Come winter season, the indoor air starts becoming cold, dry and devoid of humidity. Dry winter air can cause nasal congestion, nose bleeds, eczema and itching, asthma, cracked heels, dry skin and hair, sore throat, and a host of other skin and respiratory issues. Dry indoor air is also responsible for the static shocks that we experience in winters. So let us look at some ways to raise the humidity in the house with some simple tricks.
1. Stop air drafts and leaks
The number one thing you can do to humidify a room naturally is to prevent the warm indoor air from escaping out and the cold and dry air from coming into the house. Start by inspecting your walls, windows, doors, and AC vents to find leaks. Seal these leaks right away with insulating material. If needed, get a professional to help you find these leaks and also have them suggest treatments and improvements make your home more energy-efficient. This will not only help raise the humidity of the room but will also reduce your heating and cooling bills. Sealing leaks and cracks help prevent the chilly winter air from coming inside making your home more comfortable. It will also help all the other efforts you take to increase humidity indoors. Here is a list of areas to check:
- Telephone lines/wires
- Fireplace walls
- Plumbing, pipes, etc.
- Vent stacks
- All other areas where two different materials meet
2. Turn down that thermostat
This one is a no-brainer. When it comes to raising the humidity indoors, the first thing you want to do is crank down the heat. The higher the temperature the lower the humidity would be. So it makes sense to keep the thermostat down.
3. Place water pots all around the home
The simplest way to humidify a room without a humidifier is to place pots and pans of water around the room, especially near the radiator. This will also be highly beneficial for your indoor plants that need moisture from the air. This simple trick can also keep your children’s bedrooms humid to prevent congestion, cough, and other nasal problems.
4. Use ‘misting’
Use a handheld mister to mist the room several times a day to raise the humidity in the house. Misting is a simple technique that is ideal for adding back the lost moisture to the dry air. It is especially necessary if you keep house plants. Misting also helps people having nasal congestion during the cold, dry winters. Add a few drops of essential oils to the mist to make your home smell great. These days, plug-in mist sprays are also available to periodically mist the air while also giving off a lovely aroma.
5. Use a humidifier or vaporizer
A humidifier is the best investment you can make if your indoor air becomes very dry during the winter seasons. If you want to save money, go in for inexpensive radiator humidifiers. These are non-electric and they work very well in adding back moisture to the otherwise dry air. You can also use a vaporizer to add back moisture to the cold, dry environment. Run the device at night to prevent waking up with dry cough in the morning.
6. Dry your laundry upon radiators and room heaters
An inexpensive way to humidify a room without a humidifier is to place wet clothing on the room heaters. As the clothes dry, the water in the clothing becomes vapor and adds humidity to the room. This can save energy that you’d otherwise spend on drying wet clothes in a dryer. It is good for the environment and will help you reduce your carbon footprint.
7. Place wet towels around the house
One of the simplest ways of adding humidity back to a room in dry winters is to place wet towels near the radiator. Immerse a towel in warm water, wring out the excess water, and place the damp towel near the bed or on the room heater. As the water evaporates, the room will become humid. This is a neat little trick to use in kids’ rooms in winters, especially if your child suffers from nasal congestion and dry airways due to overheating.
8. Keep indoor plants
Indoor plants reduce heating and air-conditioning costs by adding humidity to the home environment. Leaves of plants perform transpiration which adds back moisture to the air. The moisture also traps heat making the room feel warmer in winters. Add some indoor plants particularly broad-leafed and ivy type plants. As you water the plants, let the excess water drain into a water-dish kept beneath the planters. This can also help you add humidity back into the room.
9. Keep bathroom doors open
To add back humidity in the room without using a humidifier, leave the bathroom door open after you shower. (Make sure you close the bathroom windows.) This way, the moisture, and steam will enter your bedroom and hallways (where the bathroom is located) making the air slightly humid. You can also keep your bathroom tubs filled with water (avoid this if you have young toddlers). Run a fan in the bathroom to drive the moist air into the room.
10. Add an open fish tank
An open water reservoir such as a fish tank or a small indoor pond can also help add humidity to counter the winter dryness.
11. Wipe down floors/tiles/window ledges
To increase humidity during the day, wipe down countertops, hardwood floors and tiled flooring, as well as other surfaces (that can withstand moisture). This simple technique can add a little bit of humidity without using a humidifier.
12. Boil some water on a stovetop
Boil water on your stovetop to add back moisture in the room. You can add some cinnamon, cloves, orange or lemon peels, and other spices and herbs to freshen up the room. Daily cooking can also help add back humidity to an extent. Do use a crockpot or a pressure cooker to cook as both these utensils release steam into the air.
13. Mist the curtains
Avoid this method if you do not have adequate ventilation in the room as moisture can lead to the growth of mold and mildew in the curtain fabrics. Use a handheld spray bottle or a mister and spray the curtains several times during the day.
14. Leave the dishwasher open
If you run the dishwasher at night, leave its door open once the washing cycle is over. The steam will slightly raise the humidity in your kitchen at least.
We hope these simple tips help you raise the humidity in your dry home.