Humidity Research Begins in U.S. Homes to Provide Increased Measurable Data

BOURNE, Mass. - Although unsuitable relative humidity (rh) levels in homes can be unhealthy, increase heating and cooling costs, damage building components, and affect comfort levels, there is little to no measured data available on actual indoor humidity levels in homes across the United States. Concerned about the effect that rh has on a building’s performance, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development paired up with Steven Winter Associates Inc. (SWA), an architectural and engineering research and consulting firm, to gather temperature and humidity data in more than 50 homes across the country this summer.

Three different regions are being targeted for the study - the warm and humid Southeast, the cold Northeast, and the Pacific Northwest. To complete the study, household characteristic data will also be collected during the initial site-visit to the home, including occupancy levels, insulation levels, equipment efficiencies, envelope leakage, and duct leakage. To monitor temperature and humidity levels, SWA engineers will use HOBO® U12 data loggers from Onset Computer Corp. in Bourne, Mass.

The battery-powered devices will measure and record humidity levels around-the-clock - even during power outages. The accompanying HOBOware® Pro software will convert the data into time-stamped graphs that can be displayed on a PC or Mac.

The data collected from this study is expected to support efforts already underway by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard Committee 160P on “Design Criteria for Preventing Moisture Damage in Buildings” and others to develop moisture modeling tools and related technical standards. Test homes for this study are currently being identified, and most initial site visits and data logger installations have already been completed.

For more information, visit or

Publication date: 07/07/2008

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

2015 ACCA Conference

Images from the 2015 ACCA Conference in Grapevine, Texas. Posted on April 8, 2015.


NEWSMakers: Leslie McDowell

Leslie McDowell, director of communications at the Building Performance Institute Inc., discusses the nonprofit organization's new homeowner centric website. Posted on April 10.

More Podcasts


NEWS 04-13-15 cover

2015 April 13

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Global Warming

Do you believe in man-made global warming?
View Results Poll Archive


2015 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research


Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Magazine image
Register today for complete access to Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con