GREENHOUSE EFFECT/HVAC SYSTEMS

Improper usage, inoperable systems, or inadequate HVAC systems can add moisture to the job site and create poor conditions for the wood floor. To minimize this concern, follow these general guidelines:

During humid seasons and in humid climates (when the average RH remains above 50 percent), dehumidification systems may be necessary if air-conditioning alone does not control the RH levels within the facility.

During dry seasons and in arid climates (where the average RH remains below 30 percent), supplemental humidification may be necessary in the facility to sustain adequate RH levels.

Rooms where HVAC vents are closed-off and are not conditioned to the same temperature and humidity levels as the rest of the interior space can result in sub-climates within the facility, which can have adverse effects on any adjoining floors within the facility.

When air conditioning and heating systems are not used or are completely shut down for an extended period of time, the air exchange necessary for the performance of the facility and the wood floor is sacrificed. Sunlight through windows can generate heat, creating abnormal humidity levels, which may fluctuate from day to night. Floors will shrink or swell due to this limited air movement and inconsistent humidity levels. Controlling the atmosphere during and after the installation is critical to avoid issues caused by what is defined as the greenhouse effect.

More-detailed information about the greenhouse effect and HVAC systems is available in the NWFA Problems, Causes and Cures publication C200.

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