Tiny Home Moisture Complaints
Every Fall as temperatures drop and we close the windows and turn on the heat tiny house home owners begin complaining of too much moisture in their tiny homes. Moisture condenses on the cold windows, water pipes, and other cold areas.
If conditions are right moisture can also condense within the walls. Mold will grow and “dry-rot” will begin. Enough moisture can condense to actually pool onto the sub floor under your flooring. Soon you have real problems.
Sometimes just opening a window just a bit is all that is needed to alleviate moisture. But then you will be wasting heat energy by bringing in cold air. Note the Heat Recovery Intake system shown on the left as a possible solution. This unit recovers 86% of the heat while bringing in fresh air.
Passive Solar Heat Box
A fresh air intake vent can be used and should be standard equipment in a tiny house venting situation. But, in winter months you will be sucking in very cold air wasting energy. One solution might be a “passive solar heat box.” This is a very clever way to heat the air before it enters the house. This is a new idea and still in the hands of do-it-yourselfers. It’s also limited to daytime use but these solar heat grabbers are worth considering. They can produce enough heat to keep a tiny home warm during the day.
Visit this website for Passive Solar Heat Box DIY instructions.
Remove moisture under mattress:
Moisture also collects in your mattress. Venting under the mattress is a must. If your bed does not have a frame or a raised area underneath allowing airflow install a “Anti-Condensation Mattress Underlay.”
Broan NuTone SMD8 8″ Automatic Make-Up Air Damper with LinkLogic Synchronized to only open during fan or range hood operation avoids wasted energy. It does not let unwanted air into the home when not needed. This improves ventilation efficacy by providing fresh air from a known location to replace exhausted air. See it’s use demonstrated in the YouTube® video below.
Heat Recovery or Energy Recovery Ventilators
An HRV or ERV is often overlooked. In addition, the installation is often done improperly. They work if installed correctly. See the YouTube® video below showing an HRV installation. It is mounted in a mechanical room and ducted to the far end of the tiny home. The conditioned air is forced to travel the length of the structure conditioning the entire area.
Pay attention to these items in this YouTube® video:
- Notice the holes around the “raised” propane cook top. He is supplying combustion air from a large vent in the cabinet below.
- Notice that he has actually built air ducts into the house. These ducts bring the fresh air from the ERV/HRV to the far side of the house so the air travels throughout the entire structure. This is the only time I have ever seen a tiny home with air ducts. I think we need to incorporate this into every tiny house design.
Read more on tiny house venting on this page of TinyLifeConsulting.com