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Review of moisture balance models for residential indoor humidity

Author: Glass, Samuel V.; TenWolde, Antoni.;

Date: 2009

Source: Proceedings, 12th Canadian Conference on Building Science and Technology. Vol. 1. [S.l. : s.n.], 2009: pages 231-245.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication


Moisture balance models for indoor humidity have been developed and used by researchers and practitioners to generate realistic interior humidity conditions for hygrothermal analysis of building envelopes and to analyze humidity levels and moisture production rates. This paper reviews moisture balance models for residential indoor humidity in cold-climates. We provide background on various simplified approaches to handling water vapor exchange (buffering) with hygroscopic materials in contact with indoor air. We discuss the application of models in actual occupied buildings, comparing modeled indoor humidity values with measured values and describing how models have been used to estimate moisture production rates. We show that there is rather large variability in moisture production rates and argue that the combined uncertainty in moisture production and air exchange rates warrants the use of simple models for moisture buffering. Finally, we evaluate the time scale for which moisture buffering is significant, concluding that the data currently support only short-term effects.

Keywords: Dwellings, heating, ventilation, wooden buildings, moisture, buildings, dampness in buildings, humidity, wooden-frame houses, environmental engineering, testing, wood moisture, weathering, airtightness, mathematical models, water vapor, moisture content, moisture control, moisture content of wood in service, durability, review article

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Glass, Samuel V.; TenWolde, Antoni. 2009. Review of moisture balance models for residential indoor humidity. Proceedings, 12th Canadian conference on building science and technology. Montreal, Quebec. Quebec Building Envelope Council 1: 231-245.


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