How to Control Humidity in Yurts

In cold regions, combatting humidity issues in yurts is the largest challenge to overcome for permanent dwellers. In this edition of the Groovy Yurts blog, we’ll discuss how you can utilize the natural features of the yurt, as well as make slight modifications to control humidity – even in the most cold climates. Here a few recommendations from the Groovy team for the best ways to control humidity in yurts:

Ventilation

Install mesh/mosquito netting on the toono (centre dome)We sell custom fitted mosquito netting for the toonos, but you can also do this yourself. We secure our netting with Velcro on half the toono (buy two halves for a full toono); that way it can be opened and closed from the inside of the yurt for access to the roof

installing mesh mosquito netting in the toono

Create cross-ventilation:

  1. Open your toono and lift the sides of the yurt (from the bottom) to create cross ventilation. Mosquito netting can be applied to the walls in order to keep bugs out.

    lifted canvas for controlling yurt humidity

  2. Create a ventilation trap in the door by removing the bottom panel and installing it on hinges. You can install mosquito netting or screens on the inside door windows for greater ventilation when the outside door is open.

    creating ventilation trap in door to control yurt humidity

  3. Create ventilation traps in the platform
  4. Some customers have been considering small air exchangers or solar fans

air exchanger to control yurt humidity

Location

Place your yurt in a well-ventilated area: This will ensure the yurt is getting as much sun and wind exposure as possible. Shade is great, but this could exacerbate a humidity or dampness problem. Since the yurt is highly breathable, the sun exposure should not mean it’s going to be hotter. It will, however, help to keep the yurt dry! Open grass land is to be preferred to the midst of a forest.

Reduce the Production of Humidity

Monitor the production of humidity: Ventilate the yurt if you cook or bathe inside, even at the coldest of the winter! Wet shoes, drying wood, drying clothes, human breath when many people are gathered etc… are all sources of humidity that will accumulate in the felt before evaporating through the canvas. If this vapor hits the cold house wrap and / or outer canvas, it can condensate and accumulate to the point of dripping back into the yurt. The only solution then is to remove all snow off the roof, opening the toono and heating the yurt until it dries out.

Day-to-Day Maintenance

Start a fire in the stove to dry it inside out: If your yurt is to become damp or wet for any reason, the wood stove radiates enough heat to dry the yurt from the inside out.

House Wrap

Install a layer of house wrap: If well installed between felts and canvas, the house wrap will keep the yurt waterproof and therefore significantly decrease the risk of mold. It slightly reduces breathability but it is so far the best compromise for humid climates! In winter the snow should be removed regularly from your yurt, otherwise it will thaw and freeze again and prevent your house wrap from breathing.

Storing

Take the yurt down and store it in a dry place: If you are planning to leave your yurt unattended for a longer period (more than a few weeks), especially during humid season, the yurt will loves being taken down and put back up! If you have to leave your yurt for longer periods of time in winter, place 2 additional (provisory) central posts (bagaans) to support the toono (for yurts up to 6-walls) and make sure the outside ropes are tight. Consider adding a ratchet strap around the perimeter at the top of the wall, outside the yurt.

We hope you’re feeling more confident to control humidity in your yurt. Don’t hesitate to ask us for advice, we’ve gathered a lot of experience over the years! #alwaysatyurtservice