a heavy encrustation of salt. We have not noticed any effects of such bacteria/mold so maybe the salt or salt water discourages its growth.??
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: doc henderson on January 20, 2022, 12:33:59 PM
a bit of bleach may help like 5 drops every week or so.  the studies looked at the vaporizers that used to go in hospital rooms and a culture swab was done after a week and they all grew all sorts of bacteria and fungi.  it was not shown that harm was caused but basically this water is spewed into the air for respiratory/COPD patients to breath.  A humidifier is more evaporative and prob. leaves much behind, but it is in the tub.  especially if we just keep adding more water to the stuff left over.  we use the ultrasonic, so there is a drip of water from a tank into a small chamber with a piezoelectric transducer.  it can easily be cleaned.  that which does not kill us, makes us stronger.
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: farmfromkansas on January 20, 2022, 08:42:21 PM
About the thresholds, Menards and Lowes don't stock the right rubber strips.  Searched online and can't find them.  Maybe I should ask at the stores if they can get them for older thresholds.  Was thinking about making some wood thresholds, and then attaching a rubber strip to the doors for the seal.
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: Don P on January 20, 2022, 09:13:22 PM
  that which does not kill us, makes us stronger.
Or it's just taking its time  :)
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: SwampDonkey on January 21, 2022, 03:27:24 AM
About the thresholds, Menards and Lowes don't stock the right rubber strips.  Searched online and can't find them.  Maybe I should ask at the stores if they can get them for older thresholds.  Was thinking about making some wood thresholds, and then attaching a rubber strip to the doors for the seal.
Is the company online? I have an Anderson storm door that is 4 years old. The rubber sweeps under it wore. I think because of swelled wood it got a little tight on one corner. I got them direct from Anderson, free shipping, and they came from the USA. For me, anything crossing that line costs big money, they obviously get subsidies to ship that an individual would never see. No complaints on service, shipping or product. Maybe that's why we have to pay $50 for a $20 item, $47 goes into the subsidy pot. :D
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: B.C.C. Lapp on February 14, 2022, 10:19:04 AM

My wife also hangs laundry on wooden drying racks.
Some might think us backwards but it seems a good direction to go.

We do that as well. If it works it is not backwards at all.   Mrs. Lapp hangs the laundry in the basement in winter and outside in summer.   
Drying laundry keeps the house from drying out to much.   Simple is good.
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: B.C.C. Lapp on February 14, 2022, 10:20:02 AM


My wife also hangs laundry on wooden drying racks.
Some might think us backwards but it seems a good direction to go.

We do that as well. If it works it is not backwards at all.   Mrs. Lapp hangs the laundry in the basement in winter and outside in summer.    
Drying laundry keeps the house from drying out to much.   Simple is good.
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: Hotrod RLC on February 14, 2022, 10:19:46 PM
we got a water furnace but when temp. gets below 20 degrees we got a wood stove in basemen for aux heat , dont run blower on stove just let heat radiate up through the floor this way temp upstairs each room stays same temp/ pan on stove in basement evaporates about 3 gallon  in 24 hours plus electric humidifer uses another gallon , got attic foil in overhead ceilings upstairs / if necessary stove will heat the whole house  
Title: Re: Adding humidity to your wood heated home
Post by: woodroe on February 17, 2022, 09:59:34 AM
Checking back in here. Once I got the basement wood stove going regular in January was able to 
put a gallon + of water a day in the air . Boiler plate stove with a 10 qt ss stock pot on top and maintained 
40% humidity inside. Probably only need to add humidity for a few months here. 
I typically won't run the basement stove until it starts getting below 60F in there so depending on temps and snow cover 
this year it was January.