How can I improve humidity levels in the tropics?

« Back to Previous Page
Category: Environments
Posted by lbennion(Questions:0:Answers2)
Answered On 1 October, 2017 6:15 am


Humidity levels in the tropics can be improved by ensuring a stable building envelope, using dehumidification, and microclimate storage.

When considering the building the following should be checked

ensure the gutters are clean and capable of redirecting water,
ensure drainage is maintained
check for roof insulation: organize for the roof to be insulated if it is not already,
ensure exterior window awnings are wide enough to block natural light,
trees can also be planted to provide shade
ensure the building is well sealed from the outside: doors and windows have seals, and an entrance vestibule is used to minimize fluctuations.

In order to develop a humidity management plan, survey the collection and characterize the objects in terms of their sensitivity to relative humidity; first by material characteristics, organic, inorganic and composite, and then characterize the sensitive materials individually. Once the vulnerable parts of the collection have been identified microclimates can be used to buffer the items from daily and seasonal fluctuations. These can take the form of display cases, draws, or frames, which have RH% buffers such as activated charcoal and silica gel.

Dehumidifiers are effective but the use should be planned around seasonal drifts to ensure appropriate set points and allowable fluctuations per 24 hours. The AICCM recommendations for RH are between 45-55 % with allowable fluctuations of + 5% per 24hrs.

Posted by Conservation Answers(Questions:33:Answers28)
Answered On 16 February, 2014 5:16 am

In warm humid conditions, such as in tropical areas:
• Air flow and good ventilation are important if you want to minimise damage to collections.
• Use fans, with doors open to improve air movement.
• Consider low technology ways of cooling the inside of the building eg. installing interior blinds on windows to limit the amount of the heat coming into the building, install exterior shutters/awnings, or put up shade cloth.
• You can plant trees to shade the building – but not too close as this gives insects easy access to the building.

If you are constructing a new building or modifying an existing building in the tropics, remember that non-air-conditioned buildings should have breezeways if possible.\

During wet season keep wet people at the front door. This will prevent the introduction of excess moisture.

« Back to Previous Page