Architectural Design for the Mixed-Humid Climate Zone
DOE Mixed-Humid Climate Zone
The mixed-humid climate presents several challenges for home building.
* The mixed-humid climate has moderate conditions much of the time. But weather conditions similar to those found in neighboring climate zones are also frequent. Homes in the mixed-humid climate are faced with a substantial heating season with monthly average outdoor temperatures dropping below 45 F. And the summers can have soaring humidity.
* During the winter heating season, vapor may be driven from the building interior into the walls, roof and floors. But in summer, air conditioning can force vapor flow in the opposite direction, with cold, dry air on the inside, and hot moist air from the outside pushing its way in. Houses in the mixed-humid climate cannot be built as if they are one-way streets for moisture transfer.
* The use of full basements and crawlspaces is common in this climate and presents another set of challenges. These design features may bring extra living and storage space, but they also bring their own moisture and temperature management challenges.