One of the most asked questions made by people that live in cold weather is about ideas to reduce the moisture and humidity that cripes into their houses when the winter comes.
If you are concerned about this, you’ve already seen dampness or water in your walls, which is usually caused by the fluctuating temperatures and the vapor in the air. The cold air freezes the vapor, and you will see it building up in sites like windows or high places; then, when the temperature rises again, melting occurs, explaining the humidity inside your home.
So, How Can You Reduce the Humidity of Your House in Winter?
Getting rid of the excess moisture and humidity of your house is not really hard and doesn’t cost a lot. Here are some ideas that will work for this problem:
- Eliminate extra humidity sources inside your house. This refers to open or damaged pipes, indoor plants that need lots of water (keep the outside), humidifiers, and other moisture sources.
- Have air exchange. We know it’s winter, but letting the moisture trapped inside the house leads to condensation and its consequences.
- Turn on your kitchen range hood when cooking and boiling water. All the water you use for cooking will evaporate and remain trapped there if you don’t let it find its way out of your house.
- Let the bathroom fan on all day. This will help with airflow in one of the places with a higher risk of developing mold due to high humidity levels.
- Insulate your pipes. It’s typical for pipes to sweat because of the change in water temperature. This sweat can condense inside your home, so insulate your pipes to prevent this from happening.
- Open all the rooms of your house. This way, you prevent the air moisture from getting trapped inside a room by ensuring good air circulation. Fans are a great idea to help with airflow circulation.
- Don’t take showers with boiling water. Taking a hot shower is really great, but doing it for a long time and using almost-boiling water will produce a lot of vapors that will remain trapped in your bathroom and house, increasing the humidity.
- Open drapes and blinds overnight. This will let the cold winter air come into your house and, as it’s dry air, it will help get rid of moisture.
- Don’t let condensation and fog build up in windows and ceilings. If you see condensation building upon them, open the windows to let the chili air help dry them and wipe them continuously.
- Use the thermostat in your favor. Keep the temperature high enough, ensuring it gets walls, ceilings, and floors, so condensation doesn’t form.
- Dry your laundry always outside. It’s common to use an indoor drying rack to dry clothes in winter, but damp clothes retain too much water that will get caught inside your house and make it more humid.
- Get a dehumidifier. This device was made precisely for this purpose, to get rid of the humidity. Another option is to use charcoal briquettes, which work as a dehumidification tool by absorbing air moisture.
- Clean your gutter. Having proper drainage is vital to get water away from your home and reduce the possibility of this affecting the humidity of your house.
- Upgrade your windows. There’re now windows with double-pane or insulating film that reduce energy exchanges during winter, making them less likely to fog up. Or you can always reseal your windows if you don’t want to change them.
Some Plants Can Reduce Humidity Levels Too
Plants usually tend to increase humidity levels if they need continuous watering and produce damp from the air. But it’s interesting to know that some indoor plants also can help absorb the humidity of the environment they are located in, making them really helpful to reduce humidity levels inside a house.
They do this fantastic job by absorbing moisture via the stoma in their leaves that then go to their roots. This may be because they like their soil to be moisture, but at some point, it looks like they can water themselves.
Then, you can think of these plants as some kind of natural living dehumidifiers that, aside from absorbing moisture and decreasing the humidity inside your house, will decorate and beautify any corner you place them in (the bathroom is a great place to place them).
So, maybe you can consider getting one of these instead of a digital dehumidifier. Take a look at this article made by Eco Mastery Project that explains all about these plants, how they work, and the difference between each of them.
How Do You know Your House Has a High Humidity Level?
The most precise way to know about the humidity level of your house is by using a hygrometer, which is a tool that measures moisture levels in the air.
But also, there exist several signs that let you know about the humidity level of your house:
- You can see fog or condensation forming on your windows.
- Inside the house, the air feels muggy and sticky.
- You can see mold beginning to grow on windows, bathrooms, and corners (which can develop in just 24-48 hours).
- There’s a musty odor coming from your house (which is due to the mold).
- The people living inside the house start experiencing allergies or breathing problems (another consequence of mold).
- You can see water stains on walls or ceilings.
- You realize the wood floor and wood furniture start rotting.
A Major difference related to humidity in hot and cold weather is that, when the weather is hot, the air contains more moisture than in winter, which makes the environment more humid. In hot weather, high humidity levels can make you feel sticky and uncomfortable all over your body. That’s because the heat makes you sweat, a mechanism to keep you cool, but this sweat can’t evaporate due to the high humidity level. This doesn’t happen in winter because you won’t be sweating to that extent (or you won’t be sweating at all).
Why is it Bad to Have High Humidity Levels Inside Your House?
The Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States agree that you should have a humidity level of 30% to %50 inside your home. If the humidity level is lower or higher than this, it can cause many problems for you, your family, and your house.
Too much humidity can cause mold growth on the walls and leaking pipes, creating a perfect environment for respiratory problems like allergies and asthma. The house is also affected by high humidity levels; when there’s a lot of condensation in the walls, this could cause structural damage, being wood the most affected as it will start to rot.
On the other hand, if the humidity levels are too low, you will feel the air is dry, causing dry skin, dermatitis, irritated throat, and itchy eyes. Low humidity can also dry out the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract, making it vulnerable to infections.
The house is also affected by the lack of moisture. Wood floors and furniture need moisture to keep their integrity. If they don’t have enough of it, the wood will start cracking and shrinking. Low humidity levels also affect Paint and wallpaper, making them dry out and peel.
Hi there! My name is Giovanna, and I’m a Med Student from Venezuela. My not-so-hidden passion for writing and research led me to start working as a freelancer in 2016, and it’s been quite an exciting journey ever since. Speaking three languages (Spanish, English, and Italian) also contributed a lot by opening many doors for me in this field. I love to write my articles the way I would love to read them, engaging, full of interesting facts about the topic, and easy to follow, making them valuable for many people. I like my job as a freelancer because I get to try and learn new skills with each new job, so I’m always excited to start new projects and for what’s next.