How to Make a Humidifier to Improve Your Home’s Air Quality

How to Make a Humidifier

Dry air in your home can cause irritated nasal passages, dry skin, and even itchy eyes. It can also wreak havoc on your plastered ceilings, as well as damage your house plants and wooden furniture. Because of this, most modern homes need help to restore humidity levels, especially over the winter period. Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to achieve.

One effective way is to have a humidifier at home.

If you prefer not to buy an electronic humidifier, you can easily make your own at home.

Don’t know how to make one? No problem!

In this post, you will learn all the steps on how to make a humidifier. You will also find here some helpful tips and tricks for increasing humidity levels in your home. So read on and find out all you need to know about making a homemade humidifier and why you most probably need one.

What Is a Humidifier?

Before anything else, let’s understand what a humidifier is. A humidifier is a device used to add moisture to the air in your home. It comes in various forms, from advanced ultrasonic versions to wicking models or even homemade ones.

While each type of humidifier works slightly differently, they all have the same result. Humidifiers increase the level of humidity in your home for greater comfort.

Are you wondering why your home air gets so dry in the first place? It’s usually in winter and can be explained by taking a closer look at relative humidity.

What Is Relative Humidity (Rh)?

Air contains a certain amount of water vapour. As you’re probably aware, the air’s warmer is, the more water vapour it can hold. However, this doesn’t mean that the air in your home necessarily contains the maximum amount of humidity that it is capable of.

We use relative humidity to obtain moisture level readings compared to the highest possible moisture level at a set temperature. For example, at 25 degrees, air can hold 22 grams of water at 100% humidity. However, the cold air in winter already has low humidity levels due to its lower water vapour capacity at reduced temperatures. Once you heat it, the relative humidity levels plummet, giving you dry air and low relative humidity.

Ideally, you’ll want to aim for a level between 40 to 60% relative humidity inside your home to be comfortable.

Find out more about healthy indoor humidity levels here and ensure your indoor air is within the recommended levels.

Problems Caused by Low Relative Humidity Levels

Suppose moisture levels are too low in your home, aside from a general sense of discomfort. In that case, you may experience some of the following problems typically associated with low relative humidity levels:

  • Dry skin – low humidity can dry out your skin, causing it to feel tight, rough and flaky.
  • Dry mucous membranes – Feeling a bit stuffy? It could be because your home has low humidity. It causes the membranes in your nose and sinuses to dry out and feel congested.
  • Feel colder – Dry air feels colder than humid air. Twenty degrees Celsius in the desert will feel much chillier than the same temperature in a humid tropical forest.
  • Increase in static shocks – Moist air acts as a natural conductor, removing the charge from the air and earthing it. When the air is dry, the electrical charge builds up and increases to static shocks.
  • Cracks in plaster – Low humidity can draw out the moisture in your walls and cause the plaster to crack.
  • Creaking wooden floors and furniture – Dry air causes wood to shrink, creating pressure points and friction.
  • Dried-out house plants – If you struggle to keep your house plants alive, low humidity might be the culprit.

Conversely, raising the humidity in your home to comfortable levels reverses these issues. Doing so can improve skin conditions, reduce airborne transmission levels of viruses, and relieve irritated dry sinuses.

Are you concerned about your home’s humidity when you have your heating during the cold winter months? The best way to find out is to pick up a hygrometer (it does not have to be expensive). It will give you an accurate reading of your home air humidity, allowing you to make the relevant changes to add moisture to the air as needed.

What’s more, using a hygrometer will allow you to check whether you are adding too much humidity in your home or not. While too little is no good, too much can result in mould, condensation and peeling paintwork. So, you don’t want to overdo it either. Check out our tips below for ways to add a little extra moisture to your home.

How to Make a Homemade Humidifier

Are you struggling with low relative humidity levels in your home? While purchasing a humidifier is a convenient way to raise moisture levels, sometimes one isn’t enough. Alternatively, you may want to save money on buying one and create your very own homemade humidifier.

Making your DIY humidifier is a straightforward process, and once you have everything you need, you’ll only need a spare ten minutes or so. Here’s the easy way to add moisture to the air.

What You Will Need

Before you start making your humidifier, make sure you have all these materials ready:

  • A container – a bowl or any spare container that you have to hand.
  • A skewer or a similar long thin object that is long enough to place over the container.
  • A small fan
  • A sponge or a small cloth – such as a microfibre dishcloth

Getting Started

  1. Fill the bowl or container with water.
  2. Place your skewer, branch or pencil over the bowl.
  3. If using a cloth, fold it over the skewer so that both sides are in the water, with a raised central part. If using a sponge, insert the skewer through the sponge’s upper part to hold it in place, with the lower part submerged and supported by the bowl.
  4. Place your fan facing the suspended sponge or cloth and turn it on on a low setting. Ideally, run it facing into your room for maximum effectiveness. Place it on your coffee table or bedside table to make your house more comfortable during dry winter days.
  5. If you already have a fan, making a sponge humidifier will cost you nothing at all. You could make several, one for each room where dry air is a problem. You can also pick up very cheap small fans that are highly economical to run and cost much less than purchasing three or four humidifiers to add moisture to the air.

