6 Ways to Humidify Your House (Without a Humidifier)

During the winter months, low humidity in your home can become an issue, leading to worsening allergies, dry skin, static electricity and increased susceptibility to colds and flu. Find ways to add moisture to the air without the expense of buying and running a humidifier.
Steaming Tea Kettle

Steaming Tea Kettle

A stock photograph of a steaming stainless steel tea kettle on a flaming gas stove.

Photo by: Rick Lord

Rick Lord

Are your clothes clingy in all the wrong ways this winter? Are allergies worse than usual? Kids taking far too much pleasure in zapping each other with a well-placed static electricity discharge? A dry house is probably to blame. During the winter months, low humidity becomes an issue in many homes, leading to these problems and others, including nosebleeds, dry skin and increased susceptibility to colds and flus.

Although humidifiers are often an easy fix, they can be costly to purchase and running them day and night can send an already high winter energy bill soaring even higher. I’m forgoing the expense of a humidifier this year as I explore other solutions.

Before investing in an expensive humidifier to resolve dry air concerns, consider these green and low-effort strategies for adding moisture to the air in your home.

Get houseplants. Transpiration is the process by which moisture evaporates from the leaves and stems of plants, adding much needed humidity to the air in your home. A dry home can be tough on houseplants as the battle for humidity wages, so be sure to keep them well watered.

home plants and sprayer on the window

home plants and sprayer on the window

home plants and sprayer on the window.

Photo by: Dmitry Shabanov

Dmitry Shabanov

Vases in sunny places. Place water-filled vases on sunny window sills. The sunshine will slowly evaporate the water, releasing moisture into the air. 

autumn branch in bowl

autumn branch in bowl

yellow autumn branch in bowl and leaf litter on window-sill

Stovetop cooking. Increase your stovetop cooking to take advantage of incidental moisture release. Switching to a tea kettle instead of relying on the microwave to heat your morning cup goes a long way.

Leave the door open when showering. When taking a nice, steamy shower, leaving the door open is an easy way to add a little extra moisture to the air in surrounding areas. If baths are more your bag, don’t drain the tub when you get out. Instead, wait for the water to cool first to take advantage of the residual heat to add a little humidity to the air.

_MG_3981

_MG_3981

Bowls of water on registers. This is probably the most effective of these humidity-boosting tips. Place metal or ceramic bowls full of water on heat registers or radiators to push humidity into the air. You may be surprised by how much water is released during cold months when the furnace is going full tilt. 

Clothes drying racks. Use a rack to dry clothes at room temperature instead of tossing them in the dryer. It takes a little longer, but the moisture released into the house by drying clothes is an effective way to give the humidity in your home a much needed boost.

Photo by: ANDREA SCALA

ANDREA SCALA

What if you’re left high and dry on the road instead of at home? Try this on-the-go travel humidifier featured on DIY Network’s "I Want That".

On-the-Go Travel Humidifier 01:10

A plastic water bottle turns humidifier providing relief for this traveler.
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