How are Cabinets Affected by Temperature and Humidity?

Heat and humidity both affect the cabinets in our homes, but temperature changes have a different effect on wood. You may have noticed changes in your cupboards at other times of the year, and this is what this article will try to explain. So read on and learn with us.

Wood expands and contracts with the change in humidity, and too much moisture can cause it to split and bow. Natural wood can survive both high and low humidity, but it is best to avoid extreme temperature changes.

How are Cabinets Affected by Temperature and Humidity?

Understanding the differences between hot and cold weather

Although your home’s temperature does not change more than a few degrees throughout the year, the humidity inside your house will fluctuate wildly. Your HVAC or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system is designed to keep you comfortable in the winter and cool in the summer by moving warm air either inside the home or out of it.

If the temperature changes dramatically, though, you can risk damage to the wood of your cabinets. Wood expands and contracts during extreme heat and cold, and both conditions can be stressful on your wood cabinets.

On Humidity

For most people, excessive humidity can ruin a beautiful finish in a kitchen because moisture can also damage the finish of your cabinets. In high humidity, the wood will expand and shrink. This expansion and contraction will cause the cabinet’s joints to crack or warp; while the same is true in low humidity, the wood will swell, leading to cracked joints and a damaged finish or warping. However, humidity levels should be managed by air conditioning or a dehumidifier.

If you live in a tropical environment, to prevent this from happening, control humidity in your home. Aside from having an HVAC system, having a dehumidifier is essential because even a slight change in humidity will cause your wood to start expanding and contracting. If you want your cabinets to last for many years, the ideal humidity level for untreated timber is around 35%; this will also prevent your wardrobe from rotting.

Additional Tips to Protect the Cabinets from Humidity and Temperature Change

Additional Tips to Protect the Cabinets from Humidity and Temperature Change

Cabinets are mainly manufactured with a 40%-50% relative humidity which works well even in homes that are non-humidified and can stay 20%-70% on average year being exposed to everyday typical activities like cooking and washing. But in a colder environment, cabinets shrink and swell in hot places.

  • To help you measure humidity inside the home, try investing in a digital thermometer-hygrometer.
  • Make humidity be above 20% when the temperature is below 20 degrees and 35% humidity when the temperature is above 20 degrees.
  • Know what to observe. To see if wood finish responds to humidity, it may swell or shrink and return to normal after adjusting to the environment made by setting temperature inside the home.

The humidity will not permanently affect your cabinets by learning how to control the temperature inside your home. For any of your home improvement needs, contact us at Mr. Cabinet Care hotline: 714-961-1900! Our representatives and experts are eager to assist you in maintaining the health of your cabinets to make them last for years.


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