how to increase humidity in a room: 7 things you can do now

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how to increase humidity in a room: 7 things you can do now

Both people and plants suffer when exposed to dry indoor air for an extended period of time. In this post, we’ll walk you through how to increase humidity in a room, improving your indoor climate for easier breathing and healthier plants.

On the people side of things, dry air is known to trigger and worsen breathing problems, especially during the winter cold and flu season. According to Healthline, breathing in dry air causes potential health issues from asthma, nosebleeds, bronchitis, and a range of other respiratory problems. It can also cause dry skin, eye irritation and rash for folks with sensitive skin.

Houseplants help to increase indoor humidity levels and improve air quality in general, since they release oxygen and purify the air we breathe. Pure MAGIC, I tell you ✨

Buuut many houseplants, especially those native to tropical and subtropical regions like ferns, orchids, philodendrons, and monstera, thrive best in humid conditions to start with. So, what to do? If you notice your plants suffering or you experience persistent respiratory issues that affect your sleep and wellbeing, it’s a good idea to test the humidity in your home with a good hygrometer to see what you’re dealing with. The average indoor humidity is anywhere between 30-50%.

If your test reveals humidity below 30% anywhere in your home, there are a few things you can do to improve the air quality and boost humidity in that space. Read on to find out how!

7 ways to increase humidity in your home naturally (without a humidifier)

You don’t need to splurge on a plant humidifier to improve the humidity in your home. Here are some easy ways to raise the humidity in your home for extra moisture.

1. place a glass of water near a sunny window.

This is sort of a #life-hack that you can do with things you have in your kitchen. Leave a glass of water out in a space that feels really dry, and eventually the water will evaporate from the sun and the moisture released will go into the air.

2. hang your laundry indoors.

hang your laundry indoors

Hanging laundry to dry your laundry will save energy and humidify your space. Be kind to Mother Earth! Just buy a cheap drying rack and hang your laundry indoors, ideally where you need it most. The dampness of your clothes drying will help moisture the air.

3. add houseplants to your home.

Plants release moisture into air through a process called transpiration, where excess water in the plant’s tissues evaporates into air through its leaves. Yep, this is a good excuse to expand your plant family! Plants put some moisture back into your air and keep it fresh. Plants are naturally humidifiers, since they absorb moisture through their roots and bring it back up to the leaves.

We like this bundle 😉

house plant

4. leave your bathroom door open while you shower.

leave your bathroom door open when showering

Instead of steaming up your bathroom when you take a hot shower, open the door and let the steam escape naturally to increase humidity. This allows the steam to disperse throughout your entire house, improving the humidity level. If you live with roommates and need some privacy, you can leave the door open after showering.

5. boil water without lids.

The water may take a bit longer to boil, but this will definitely get your room heated up faster. Just be careful to never leave the pot of boiling water unattended, you can end up boiling the water away and ruining your pot this way.

6. air dry your dishes.

Place your dishes in the dishwasher and open the dishwasher after the last rinse cycle. Open the door and let your dishes air dry instead of letting them dry in the machine to release the steam into your home.

7. get an indoor water fountain.

Yes, we’re going there. Invest in an indoor water feature. Indoor fountains are a beautiful and relaxing way to decrease stress levels and naturally humidify a room. You just need to place your fountain near direct sunlight, so the rocks can heat up and the water can slowly evaporate into the air.

8. use an essential oil diffuser.

An essential oil diffuser is like a mini-humidifier, that lets out warm air with a scent. You can add any luscious scents you like to the air like lemongrass, patchouli, or lavender. Just remember to wash thoroughly between uses.

best plants to increase humidity in your home

best plants to increase humidity in your home

Plant science review time: Plants actually have thousands of tiny pore-like structures on the surface on their leaves. In plant lingo, these pores are called stomata, which take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. This process releases water vapor in the air.

Some plants release more moisture into the air than others. Combat dry air and get your houseplants to work! These specific plants continuously release moisture in the air, contributing to elevated humidity levels. 

  • Peace lily
  • Spider plant
  • Aloe vera
  • Sword fern (Ferns are just lovely to have in any room, and are also plants that contribute to having a higher humidity level.)
  • English ivy
  • Areca palm (This plant has one of the highest rates of transpiration, according to the NASA clean air study. Areca palm can release up to 1 quart of water vapor in the air every 24 hours. So cool right?!)
  • Rubber plant
  • Jade plant
  • Dracaena 

where to buy a humidifier

If you live in super cold conditions, some of these DIY solutions won’t work as well (evaporation slows at lower temperatures) for you at home. In this case, buy yourself a humidifier. It is probably one of the easiest solutions to keep you and your plants feeling comfortable and healthy during the winter. Using a humidifier also allows you to control humidity levels more precisely. They do require regular cleaning and maintenance to prevent mold growth, and it’s important that you keep an eye on your space to make sure water isn’t pooling in areas out of the site or your furniture is getting damp.

Here are a couple of our top recommendations for humidifiers:

levoit humidifier

LEVOIT Humidifier for Bedroom or Home

This humidifier has a smart sensor, and can be controlled from your phone. It holds up to 60 litres of water and has a battery life for up to 60 hours. It even includes an app that allows you to find the perfect humidity levels for your home.

ultrasonic cool mist humidifier

IRIS USA Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

This one is super quiet and runs all night, making it super easy to maintain humidity levels in your room or bedroom. Save your dry skin & sore throat with this humidifier that is super straight-forward and easy to use!

FAQ

What is a low humidity level?

Humidity is typically presented as a percentage representing the total capacity of air to hold water vapor. This is known as relative humidity (RH), and it varies depending on temperature. Warm air holds more moisture than cool air, so the percentage of humidity is ‘relative’ to the air temperature. Generally speaking, low humidity is anywhere below 30%.

How can I humidify a room without a humidifier?

We listed a ton of ways above, but our favorite solution is obviously to invest in a ton of air-purifying houseplants! Other ways include showering with the door open, cooking without lids, and leaving a glass of water in a sunny spot near a window.

What happens if humidity levels are low?

Low humidity (especially coupled with cold temperatures) can cause dry and itchy skin, as well as dry throat, respiratory problems and irritated eyes. Honestly, if you live in a condition with low humidity levels for a really long time, you can get really sick. Cold air = no bueno for your eyes, nasal passages, skin and respiratory tract. Your risk of getting a cold flu and other infections also increases.

How much water do you need to increase humidity?

This is a really good question. Depending on the size of your house, you might need anywhere from about 5.5 gallons to 7 gallons of water per day. You can place a ton of bowls of water around your house to increase humidity. Tip: when placed in the sun, glass water bowls refract light, so you may have tiny rainbows appearing all over your home!

more about humidity

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