Mold and home automation: how to mitigate the proproblem through Home Assistant

7 minutes of reading
PURPOSES OF PROJET:
  • use the propersonal home automation to mitigate the formation of dangerous molds in domestic environments
  • Difficulty level: very low
  • Cost: variable based on used sensors
CONCEPTS FACED:
  • Software configuration
SOFTWARE COMPONENTS USED:
PHYSICAL DEVICES USED:
PROJET MOST INDICATED FOR:

All environments

Notes and disclaimer
  • qualsiasi eventuale modifica agli impianti domestici dev'essere progettata ed realizzata SOLO da personale qualificato;
  • any changes implemented in probefore is a propersonal responsibility as well as a profirst risk and danger (the contents of the present page are purely educational);
  • any changes implemented in proprior to a device it voids the guarantee, quality approvals and certifications.
revision projet: 1.2

Abstract

As we have been able to illustrate in a FOCUS dedicated to the topic, that of humidity in domestic environments - especially in the winter season - is a proa particularly serious problem for many, especially for those who live in naturally humid places. In fact, humidity is a parameter that goes hand in hand with that of temperature: if it is known that an ideal domestic temperature, in winter, is around 20 ℃, the ideal humidity at that temperature - in order to ensure good comfort and avoid the formation of mold - is on average between the 50 and the 70%.

When we talk about humidity we always do it in terms of humidity percentage on. But what about?

Air is a mixture of gases (nitrogen, helium, carbon dioxide, oxygen and others) able to accommodate water vapor as well, or water in the gaseous state. At a specific temperature, the air has the ability to "welcome" one into itself specific amount of water vapor: when this quantity is reached, the air is considered saturated and its relative humidity is of 100%. Let's imagine the air as one sponge: the warmer the air, the greater this metaphorical sponge. But what happens if I cool the air? The sponge gets smaller and, with it, its ability to contain water. It goes without saying that humid air, let's say, at 80%, if cooled, can easily reach a saturation of 100%, because, as explained, by cooling the sponge itappit becomes smaller. When you exceed the 100% saturation, water settles on surfaces.

Humidity finestra

Understand now why - especially in winter - early in the morning we find cars on the street covered with dew? The air, cooling down a lot during the night, undergoes the "diminution" of the metaphorical sponge that rappresenta, which reaches saturation, depositing excess water on the surfaces.

The same is true for a cold bottle taken from the fridge in the summer: on the basis of what explained above the hot summer air can contain a lot of moisture that, in contact with the much colder bottle it cools down improvvisamente easily reaching saturation, triggering the deposit mechanism of excess water on the surface of the bottle. For the same phenomenon, the glasses of finestking of the bathroom yesprono humidity when we take a hot shower in winter. And so on.

Having understood this mechanism, it is already in the middle of the work.

Now, a question: how does the relative air humidity level increase? Simple: either lowering the temperature or adding water vapor, or both. At home, especially in winter when the air is certainly colder than in summer (and therefore tend to be more humid in itself), dramatically increasing relative humidity is simple: it is enough hang clothes inside the rooms, to cook without using the cappand aspiration (boiling pots produce great amount of water vapor), carry out showers hot and so on.

WHY THE MOLD IS FORMED

It goes without saying that it can often happen that (especially in winter) the air in the house is particularly humid: the presence of cold walls (especially those facing north, which receive low solar radiation - not to mention nothing, in some cases) causes the surrounding humid air cool down further and reach saturation, moistening them in an important way (given their porosity). The mold are microorganisms - often harmful to health - that proliferano in humid environments. This is why mold is formed: the coldest points (and often the least airy, like the walls behind the cabinets) of the house, in the presence of humid air, they tend to get wet and stay that way for a long time for the mechanism explained, resulting proliferation of hated and dangerous molds. However, even absurd environments excessively buckets can give rise to promold growth.

What is the solution? Keep the relative humidity in your home under control.
Once again, home automation can help us.

Approccio

One of the most trivial ways to reduce humidity is certainly that of raising the temperature: due to the aforementioned thermodynamic laws, the increase "widens the sponge", reducing the percentage of relative humidity. Who is equipped with home automation thermostats (for the proautonomous heat production) and / or home automation thermostatic heads (see our WINTER SPECIAL) can easily choose to increase the temperature throughout the house or in specific sectors, but certainly it is an expensive solution in terms of consumption.

An alternative always valid is certainly that of ventilate the premises, especially when the external humidity is relatively low; in the most extreme cases, those who have a dehumidifier (maybe an air conditioner with this function - that is, virtually everyone) can use it to drastically reduce humidity.

Moisture - aeration
the effects of a few minutes of airing the room.

The reason we often exceed in terms of relative humidity it is because, quite simply, we don't know the entity, as we often do not even know the temperature of the rooms. Certainly it is equipped with sensors the first thing to do: regardless of domotics, even the only adoption of multi-room thermometers it can help you to know the instant state of the environments; in this projet, However, we will assume we are equipped with sensors of humidity and temperature integrated with ours personale HUB Home Assistant, in order to:

  • consult the metrics;
  • trigger of notifications against certain specific conditions;
  • activate automatically a dehumidifier in automatic mode when excessively high thresholds are reached.

It starts

Sensori

We were saying, the sensors: the elements fundamental to know the environmental status of your home proere. To integrate home automation sensors profirst personal home automation based on Home Assistant it is quite simple and the possibilities, in terms of sensors, are extremely wide. Among the many solutions, we feel we are strongly in favor of adopting the very simple, economical but absolutely functional environmental sensory Xiaomi /LUMI, combined, for integration, with a BRIDGE/Gateway choice between Conbee (o Raspbee) is CC2531. Obviously, any sensor that can be integrated a Home Assistant it is still valid, as long as it provides the temperature and relative humidity reading.

