The humidity in the air takes a lot of blame when people feel uncomfortable outdoors, but excess moisture inside your home can also cause issues. When the levels surpass 50 percent humidity, you can start to notice damage to things inside your home. If you don't have a dehumidifier machine available, you can remove some moisture from the air with DIY methods.
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Effects of High Humidity
When the relative humidity is high, you'll likely feel hotter, sticky, or generally uncomfortable. Humidity can also damage the things inside your home. Mold and mildew can grow when the humidity levels increase, potentially damaging the surfaces on which it grows and triggering allergies. It can also attract water-loving insects. High humidity can cause condensation, which can make wallpaper curl, paint flake, and wood surfaces rot.
What Is a Dehumidifier?
A home dehumidifier is a machine with cooled coils inside that turn moisture in the air into condensation. As it turns to liquid, the moisture drips into a tray in the bottom of the dehumidifier. While you can't easily make a machine that dehumidifies your home, you can use absorbent materials that help pull some moisture out of the air.
Set Out Charcoal
One way to help control humidity in your home is with charcoal briquettes that you would use in a grill. The easily accessible chunks are highly absorbent and easy to handle since they are compact nuggets. Fill up an old coffee can or another container with the briquettes and place it in the humid areas of your home. Fill the container with fresh charcoal briquettes every few months.
Use Rock Salt
Another absorbent material you can use to create a DIY dehumidifier is rock salt, which you can buy in large bags. Use a two-bucket approach by drilling holes along the sides and bottom of one 5-gallon bucket. Put it inside a second 5-gallon bucket and fill it with rock salt. As the salt sucks moisture out of the air, the water will drip down into the bottom bucket. Check the bottom bucket regularly to see if you need to empty the water and keep the top bucket full of salt.
Try Absorbent Pouches
You can purchase pouches filled with silica gel or products like DampRid that absorb moisture from the air. Place these products in areas that consistently have high humidity to reduce the moisture in the air. Check them often to determine when you need to replace them. You can use these products in addition to your DIY dehumidifier to help with the moisture issue.
Other Ways to Control Humidity
In addition to a dehumidifier or DIY dehumidifying methods, you can control moisture in other ways. Some examples include:
- Repairing water leaks that increase humidity.
- Running exhaust fans regularly.
- Using your air conditioner on hot days.
- Opening windows when you're not using your HVAC system.
- Moving houseplants, which produce humidity.
- Running ceiling fans or floor fans.
- Improving ventilation in your home.
- Waterproofing basement walls.
- Avoiding hot showers.
- Removing carpet, especially on concrete floors, as it can retain moisture.
Search your home for potential sources of humidity and make a plan to reduce the moisture in the air in addition to using various dehumidifying options.