Many people associate winter with excessive dryness in their homes, and the first thing they do is buy a humidifier to solve the problem. That’s a solution to consider, but a humidifier will likely make your electricity bill go up, plus, you’ll have to deal with the extra expense of buying a dehumidifier if you don’t own one.
Luckily, there are natural ways to humidify your home and give it the moisture it needs to be maximally comfortable for you and your family. Here are five ideas.
1. Use the Sponge Method
A large sponge like you may use for washing a car is one item that you could likely start using immediately because it’s cheap and depends on something you probably already have on hand.
Get started with this option by poking holes into a gallon-sized freezer bag. Next, soak the sponge in warm water and squeeze it gently to remove the excess moisture. Slide the sponge into the freezer bag before sealing the top. Finally, put the contained sponge in a large bowl, then set it in the area where you wish to increase the moisture.
Add more water to the sponge once per day, and before doing that, put it in the microwave for 45 seconds to prevent mildew growth.
2. Change Your Bathing Habits
You probably shower with the bathroom door closed and drain the water from the tub promptly after bathing. Two simple switches will add more humidity to the air. When taking a shower, keep the bathroom door open. If you live with other people, make sure to tell them about your plans first. Or, after you take a bath, let the water cool to room temperature before draining the tub.
3. Buy Some Strategically Chosen Houseplants
Your home should have a humidity range of between 30 and 50 percent, and a tool called a hygrometer can tell you how far off you are from that. There’s one way to improve humidity levels and the appearance of your home at the same time. Do it by increasing the number of houseplants in the environment.
Most houseplants add moisture to some extent, but some are better than average at increasing humidity. The philodendron, bamboo palm and peace lily are some examples of excellent houseplants to consider when your goal is to add moisture.
4. Let Your Clothes Air Dry Indoors
Another easy way to increase humidity in your home is to at least occasionally dry your clothes indoors by exposing them to the air. When the water from the clothes evaporates, the room becomes more humid.
It’s best to try this technique in an area of adequate air circulation. Or, if the temperature outside is bearable, crack a window to expedite the drying process. Also, don’t let your clothes touch walls. The moisture in the garments could promote mold growth on hard surfaces.
It’s also possible to buy specially designed drying racks. They keep your clothes spread out to reduce the chances of damp spots.
5. Put a Vase of Water on a Sunny Windowsill
Putting dishes of water throughout your home is something else you can do to increase humidity. One of the most straightforward options is to fill a vase with water and put it in the sun. It’s even better if the water is hot — warmth increases the rate of evaporation. If possible, fix drafts and other sources of excessive air movement in the room to make this tip maximally effective.
Solve the Common Problem of Overly Dry Air
This list shows it’s easier than you may expect to bring much-needed moisture into your home. These five tips work well if you want to get results without spending a lot of money.