Humidity can be brutal. It can be tough to work in, live in, or sleep in. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can also be a catalyst for mold or fungus in homes. This article will give you a plethora of ways to reduce humidity in your home.
Dehumidifiers can be expensive. Whether you experience high humidity year-round or only during certain seasons, there are some other great options for reducing humidity. These include everything from using exhaust fans and line-drying clothes to keeping a basket of charcoal around.
This article will break down over ten ways to lower the humidity in your home without needing to purchase a dehumidifier. You don’t have to do them all. Just select one or a few that work best with your lifestyle.
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High humidity can significantly affect your comfort level. And it also increases the chances of mold or fungus growing in your home. Here are 14 ways you can lower humidity in your home without purchasing a dehumidifier.
It may seem a little counterintuitive to open windows when it is humid out, but keeping the air moving can prevent humid air from settling in your home. Moving air is almost always better than stagnant air, especially where humidity is concerned. Having windows opened can help a home feel less humid even if the humidity is still quite high.
There are strategic ways you can maximize the effectiveness of an open window. First, don’t think it has to be opened all the way–a nice crack will do. Second, you can utilize the wind by opening windows that face in the direction the wind is blowing. Third, prioritize opening windows in areas of your house that are more likely to be humid, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
Fans have a similar advantage to opening windows. They keep the air moving and prevent it from sitting stagnant in your home. Several different types of fans can be used to reduce humidity.
Ceiling fans can be lifesavers in humid weather because they can get air moving across an entire room and from the top down. Even having a ceiling fan on the lowest setting can keep the airflow a bit more refreshing, especially in bedrooms when you are trying to sleep.
Don’t forget about exhaust fans! They are likely built into your appliances and installed in your bathrooms as well. The purpose of exhaust fans is to pull air out of the room or area they are located in. Be proactive in using them: turn them on before you need them, and keep them running until after you are done in the kitchen or bathroom.
Home Depot usually has a lot of great options in stock for local pickup or shipping. A few key things to decide when picking one out includes the size of the [bath]room, the amount of air it moves, how quiet the fan is, and how much energy it uses (is it Energy Star?). You can check out what they have here.
In areas of your home where there aren’t ceiling or exhaust fans, good old-fashioned standing plug-in fans will get the job done. Not only can they be used in areas of the home where there are no other fans, but they can also help with the general airflow of the home. Because they can be moved anywhere, standing fans can be used in conjunction with open windows to encourage airflow when there is not a lot of wind.
If you don’t have air conditioning, then you can brush past this section. If you do, though, it is a great option to reduce humidity. Air conditioners pull humidity out of the air while they are cooling it. Even if you don’t have the air conditioner set super cold, it will still have a dehumidifying effect on the air. Air conditioners can be expensive to run in hot and humid climates, but in most cases, once the air conditioner has gotten the room or home to temperature and reduced the humidity, it is more manageable for it to maintain the temperature and humidity levels.
Your plants might be beautiful, but they increase the humidity in a home. In general, plants are good for indoor air quality and a healthy indoor environment. However, they do release some moisture into the air, which can contribute to elevated humidity in your home.
This is another small thing you can do to reduce humidity in your home. It helps to line dry your laundry outside. If you currently line dry your laundry indoors, you should see a pretty big difference in moving your laundry outside.
When you line dry your clothes inside, all of the water in the clothes has to go somewhere, so it goes into the air. This can be a blessing in extremely dry areas, but for already humid areas, it just adds to the amount of water in the air.
If you use a dryer that vents to the outside, make sure the vent is sealed tightly so that none of the moisture escapes back into your house.
One sort of sleek and minimalistic way to do this is to use a retractable outdoor clothes line, so it’s basically hidden without a string running across your deck or yard when not in use. Here is the most popular (and affordable – under $20) one on Amazon that I can find at the moment, with 3,500+ reviews:
Take Cold(er) Showers
Hot, steamy showers produce just that: steam. This can put a lot of unwanted humidity into the air. To keep the humidity lower in your home, you can take short, colder showers to minimize the effects of shower water on the humidity. It may be refreshing to turn that shower down to a colder temperature in the heat of the summer, anyway! When it comes to showers, just remember every little bit counts. So if you normally have a long, blisteringly hot shower, turn it down to warm and knock a few minutes off. You should still feel the effects of the change on the humidity.
Fun fact: rugs can be a source of humidity in a home. They hold in moisture and can even get moldy or grow fungus. Luckily, a simple sniff test should alert you to any moisture issues on a rug. Give it a smell, and if it smells musty or damp, you can either get it dry cleaned or simply replace it.
Rugs likely won’t be the main source of humidity in your home, but coupled with a few other ways to lower humidity, having them cleaned or replaced could have an impact.
I know it might not be the most aesthetically pleasing thing to have in your home, but charcoal does a really good job of absorbing the moisture out of the air. It doesn’t necessarily have to be anything special. The charcoal you would use for grilling works perfectly, but coconut shell charcoal is less apt to disintegrate and make a mess. The best thing about charcoal? It is very affordable and can have a significant impact for up to three months before it needs to be replaced.
Rock salt dehumidifiers are pretty cool and simple to make. This link has great DIY instructions for making a rock salt dehumidifier (plus a few other recommendations). If you make it, you will be able to see the water that is pulled out of the air, which makes it a fun science project.
Also called a “moisture absorber”, you can buy these on Amazon. For a 6-pack and under $20 (at the time of this writing), this one is a pretty good option to remove moisture or humidity out of different areas around your house:
Baking soda is a great dehumidifier. You can simply purchase some and put it in a bowl in the area that where the humidity is high. Rock salt and charcoal are more effective in larger areas, but for smaller rooms or areas of a home, baking soda does a great job of pulling moisture out of the air. Additionally, it can pull moisture out of the air for a while before it needs to be replaced.
If you are running an appliance like an air conditioner or furnace (cold places can be humid too!) and there is still a lot of humidity in the air, check the filters on your unit. If the filters are old or have build-up on them, then they won’t be effective in pulling humidity out of the air. Keeping your air conditioner or furnace healthy by changing the filters can not only help reduce humidity but also extend the life of your units.
Yes, you read that right. Silica-based cat litter is very good at pulling humidity out of the air. It acts in a very similar way as baking soda does. The cat litter itself is designed to absorb moisture, which is why it clumps when a cat goes to the bathroom. An added side effect is that it will also pull moisture out of the air.
From hanging clothes out to dry to baskets of charcoal, there are a lot of ways you can effectively reduce humidity in your home without needing a dehumidifier. An important thing to remember is that no single thing, except for maybe an air conditioner, will have an instant effect.
It may take some experimenting with some of the different options before you find the right balance that fits your lifestyle and your needs, but it will be worth it when your home is more comfortable and healthier, too.