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What are the Best Ways to Increase Humidity?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are many reasons why you would want to increase humidity in your home. In some cases, you may want moist air so your plants will thrive. At other times, you may require additional moisture in the home because of the dryness of your skin. Fortunately, there are several ways to up your home's humidity and make your space more comfortable for both you and your plants.

When it comes to houseplants, it is important to make sure they have the moisture needed to remain healthy. Along with general plant watering, you may find that misting the plants from time to time will increase humidity levels and help alleviate some of the dryness found in your home. Keep in mind that the misting can quickly become a daily chore. A better solution is to invest in a small humidifier and place the device in the general area of your houseplants. This will cut the dryness a bit, and allow your plants to enjoy both a proper temperature and degree of relative humidity, without increasing the humidity throughout the home.

People who use heating sources such as radiators or gas space heaters often find that the heat emanating from these devices will dry inside air very quickly. In order to put a little moisture back into your home, try this simple trick to increase humidity levels. Place a small container of water, roughly the size of a mayonnaise jar lid, near the heat source. The water will evaporate and release a small amount of moisture into the air. This is often enough to prevent your skin from becoming dry, but not so much that your home begins to take on a tropical feel.

It is also possible to purchase and install humidifiers that are capable of increasing humidity levels throughout your home. Many of the heating and cooling systems installed in homes today include some type of humidifier that automatically adjusts to changes in climate. The end result is that your home always has the ideal amount of moisture in the air to keep you and your houseplants comfortable.

If you do not have a central air system, it is possible to purchase standalone units that will lower and increase humidity in the home on an ongoing basis. These devices plug directly into standard wall sockets, and can be positioned in discreet places around the house. One advantage to using one or two of these devices is that you can maintain higher humidity in rooms where there are plants, while opting for less in other areas of the home, such as the bedrooms. Standalone humidifiers that work well for single or multiple rooms are usually found at home and garden shops, as well as many building supply stores.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By anon320301 — On Feb 16, 2013

One of the best ways is to recycle the moisture from your dryer on laundry day. You can buy a gizmo at Home Depot for less then $10 and we use it all winter. The corrugated tubing from the dryer goes into a thing that sets on the floor and you disconnect the vent that goes outdoors. In this way you can recycle the moisture and it goes into the air of your home.

Also, pans of water on your heating vents and a crock pot set on low will add some moisture to the air if you cannot afford or you have no space for a commercial humidifier.

By indigomoth — On Nov 22, 2012

@pastanaga - The only thing is that you can't keep the air too humid in your house for too long, or you can cause other problems later on. It's OK to raise the humidity occasionally, but if you do it all the time it can lead to molds and other things growing in your house, particularly in the ceiling.

If you do happen to get that kind of growth, it can make the people of the house sick, or lead to an increase in allergies.

By pastanaga — On Nov 21, 2012
We had this problem when I was a kid and we moved from the coast to a land locked area that was much drier than we were used to. My sisters and I would have terrible bloody noses because we simply weren't used to the dry air and I guess the membranes in our noses would dry out.

We couldn't afford a humidifier either, so my mother basically went around and left pans of water all over the house. It was quite warm anyway, so I guess they just evaporated, and it really helped.

By anon257199 — On Mar 25, 2012

I have a specially built and insulated chamber that I use it as a wine cellar. With the help of a wine cooler integrated with a small heather I can maintain a constant temperature of approx. 14 degrees all year round. The relative humidity, however, is fluctuating at around 25 to 35 percent, and it needs to be at least 50 percent.

I have experimenting with humidifiers, but as I increase the humidity level, due to the cool temperature in the chamber, the air gets quickly filled with moisture.

What can I do to maintain a high level of humidity while keeping a lower temperature?

By sapphire12 — On Jan 11, 2011

One thing about purchasing a humidifier for your home is that it can be a long term investment. Even now, my parents have the same humidifiers that they did when I was a small child; they are usually only used in the winter or when someone in the house is especially sick, and otherwise are kept tucked away in a closet. If you take good care of them, humidifiers can be fairly inexpensive and last for decades.

By afterall — On Jan 09, 2011

If you have trouble figuring out how much humidity you need to add to your home's air, there are many humidity calculators, which look similar to thermometers, available at home improvement stores, places that carry housewares, and the internet. These can make it easier to decide if you can solve dryness problems with small amounts of water or need to invest in a full-scale humidifier.

By Moldova — On Jan 08, 2011

Air humidity in a home aids cold and flu symptoms. The humidity will help loosen the phlegm associated with a dry cough.

I usually use a humidifier when my kids are sick. It really helps. Also, if you apply a small amount of Vicks Vapor Rub in the tub when the water is running, it produces a mentholated sensation that coats the lungs and makes it easier to breathe when you have a cold.

It is really refreshing. I really do not know how to increase humidity without a humidifier.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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