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Thread: My house is a freakin' kiln!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Milwaukee, WI

    My house is really a kiln!

    It has been cold outside (as low as -14F last couple of days). So the furnace is on a lot and I haven't been running the hole-house dehumidifier because it is old and hard to control (humidistat basically keeps it on all the time).

    Anyway... I was suface planing some boards today and took a couple from 1-1/4 down to 3/4. I took off about twice as much on one side as the other, for reasons I won't go into.

    Of course, I noticed after planing that one of the boards (a 3 footer) had about a 3/32" bow. Basically, I upset the equalized moisture of the board by taking off more from one side than the other.

    I came upstairs and did some stuff and started watching the ball game and figured I'd just leave the board for a few days. Long story somewhat shorter, I just checked the board at halftime and the bow is almost completely gone.

    The cheap humidistat says the RH in my house is 25%. Is that pretty low?
    Last edited by John Bailey; 02-07-2007 at 3:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Mid Michigan
    25% is pretty normal for cold climates, it can go lower. Mine is a little lower than 25%. You should see the sparks fly when I touch something metal after walking on the carpet. Static electricity is real bad when the humidity drops below 45%. I was going to set up my humidifier but don't have the wicking filter.
    David B

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    We run a humidifier on the heating system so we generally don't get below about 35%, but without it, I'm sure it would be lower right now...and my eyes would be really hurting, too!

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Sterling CT
    25% sound too high. I have a decent one in my shop ( separate building with its own forced hot air furnace ) and it is often in the 10% range.

  5. #5

    usually around 10-12% in the winter without humidifying the house is normal in the winter in the NE, if you need a little moisture and have force heat, place a bowl of water in front of a register. At least it will help cut down the static electricity.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Carol Stream IL
    I'm with Lou. Here in Chicago, my little oil filled heater has been able to keep my insulated garage in the upper 40's this morning (-14F outside) but the RH is only 12%. Inside, I have a console humidifer that hasn't shut off for the last 2 weeks and it only been able to keep it at around 25-30 RH.
    No wonder why projects slow way down in the winter. Imagine bringing something cut and assembled in 10% RH into the house where it's more normal.
    David Mueller

    Knowledge gained is directly proportional to the amount of equipment destroyed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    central iowa
    25% is very low. 50% range is "normal" and your wood will be 6-8% or so. You might want to leave room for your projects to expand. At least you don't have to worry about them shrinking too much.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Milwaukee, WI
    Actually, I got a more accurate gauge and my RH is 18%!

    Can you say spontaneous combustion?

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