The advice, it goes without saying, is to install a sensor possibly in every room, or at least in the bedrooms, where you sleep, and in any case always in the rooms more at risk of mold (maybe because they are exposed to the north, or because they tend to be damp).

For the present projet we will assume the successful integration of two environmental sensors (one in the room and one in the bathroom) such as to generate the following entity:

  • sensor.temperatura_bagno
  • sensor.temperatura_camera
  • sensor.umidita_bagno
  • sensor.umidita_camera

We will use these four entities for the purposes of projet, to follow.

Nb Regarding the integrated sensors a Home Assistant, we recommend reading was originally the guide concerning calibration of the same.

Consultation

The frontend Lovelace UI di Home Assistant allows very easy consultation of the sensors integrated in it. A quick addition of the entities of prointerest allows consultation of the historical trend:

It is also possible to define of the elementary panels for reading "on the fly":

Home Assistanat - Sensori

Mold risk indicator

Home Assistant has a component called "Mold Indicator" who proit produces a sensor-type entity that reports, based on three parameters (domestic temperature, humidity and external temperature) which it is the risk (approformative) of mold formation in the home expressed with a percentage (100% indicates a certain possibility of mold growth).

Home Assistant - Mold Indicator

Configuration is simple:

sensor:
  - platform: mold_indicator
    indoor_temp_sensor: sensor.temperatura_camera
    indoor_humidity_sensor: sensor.umidita_camera
    outdoor_temp_sensor: sensor.temperatura_esterna
    calibration_factor: 2.0

Obviously the sensors used in the configuration of the sensor (which will be configured as "sensor.mold_indicator") Will be those we have available based on the additions made; the outside temperature can be collected via a weather sensor (for example, registered with the service Dark Sky).

Nb It is strongly recommended to carry out a correct one sensor calibration.

Notifications

As known, the component "Notification"Of Home Assistant it is particularly useful for alerting the user to any condition wired into the automations dell 'HUB.

At this juncture we will assume to have the services available notify.marco e notify.alexa_media, respectively:

What we will do is write an automation that, in the face exceeding a specific relative humidity threshold in one of the rooms, proplease send a notification to your smartphone and do proannounce a warning message to the smartphone.

La configuration could be the following:

automation:
  alias: "Notifica umidità"
  initial_state: 'on'
  trigger:
    - platform: numeric_state
      entity_id: sensor.umidita_camera
      above: 75
      for:
        minutes: 10
    - platform: numeric_state
      entity_id: sensor.umidita_bagno
      above: 75
      for:
        minutes: 10
  condition: []
  action:
    - service: notify.alexa_media
      data_template:
        target: media_player.alexa
        data:
          type: announce
          method: spoken
        message: In {{ trigger.to_state.attributes.friendly_name }} c'è troppa umidità."
    - service: notify.marco
      data_template:
        data:
          push:
            badge: 1
        title: Domotica
        message: Rilevata umidità elevata in {{ trigger.to_state.attributes.friendly_name }}

In practice, the trigger automation is given by exceeding the 75% relative humidity in the room or in the bathroom for more than 10 minutes; in the block action, notifications are performed.

Audo-dehumidification

generic conditioner

At this point, all that remains is to define an automatism which, exceeded a further critical threshold (not only for the possible formation of mold, but also to protect the health of the tenants) activate a dehumidifier.

Nb This procast assumes both the presence of a dehumidification unit and its integration on Home Assistant. This integration can take place using specific components, where the unit (climate, or dehumidifier that it is) is natively domotic (eg some models Daikin) or that it is controllable via infrared remote control, using the simple technique that uses a simple infrared actuator like the Broadlink as a means of integration.

In this second case both traditional air conditioners are good dehumidification unit proproperly designed for the purpose.

We will assume, for this procast, the presence of a type entity "Climate"Call climate.deumidificatore which rappwith an integrated air conditioner a Home Assistant equipped with "Dry" function, for theappanointed "dehumidification".

A possible automation could be the following:

automation:
- alias: "Attivazione automatica deumidificatore
  initial_state: 'on'
  trigger:
    - platform: numeric_state
      entity_id: sensor.umidita_camera
      above: 90
      for:
        minutes: 5
    - platform: numeric_state
      entity_id: sensor.umidita_bagno
      above: 90
      for:
        minutes: 5
  condition: []
  action:
    - service: climate.set_hvac_mode
      data:
        entity_id: climate.deumidificatore
        operation_mode: dry
    - service: climate.set_fan_mode
      data:
        entity_id: climate.mitsubishi
        fan_mode: high
    - service: notify.marco
      data:
        data:
          push:
            badge: 1
        title: Domotica
        message: "Rilevata umidità eccessiva. Attivato deumidificatore."
    - delay:
        minutes: 60
    - service: climate.set_hvac_mode
      data:
        entity_id: climate.deumidificatore
        operation_mode: off
    - service: notify.marco
      data:
        data:
          push:
            badge: 1
        title: Domotica
        message: "Deumidificatore spento."

It is obviously only one of a possible solution; in this case, the exceeding of the (very high) value of the 90% relative humidity in one of the rooms triggers the switching on (for an hour) of the dehumidifier at maximum power, notifying the user of both the ignition and the occurrence shutdown.

Conclusions

We can guarantee that the adoption of this simple projet brings real benefit to the quality of the environments in which one lives; however, a trace remains which must be adapted, personally, to proneeds.

As always, the limit is fantasy but, in this case, so is the specific condition of the prohome environment.


Traditional refrigerator under control via home automation Home Assistant


Home Assistant Official LogoATTENZIONE: remember that there is on our FORUM community an ad hoc section dedicated to Home Assistant, for any doubt, question, information on the specific merit of these components.


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