Lüften

How do you deal with the humidity inside of your tiny house?   This question is always on the lips of tiny housers!  Sadly, most of us don’t address this issue until after we have already built.  There are a lot of solutions, some require expensive modifications.  BUT… there is an easy solution… just adapt to the life you have chosen.

What I suggest is a TINY change in your routine called Lüften.

pik_fenster

I learned to do this when I lived in a tiny apartment in Munich, Germany. The climate there is frequently raining and apartments walls and windows drip with moisture after a meal is cooked, after a shower and a sort of interior dampness can overtake and become mould* (*mold, if you are American).  If you already live in a tiny house this sort of sounds familiar, right???

The Bavarians practice of Lüften (airing/ventilating) rooms is something I use again, now that I live in a tiny house several months of the year.  It is necessary just as I had when I lived in Germany.

Lüften literally translated is “to air” and essentially the practice is to renew the air in the room on a regular basis. This means that you simply open your windows, for five minutes each time (more in the warm months).

Here is a chart on how long to open your windows

Not just one window but enough windows that there is a draft through your house.  The colder the weather the shorter the Lüften time.  Please note that short transverse ventilation should not cool down the core heat in your house, even in a tiny house.  The objective is NOT to remove core heat, but just to exchange the air.  One needs to Lüften three to four times per day and also while you are cooking and immediately after showering.  So all you need to do is open and close your windows a few times a day?  YUP!  Certainly easier than the process of downsizing, right?

There are other tips too when it comes to Lüften.  You cannot ventilate continuously when you are heating a room – just three to five minutes.  Also be sure to pull back your curtains.  Quit all use of humidifiers or any electronic air dampers.  Try not to place furniture directly by the exterior walls. If the space permits, keep furniture 5 cm away from the wall so it can breathe too.  Buy a hygrometer, they are about $10 (and up) if you want to be sure. Whenever the humidity hits 65 or 70%, open up the windows and let moisture out.  Also, while this does not apply to a tiny house but it may if you have a small house or any separate rooms if there are rooms that you don’t heat, keep the door between them closed, so that the temperature differences don’t create steam.

So… what I mean is that you don’t need to add holes to your house, nor do you need to buy anything expensive.  A hygrometer is about the only thing that you really need. One simply must be aware that damp can be an issue so welcome this as a tiny adaptation.

Just let your house breathe.

Breathe!

Breathe!

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Categories: Tiny House Ontario | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Lüften

  1. Pingback: Celebrating our first six months! - LiveTiny.ca

  2. Gwendolen

    Thats a great idea….I’ve tired opening windows before but during the winterview months it doesnt wor to well when your in a 40 ft park trailed home.. I have single pane windows so they are wet 24-7 and closed closets in the farthest and coldest room (my bedroom) have gotten wet with moisture and I’ve had to line them with Styrofoam type insulation and keep them ajar. This worked wonderfully, as I thought the heat shrink plastic would do on the windows. But to no avail they still get wet on the outside of the plastic so I go through tons of paper towell. I’m thinking of buying a floor model dehumidifier for about $199. that should solve the problem once and for all. Truth is I downsized to the trailer first so I could get rid of some things so I could plan to build the Tumbleweed tiny home I’ve always dreamed of. Crossing my fingers..oh my tiny home will have wood heat. : ) Love reading your articles.

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