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In warm climates it is said that the barrier should be on the exterior part of the perimeter walls. In colder climates it is said that the barrier should be on the interior part of the perimeter walls.

This is to keep the warm moist air from getting into the wall cavity.

What if the location is where the climate is split 50/50 heating vs cooling? Is it best to have no barrier at all?

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Analyzing wall performance depends on large numbers of variables; trying to nail it down to a simplistic rule isn't really possible, although it's smart to keep the "rules" in mind.

I'm getting schooled as we type over @ JLC Forums about this very topic. I don't think there are hard and fast answers; lottsa variables about wind, water, and air screens, wall design, or other building materials/techniques that effect vapor transmission.

What kind of wall, orientation, weather patterns, materials, application practice, etc. all matter a lot.

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