Too much humidity is an issue that exists in most homes at one time or another. Sometimes it can just seem a little muggy, sometimes it can damage the structure of your house. Either way, it’s best practice to reduce humidity if it gets too high.
The most effective way is by using a good dehumidifier, but there are natural alternatives. Making sure the room in question has enough ventilation is key. Your solution could be as simple as opening a window or door regularly. Other natural solutions include adding plants to your home, air drying your clothes, and taking shorter showers.
Americans spend roughly 90% of their time indoors each day, thus the significance of our interior environment cannot be overstated (especially if you live in Florida). We must keep a healthy interior atmosphere, without sacrificing comfort.
Inside relative humidity typically exceeds outside relative humidity, mostly due to indoor activities such as washing, cooking, drying, and bathing. However, if the humidity in your house is too high or too low, it can make living circumstances uncomfortable and cause long-term harm to the house.
According to Building Science Corporation research, humidity levels of 70% or greater may cause substantial damage to homes.
The Health and Safety Executive suggests keeping relative humidity inside between 40 and 70 percent, while other experts suggest keeping it between 30 and 60 percent. Most people are the most relaxed in the 30-60% range.
If the threshold is exceeded, bacteria, viruses, fungus, ozone generation, and enhanced chemical off-gassing are favored.
This might all sound a little scary but don’t worry, we’ve got some top tricks and pro tips to keep humidity under control naturally without spending your hard-earned money on a dehumidifier.
6 Ways to Naturally Dehumidify Your Home
Humidity is unavoidable but there are several natural ways through which you can lessen indoor moisture without having to invest in a dehumidifier.
PS If you’re more visually minded, scroll down to the bottom of this article for a handy infographic of all these tips.
1. Get the Right Plants
Plants are excellent dehumidifiers because their leaves collect water from their environment and expel it through transpiration.
|Plant||Why it works|
|Baby rubberplant (Peperomia)||Helps decrease humidity inside due to its thick and tiny leaves. Its enormous surface area aids in gathering moisture in the air|
|Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)||Also called “Devils Ivy”, its heart-shaped, thick, glossy leaves helps them absorb moisture. They’re easy to look after and thrive indoors|
|Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis miller)||Often used for medicinal purposes, this cactus-like plant will reduce moisture indoors all year round requiring very little attention|
|English ivy (Hedera helix)||This evergreen perennial is one of the best dehumidifying plants for your home. Perfect for your bathroom, it can survive in low light levels|
|Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)||Lilac not only brings a wonderful scent to your room but is great at reducing humidity. It also flowers bringing extra color to your home|
|Windmill Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)||If you have a bit more room, this larger houseplant is a natural dehumidifier, thrives in poor soil conditions, and requires very little maintenance|
|Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)||If you’re looking for something a bit more tropical, these will get to work on absorbing moisture whilst giving your room that extra charm|
|Air Plant (Tillandsia)||This ornamental plant is not only attractive to look at, but it also lowers humidity by absorbing nutrients and moisture from the air|
2. Open Doors and Windows Regularly
Ventilation is essential. Period. It is the easiest and most common solution to high humidity issues. Let the fresh air in, let the stagnant, humid air out. Having your windows and doors open during the day (where possible) will allow fresh air to circulate throughout the room and will let excess moisture escape. Even if you can only crack a small window, every little bit helps.
|Pro tip: If the weather doesn’t permit exterior doors to be open, leave your internal doors open so excess moisture can disperse between rooms.|
3. Target Problem Areas with Baking Soda
Baking soda is a wonderful compound that every home should have. Not only can baking soda help remove unwanted odors from your home, but it also has a high water absorption capacity which removes moisture in wet air.
Simply leave a bowl of baking soda in a room with excess humidity. Remember that the bigger the room, the more baking soda you’ll need.
|Pro tip: Try this tip in smaller spaces first like a cupboard or wardrobe to gauge how much you’ll need for the moisture in your problem room.|
4. Fix Leaks
A typical cause of humidity in the house is a leak. A leaky or leaking faucet can raise the moisture levels in your house. As the water evaporates, it contributes to the moisture in your house. Repairing leaks as soon as they appear will aid in reducing moisture and humidity in the building.
Start by looking for the source of humidity, if the air feels damper around some pipes it will most likely be a leak. Repair or replace leaky pipes as needed.
|Pro tip: If the job looks beyond you, call in a professional. If you’re handy at DIY you can use foam pipe insulation tubes to cover sweating pipes.|
5. Take Shorter Showers
By having shorter showers, you may significantly decrease the humidity in your bathroom. By taking shorter showers, you save water, electricity, labor, and money. A lengthy hot water shower generates a lot of steam, which can raise humidity levels. If you can, try to shower for no more than 10-15 minutes on an average daily.
|Pro tip: If you can’t wash up in under 15 minutes, try taking cooler showers, creating less humidity. And of course, when you can, open a door and/or window.|
6. Dry Clothes Outside
This isn’t always possible (especially in winter), but when you can, dry your wet clothes outside. When you hang up your freshly washed clothes indoors or use a dryer, all that moisture is sent back into the air in your home. Use the natural method and you’ll also save on energy and your clothes will have that wonderful outdoor smell.
|Pro tip: If the weather isn’t good enough to hang your clothes outside, try installing a washing line in your car garage.|
What causes Humidity in the Home?
