Before going out to invest in an expensive dehumidifier, many homeowners, suddenly finding themselves with moister-than-desired homes, opt first to try a variety of inexpensive home remedies for removing excess moisture from the air. Like dehumidifiers, these home remedies aid in lowering your home's relative humidity, but they do so in a slightly different fashion. Most dehumidifiers pull in household air, condensing the water in that air for collection in a holding unit; home remedies generally work either by absorbing the moisture from the air (using substances called desiccants that attract and retain the moisture) or by increasing air circulation.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- 5-gallon bucket
- Cat litter
- Baking soda
- Large shallow containers
- Table salt
- Portable heating unit (optional)
- Portable fan
Pour a 5-pound bag of cat litter into a 5-gallon bucket. Pour 1.13 Kilogram of baking soda on top of the cat litter. Mix the two substances together thoroughly with a stick or large spoon. Spread the solution in 1-inch layers across the bottoms of several large, shallow containers, such as the lids of 18-gallon plastic tubs. Put the containers in various locations throughout the affected room and leave the mixture to absorb excess moisture from the air, replacing the solution in each container once weekly for best results.
Sprinkle a 1/2-inch layer of table salt across the bottoms of large, flat containers, suggests Jean MacLeod, author of "If I'd Only Listened to Mom." Space the containers throughout the room and check the salt's consistency every few days. Once the salt becomes damp to the touch, replace it.
Open the windows in the room that has the air moisture problem. Simple and free, this home remedy for moisture-plagued rooms promotes air circulation and cross-ventilation, which combats moisture by sweeping water-heavy air out of your home. Avoid using this dehumidification method during winter or when you have temperatures below freezing, especially at nighttime, as it could lead to potential health problems if you or a family member sleeps in the room.
Turn on your household heating system or use a portable heating unit to raise your household or room temperature by several degrees. Put a portable fan in the room that requires dehumidification and turn the fan on. Promote maximum air circulation by using a fan that rotates, or consider using more than one fan. Follow up by opening the windows for up to an hour afterward to improve airflow.
Tips and warnings
- Your home's ideal relative humidity levels should remain between 45 and 65 per cent for maximum comfort. Relative humidity levels less than 45 per cent typically indicate excessively dry air, which can lead to multiple physical problems and complaints, including dry eyes and headaches. Relative humidity levels above 65 per cent typically indicate air that contains too much moisture, which can lead to the development of mould and mildew problems. If you're not sure what your home's relative humidity levels are, consider investing in a hygrometer so you can monitor your home's moisture levels; they're typically available for purchase at home improvement centres.
- These home remedies help remove small amounts of moisture from the air, but in most cases, they won't be able to get rid of the source of the moisture. If you notice that your home has chronic moisture problems, you may need to switch to a dehumidifier for better results. You should also find the source of the excess moisture and fix it before it becomes a chronic problem and compromises your indoor air quality by producing mould or mildew. Possible causes of excess moisture include a leaky roof or shower head, inadequately sized exhaust fans in the bathroom, excessive ground moisture and inadequately vented attics.
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