Here's how to keep your home moist on even the driest winter days
Knowing how to humidify your space is essential whether you live in a warm, arid climate or are staring down the barrel of a cold, dry winter. But a couple of humidifiers might not be enough to fill your space with moisture from top to bottom.
Fortunately, there are plenty of easy ways to improve your home's humidity levels with things you already have and things you already do—like boiling water and showering. These tips may not seem like much, but they’ll keep your home cozy and comfortable no matter how often your heater is on.
1. Turn On Your Kettle or Steam Your Next Meal
Stovetop cooking can significantly improve the humidity levels in your home if you time it correctly. While simply heating a tea kettle won’t be enough to cure dry air from your entire space, having a few things bubbling at once will make a much bigger impact.
In the morning, for example, heat oatmeal while also brewing coffee. For dinner, steam a batch of vegetables and boil water for pasta simultaneously.
2. Air-Dry Your Laundry
Tossing your clothes into a dryer will only contribute more to indoor air dryness. Instead, consider air-drying your next batch of laundry. If you don’t already have one, investing in a clothes rack costs as little as $5. Set these racks close to heat sources so that the combo of hot and wet will create plenty of moisture and dry your clothes more quickly, too.
3. Fill Your Home With Plants and Flowers
Plants are known for their oxygen- and moisture-creating abilities, but not all are right for the job. Fill your space with plants proven to improve indoor air humidity levels, like spider, jade, and rubber plants.
But don’t stop at plants. Flower vases can also add a lot of moisture to a space. When placed next to heat sources, their water will slowly evaporate and humidify the surrounding area as a result. Basically, the more plants you have in your home, the more humidity there will be.
4. Leave the Bathroom Door Open While Showering
This trick is so easy, and you’ll be amazed at how well it works. If you’re trying to target a specific room, leave only that door open, so that’s where most of the excess moisture winds up.
5. Don’t Empty Your Tub Right After a Bath
Leave hot water to cool rather than emptying your tub directly after finishing your bath. As the temperature drops, steam will continue to flow into your bathroom and elsewhere if the door is open. Of course, you won’t want to try this trick with any kids or pets running around.
6. Open Your Dishwasher Right When a Load Is Finished
The next time your dishwasher dings to let you know its cycle is over, open it as soon as possible. The outpouring of steam will humidify your kitchen and beyond—and also be a nice little sauna for your face. Many modern dishwashers actually pop open all on their own at the end of a cycle, so you might already follow this trick without even realizing it.
7. Invest in an Indoor Fountain or Water Feature
Water evaporates over time, so bringing water fixtures into your house is a sure-fire way to get rid of dry air. Anything from an indoor fountain to a fish tank will help humidify your space, though their impact will be more subtle and gradual than opening your dishwasher or showering with the door open.
8. Leave Glasses or Bowls of Water Next to the Heater
If you don’t have the budget for or interest in a water fixture, placing glasses or bowls of water near a heat source is a great natural humidifier. Set it on your fireplace mantle or on a table near your furnace to get your desired effect. Just be sure to avoid placing anything directly on the heater to protect the glass from breaking.
9. Make Sure to Seal Every Window and Door Properly
Keeping indoor air shielded from the outside world is the key to controlling moisture levels. If you have a draft but no idea where it’s coming from, odds are your doors and windows aren’t tightly sealed. Luckily, fixing this issue is an affordable project that can cost as little as $20 per unit.
If you can see light coming through a door or window even when it’s fully closed, that’s where your problem lies. Drag lit incense around the area to see which direction the smoke flows—that will show you what needs weather stripping.