Simple daily activities, such as cooking and running the dishwasher, can increase the amount of water vapor and moisture in the air in the kitchen.
Indoor humidity develops owing to a variety of building-related factors such as:
💦 Porous walls, increasing damp, leakage, and splits in the structure are all indicators of structural dampness caused by high humidity levels.
💦 The building’s structure can also cause humidity and undesired moisture inside.
Humidity in dwellings may be caused by a variety of factors including:
💦 Broken or leaking pipes, a broken roof tile, or a weak zinc joint or connection.
💦 Capillary breaks for footings, correct roof flashing design and installation
|Institute of Air Quality Management: Indoor Air Quality Guidance states that “Good practice Relative Humidity is between 40% and 60%” meaning anything below or above translates to a poorly constructed home.|
Why You Need to Control Humidity
It’s not only too much moisture that can cause issues in the home and to your health. Too little moisture can have just the same effect. You have to make sure the humidity in your home is at that level.
Scientific data indicates that maintaining air relative humidity around 40 and 60 percent offers considerable health advantages. This humidity range is optimal for maintaining the efficacy of our immune defenses while also limiting the transmission of viruses in the air.
A humidity disparity in your house can cause destruction of property and health difficulties, and you may well not be the source of your troubles.
Several studies have revealed that microbes prefer situations with extremely low or extremely high humidity levels for growth.
This is due to three factors:
- Molds flourish in high humidity, and in order to live, they release seeds (the characteristic “damp smell”) to stop others from sprouting.
- As humidity rises, the amount of debris in the atmosphere decreases.
- Finally, with low humidity levels, the mucous membranes that keep hazardous substances from entering our bodies do not execute their protective function.
Our Favorite Dehumidifiers
If your humidity issues continue to worsen, or the problem is just too big to use a natural method, you might have to bite the bullet and invest in a dehumidifier. If that’s the case, check out these three recommendations:
This device is one of the best options accessible if you need a dehumidifier for a small space. The TP30WKN has basic buttons and is straightforward to set up. It is less expensive than conventional dehumidifiers that require more electricity to get the same outcome.
This electric dehumidifier does not use a compressor, and its operating noise is less than 45 decibels. This dehumidifier is tiny, portable, and lightweight, making it ideal for small spaces ranging from 107 to 480 square feet. It has an automated shut-off safeguard built-in to avoid water spillage. This dehumidifier is the greatest affordable alternative for your house because it has a one-button control mechanism.
This hOmeLabs 4500 sq ft 50-pint dehumidifier is ideal for big areas. With a 1.6-gallon water tank, it can successfully take up to 50 pints of air in a single day. It’s perfect for large spaces up to 4,500 square feet in size. It also has wheels or a handle for convenient transportation, based on your requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions about Dehumidifying a Room
🤔 How do I know if my room is dry or humid?
There are several methods for determining if the relative humidity in your space is low or excessive. If you feel your skin and lips becoming progressively dry as you stay home and you become readily dehydrated, this is a warning indication. Also, if you have difficulty breathing in your room, this suggests that the air is excessively dry.
🤔 Is there an app to check indoor humidity?
The Hygrometer app is a vintage relative humidity meter that monitors the relative humidity of the atmosphere. It has direct reading in % as well as a digital display readout. Please keep in mind that this app needs a smartphone with a humidity sensor. Barometer and Altimeter are free Android applications that use built-in sensors to detect the temperature and humidity of your space.
🤔 What is the ideal relative humidity for a room?
The optimal indoor relative humidity, per the Environmental Protection Agency, is between 30 and 50 percent, and should never exceed 60 percent.
🤔 How often do you need to dehumidify a room?
Your dehumidifier should operate for 10 – 12 hours each day on average. Even though this is the suggested time, the longer the better. However, keep in mind your electricity prices and attempt to divide the dehumidifying procedure into shorter periods to save power.
Humidity is an issue that many households face. Whether there’s too much or too little, it needs to be corrected before it starts having an effect on your home and your health. It’s better for your home and the planet if you can solve this issue using natural ways, but if these tips don’t have an effect, then it might be time to invest in a dehumidifier.
Check out our dehumidifier reviews to see which unit suits you, your home, and your humidity issue best.
Last update on 2023-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API