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You may have to put up with unpleasant conditions, such as high humidity, for several months in a year or longer depending on where you live. It’s important for us to learn how to keep ourselves healthy despite high levels of humidity. In this article, you will learn what causes humidity, the health risks it causes, and how to dehumidify a room.
Causes and Effects of High Humidity
Apart from changing climatic conditions, the following are some common factors that contribute to high levels of humidity, especially inside a house.
- Poor ventilation: When you keep your windows closed or there is no room for air to be circulated, you trap the moisture in your room. This results in the place remaining humid. Open your windows and doors when you can, to improve air circulation.
- Water damage: If there is water damage in one part of the house, it is going to contribute to humidity. When unnoticed, this will also result in the growth of mold. The next time you notice that your ceiling has water seepage, there’s more than one reason why you should immediately fix it.
- Poor maintenance of air conditioners: It could be that your AC unit is too powerful for your room — meaning it turns on and off too frequently and never completely removes the moisture from the air. Also, if your AC equipment is too old or hasn’t been maintained well, it can contribute to humidity levels in your room. You want to make sure that it is in good working condition all the time.
How to Dehumidify a Room
Dehumidification products are available online as well as in your local convenience stores. Whether you opt for these products or go the natural route, it’s probably a good idea to invest in a thermo-hygrometer. It is a device that measures the temperature as well as humidity in your room. Knowing the levels will help you decide which method to opt for.
1. Use a dehumidifier
The most effective solution is to use a dehumidifier. It’s a piece of equipment that runs on electricity. Dehumidifiers can be used to treat your room or your entire house, depending on their capacity. This is your best solution if you wish to address very high levels of humidity in a short span of time. So how do they work?
- A dehumidifier has a compressor, coils, a fan and refrigerant.
- Warm air in your room is drawn into the device through the fan. As this air circulates over freezing cold pipes, it gets cooled down and moisture is extracted from it.
- The extracted moisture turns into water and flows down the pipes via an outlet into a collecting tray.
- The air that is free of moisture now flows over the compressor and gets reheated back to its initial temperature.
- In the end, the device now lets out warm, dry air back into your room, thus stripping the air of moisture.
If your humidity problem is only in a single small place, there are also cheaper, smaller dehumidifiers available.
2. Use DampRid and Dri-Z-Air
DampRid and Dri-Z-Air are products that are designed to absorb moisture in the air. Unlike dehumidifiers, these products do not consume electricity. They are highly affordable, easy-to-use and do not consume space. However you need to monitor them and use refills every 40-45 days or as and when they empty. They are more ideal to dehumidify smaller spaces, such as wardrobes and bathrooms. They are a good choice to dehumidify a room.
Both products perform in a similar manner. There could be some slight, technical differences, however the underlying concept behind the design is the same. They use calcium chloride crystals that will absorb the moisture from the air, thereby reducing humidity.
You would have to empty the contents of DampRid or Dri-Z-Air into the top compartment of a bucket. This bucket has two compartments — a top compartment for the powder/crystals. A bottom compartment to collect the water. Once you fill the top compartment with calcium chloride, it begins to absorb the moisture in the air and starts reducing in size indicating that you are closer to making a refill. Once they have completely dissolved, you will see water collected in the bottom compartment. You would have to drain out the water, refill the top compartment and rinse, repeat. It’s simple, hassle free and requires zero maintenance.
3. Use a Space Heater
We are tuned to thinking that humidity is always associated to summer. Well, humidity is nothing but the level of moisture in the air, which makes the air damp and causes you to sweat. Even during winter, a room can be humid. That is when it is more ideal to use a space heater— either during winter or if you reside in a generally cold place. You can keep the moisture level under check, by using a space heater to blow dry heat into the room, thereby keeping the place warm, yet not humid.
How to reduce humidity in a room naturally
There are also many natural ways to bring down humidity in the air. You don’t have to rely on heavy appliances or store-bought moisture absorbents. You can follow simple natural solutions like the below:
1. Air Circulation and Oscillation
Keep your windows open to improve air circulation in your room. Use a ceiling fan or a pedestal fan in the oscillation mode to cool down and circulate air.
2. DIY Moisture-Absorbent
Make your own moisture-absorbent using rock salt. Use two buckets to imitate the design of DampRid. The top bucket needs to have holes in it through which water can escape to the bottom bucket. Fill the top bucket with rock salt, and wait till it absorbs moisture and you begin to see water being collected in the bottom bucket. Empty the water and repeat the process as required.
3. Moisture Absorbing Indoor Plants
Indoor plants are known to improve air quality, but sometimes they also release moisture into the air which can contribute to high humidity. But not all indoor plants cause this – some do the opposite and help dehumidify a room. Any of the following indoor plants can be used a natural solution for high humidity as they absorb moisture rather than releasing it. They are available online or at your local nursery.
- Peace lily
- Boston fern
- Spider plant
Now that you are informed about what causes humidity, its harmful effects, and a handful of pointers on how to dehumidify a room, go ahead and implement these simple solutions to get your humidity under control.
Health Hazards Associated with Humidity
Humidity affects more than your state of mind. There are potential health hazards associated to living in highly humid conditions. Some of those include, but are not limited to, the following:
- High humidity is perfect for allergens to thrive, which can lead to respiratory infections.
- Mold and fungi tend to grow in places where the humidity levels are over 60%. They could be invisible and hidden away under carpets, AC ductwork, bathroom tiles and kitchen. This can result in fungal infections which could worsen the health conditions of people with asthma or compromised immune systems.
- The air quality in your room could decline owing to dust mites, bacteria and air borne chemicals that increase in humid conditions.
- Dehydration and fatigue.
- Poor sleep quality.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), “For most areas within health-care facilities, the designated comfort range is 30%–60% relative humidity. Relative humidity levels >60%, in addition to being perceived as uncomfortable, promote fungal growth.” So it’s best to ensure that your indoor humidity levels are within the 30%–60% range.
The good news is, there are easy and effective ways to tackle high humidity and to bring down the moisture in the air. Let’s look at how to dehumidify a room using dehumidification products as well as some proven natural methods.
How do you get moisture out of a room?
There are many ways to get rid of moisture from the air in your room. The most effective method is to use a dehumidifier. You can also use moisture absorbents such as rock salt, or store-bought products such as DampRid and Dri-Z-Air.
Can you dehumidify a room?
Yes, you can. Starting from easy ways such as opening the windows and using a fan for improved circulation, to more advanced ways such as using a dehumidifier, there are many ways to dehumidify a room.
High levels of humidity in your room not only prove to be an inconvenience, but can also lead to health complications such as respiratory infections, fungal infections and more. It is recommended that you monitor humidity levels in your room using a thermo-hygrometer.
Depending on how humid the place is, you may use a dehumidifier, or natural solutions such as rock salt and moisture-absorbing indoor plants to reduce humidity. These are some simple solutions on how to dehumidify a room.
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