Other Easy Ways to Increase the Humidity in Your Home

In addition to having a humidifier, there are other ways that you can quickly raise the air moisture level in your home with just a few extra items or minor changes to your daily routine.

1. Cook With Your Pan Lids off

Pasta, vegetables, rice and anything you regularly cook on your kitchen hob can raise humidity levels. By leaving your pan lids off, you’ll get a maximum of benefits from boiling water vapourising and humidifying your home.

It also includes your kettle, giving you another reason to take time out of your busy day to drink tea. Boiling water is a great way to improve moisture in the air without a humidifier. If you regularly use your microwave, switch to your hob for some essential boiling water and general cooking tasks for an easy boost to your indoor air.

2. Leave the Bathroom Door Open When You Shower

If you can, taking a shower with your bathroom door open will release plenty of moisture from your hot shower out of your bathroom and into the rest of your house. You probably have a fan in your bathroom specially designed to remove excess moisture from the outdoors. Turn it off if you can.

During winter, you’ll want to conserve this precious extra water vapour to give your moisture level a good boost, so make sure you leave the bathroom door open to shower whenever possible.

3. Leave Your Hot Bath Water to Cool

Hot baths are made for long relaxing sessions. Once you’re done, don’t drain the water straight away if it’s still fairly hot. Leave your bathroom door open and allow your warm bath water to add to your home moisture level until it cools completely.

4. Get a Fish Tank

If you have always wanted an aquarium, getting a fish tank can increase air moisture in your home. A fish tank can also make an excellent focal point that can help you to relax. Bear in mind that water evaporation from your aquarium will be pretty slow, so don’t rely on an aquarium alone to decrease dry air in your entire home.

5. Air Dry Your Washing Indoors

Air drying is much better for your clothes than using a dryer and a great way to increase moisture levels in the air in winter.

Hanging up your clothes and towels to dry inside on a drying rack will release large amounts of water into the air. It greatly helps in increasing moisture in your home.

It’s also cheaper to use a drying rack than running your laundry through your tumble dryer, allowing you to save money on your electricity bills. Simultaneously, the improvement in humidity levels will make you feel warmer without turning your heating up higher.

6. Add More Indoor Plants

While your indoor plants will suffer from low humidity, boosting their number and watering them well will help to raise moisture levels. For best results, group several plants.

Through transpiration, your plants will draw up water from the soil, releasing it through their leaves in the form of water vapour. This process increases your home’s humidity level. Please make sure you regularly water your house plants to increase the humidity, or they will dry out.

7. Treat Yourself to Flowers

Whether it’s a few stems from your garden or an elegant bouquet from your local florists, placing a vase of flowers in a warm area of your home will add to your moisture levels.

Ideally, sunny window sills work well for increased evaporation of water to the air. Don’t forget to keep your flower vase topped up, though! You could also use some pretty branch clippings if you don’t have any flowers.

8. Open Your Dishwasher Early

For a quick boost, open your dishwasher at the end of its washing cycle. It will release billows of steam out into your air, increasing the humidity with next to no effort required. Bypassing the drying cycle will also lower your electricity costs. It’s a small detail but a great way to add extra moisture to your home’s dry air.

Can a Bowl of Water Humidify a Room?

Placing a bowl of water in your room will not necessarily add humidity. It is because the evaporative process requires energy to convert water into a gas. To help transfer water into droplets in your air, you’ll need to place bowls of water in warm areas located near heating vents, for example, or sunny window sills.

Even so, this is a much slower process than using a humidifier. Adding bowls of water alone will not make much of a difference to the dry air in your home, although it can help a little to add moisture to the air, especially when combined with our other tips to improve home humidity.

To make a bowl of water more effective, as well as placing it near to a heat source, you could also follow the steps above for our homemade fan humidifier, leaving out the fan if you don’t have one available. Using a cloth will increase the evaporative surface area for more water vapour to improve your dry indoor air rather than rely on a bowl alone placed near a heat source.

Always take care when handling water near electric heaters. You do not want to place any water containers anywhere they could come into direct contact with an electrical appliance. Glass containers can shatter if overheated. For example, do not place your bowl near a wood-burning stove. When you have water boiling, you get a much faster, more effective result.

It’s Not the Heat; It’s the Humidity

When the temperatures drop outside, and you turn up your thermostats, it’s time to get out your hygrometer and check on your humidity. Most modern buildings struggle to maintain sufficient levels, which can leave you with dry, itchy skin and an irritated, dry throat, not to mention the sensation of being cold even with the heating on high.

Learning how to make a humidifier or following our simple tips to increase humidity in your home can make all of the difference. Not only will you feel much more comfortable with better air quality, but humidifying your home can also help you to reduce your heating costs, as well as to prevent cracks from appearing in your walls and ceilings.

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