Cold weather doesn’t just mean cold temperatures; it also means dry air inside your home because heating systems and air purifiers suck any humidity Mother Nature has bestowed right out of your house.
Dry air can cause your skin to become dry and itchy and lead to nasal congestion symptoms, including itchy eyes, stuffy nose, and dry throat.
Low humidity is also tough on houseplants because it pulls moisture from their leaves faster than roots could replenish it. A humidifier is an obvious solution to this problem, but it can be expensive.
For example, the smallest personal unit costs $30, and larger units will cost $200 per room. Worse, most humidifiers operate on electricity which increases your utility bills.
The good news is that you can increase the humidity level in your home by building a DIY humidifer using inexpensive supplies.
Here are eight DIY ways to ease the dry air conditions in your house during the winter season.
1. Boil Water
When you boil water, it produces clouds of steam in the air.
So brew yourself a nice cup of tea, cook pasta for dinner, or add some drops of your preferred essential oil, fresh herbs, or dried spices to your favorite recipe.
Pour boiling water down your kitchen sink for 10 minutes to diminish the drain’s grayish build-up.
2. Put Evaporation to Work
Evaporation — the process of liquid water turning into water vapor upon exposure of increased temperature or pressure — is a normal part of the natural water cycle.
Here are some ways to increase the humidity in your house so that the air feels more humid and comfortable.
Put water bowls near heaters or windows so they don’t get too hot. Fill a metal or plastic bowl with water and place it on top of your radiator. Keep on flowers or display beautiful branch clippings inside a water-filled vial.
3. Keep Your Houseplants Healthy
The process that plants use to draw water and nutrients from the soil is known as transpiration, moving it through the roots of the plant, stalks, and leaves and returning most of the water into the air in the form of water vapor released from the leaves.
What does that biology mean to you?
Adding a few houseplants to each room will add moisture to the air.
Plant grouping gives the best results because it multiplies the number and size of leaves, which increases the surface area for evaporation.
Maintain your plants by watering them frequently, but not too wet, so they don’t get waterlogged.
4. Leverage Shower and Bath Time
A hot shower is a fantastic thing to do when you’re starting your day, or a warm bath is a wonderful thing to do after a long day.
If you use that water power for adding moisture to your home, then it’s excellent.
Let your bathroom door be open while you shower or open it after a bath so humidity will enter the room.
Instead of draining the tub the moment you finish bathing, leave the water there until it has cooled down completely, giving it time to release water vapor into the air.
5. Create a Cheap Humidifier With a Wire Hanger
Here’s an old-school solution that predates electric humidifiers:
Fill a bowl with water, bend a wire coat-hanger in the middle so it can “sit” over the pan, then drape a hand towel over the hanger, ensuring the towel hangs into the water.
Water will wick into the towel, and then the towel will absorb the water. Then, the towel will slowly release water vapor into your room as it evaporates.
Using a towel is more powerful than just filling a container with water because it has a larger surface area. Especially bath towels.
Consider placing the contraption near your headboard at night to ease nasal dryness and congestion while you sleep.
6. Make a DIY Humidifier with a Fan
Evaporator humidifier mechanisms are straightforward: containers hold water, wicks absorb the water and release vapor, and fans move humidified air into your room.
With these principles in hand, a DIYer can build a crude humidifier for under $15, using materials such as a sponge, a fan, and a water container.
There are many YouTube videos available with step-by-step instructions.
Just remember to use caution when using electricity and water to prevent you from electric shock.
7. Get Moisture from Major Appliances
Using — or bypassing — certain appliances is a simple way to increase humidity levels in your house.
Rather than letting your dishwasher undergo a hot-dry cycle, open the door after the washing process is completed and allow the air to be moistened by a surge of steam.
Rather than putting your delicates into the dryer, hang them up on a line or stand them in the kitchen or the washing room.
By decreasing wear and tear in your clothes, you’ll save on your utility bills and add moisture to the air as the dampness evaporates from the fabric.
8. Try Something Fishy
Aquariums offer water vapor because they evaporate water into the surrounding air.
Aquariums offer many benefits besides humidity; they provide an enjoyable hobby, a relaxing aid, and a decorative focal point.
9. Take advantage of vents and radiators
Vents and radiators are great places to put plants. The heat generated by these devices helps to keep the air inside the room warmer and drier.
Plant roots grow better in cooler temperatures, so if you have any ventilating systems in your home, consider planting a plant there.
10. Give your dryer a break
If you’ve been running your dryer too often, try switching to a low-heat setting. This may help reduce the energy and moisture lost through the exhaust duct.
11. Put your laundry away early
Laundry rooms are notorious for being cold and clammy, even when the rest of the house is warm. If possible, store wet items like towels and bedding in a cool place until they’re completely dry.
Q: How do I know what kind of humidifier to buy?
A: There are two types of humidifiers: evaporative and ultrasonic. Both work well, though each has its advantages and disadvantages. Ultrasonic humidifiers emit sound waves that vibrate the water molecules, causing them to collide and form more water droplets. Evaporative humidifiers rely on the evaporation of water to create humidification.
Q: What should I look for in a humidifier?
A: Look for one with an automatic shutoff feature, a timer, and a thermostat. You don’t want to run it all day and then forget about it. Humidifiers quickly run out of water.
Q: Do humidifiers work?
A: Yes, they do. They’re one of the most popular ways to control indoor humidity. They’re inexpensive and easy to use.
Q: Can I leave my windows open while using a humidifier?
A: Sure, but you might need to adjust the settings on your humidifier to compensate for the extra airflow.
I’m a degreed ME (mechanical engineer) who is passionate about machines of all kinds. I created MachineWonders.com as a way to connect with others who love machines like me – or need help choosing one for their needs, application, or situation.