How to Increase the Humidity in Your Home and Save Energy

Avoid dry and flaky skin by increasing the humidity in your home.

Low humidity indoors can lead to a number of issues such as dry and flaky skin, and eye, nose, and throat irritation. Although high humidity isn’t optimal either, it’s essential to create a balance. If you’re dealing with low humidity levels within your house, there’s no need to worry, there are many ways to increase the humidity.

A popular option to increase humidity is by using a humidifier. However, there are many other inexpensive ways to naturally bring some moisture back into the air.

How to Increase the Humidity in Your Home

Increasing the humidity within your home is an easy task, and it can make an immense difference to your health. It’s important to keep the humidity levels above 30 percent but under 50. As a result, you can live comfortably without the risk of mold or dampness creeping in on your house (1).

We’ve tested multiple popular ways to increase the humidity in your home, with and without the help of a humidifier.


Humidifier on table

One of the most effective ways to raise the humidity in your home is with the help of a humidifier. Humidifiers are actually quite simple devices that consist of a tank that you fill with water. It will then create a cool or warm mist depending on the type, and emit the tiny particles for you to inhale.

Humidifiers range in size but are relatively affordable, averaging at $30. Small humidifiers will be able to cover one room at a time. Larger models, on the other hand, can cover entire floors or houses. It’s essential to empty and clean your humidifier regularly as they’re prone to mold and other contaminants.

Hang Your Laundry Indoors

Laundry hanging to dry

If your skin is feeling a little flaky on a crisp winter morning, don’t put your newly washed clothes in the dryer. Hanging your laundry in the house instead slowly adds a small amount of moisture to the room as the moisture evaporates.

A major plus with this method is the affordability. Drying racks are inexpensive and you get to save energy by not using the dryer.

Add Some Houseplants

Plant in house

Houseplants are an excellent way not only to increase humidity levels but potentially purify your air as well. Plants are effective natural humidifiers since they absorb moisture through the roots and circulate it through the stems to the leaves. As a result, moisture is released into the air through the leaves.

Choose your plants carefully if you want to purify your air as well as humidify it. NASA did a long study on various plants that actually remove contaminants from the air, including VOCs and chlorine.

Beautiful indoor plants such as spider plants and aloe vera are among some of the most effective air-purifying plants, according to NASA (2).

Cook Without Lids

Cooking in pot without a lid

Cooking creates a significant amount of moisture, especially boiling water which creates steam. As you’re cooking, try to avoid covering the pots if possible; this allows the steam to escape and enter the air. For this to work best, keep fans on a low setting to encourage good air circulation without removing the moisture.

Nowadays, busy lives cause us to use the microwave far too often to do simple tasks. Give the microwave a rest and reheat your meals on the stove instead.

Leave the Tub Full

Bathtub full of water

If you’re a frequent bather, you could take advantage of the full tub. Instead of draining the bath immediately after a hot bath, leave the water to cool. As it cools, some of the water will evaporate into the air, humidifying the room.

Take Note

When leaving water in a tub after a bath, you run the risk of spreading Legionella bacteria. Legionella grows in water systems and spreads through the air when droplets are evaporated. It can cause Legionnaires’ disease as well as Pontiac fever (3).

You can also do this trick in the kitchen. If you often hand wash your dishes, leave the sink full until the water naturally cools. Similar to the bathtub, some of the moisture will evaporate into the air as it cools.


If you have young children in the house, never leave a full bath unattended.

Open Shower

Bathroom with shower door open

Do you ever notice how the bathroom fills with hot steam as you’re showering? This shouldn’t go to waste if the rest of your house is low in humidity. Make use of your daily hot shower and leave the door open. The hot steam will escape the bathroom and add moisture to the air.

If you prefer more privacy during your shower, leave the door open after your shower. As the steam builds up during your shower, it will escape when you’ve finished.

Water and Heat

A simple way to slowly add some moisture to the air is by strategically placing bowls of water near heat sources. Many homes have HVAC registers on the floor, making it easy to place a metal or ceramic bowl on top. Avoid plastic bowls, though, as they can melt.

As the warm air gently warms the bowl and water, moisture evaporates into the air, humidifying your home. In addition, the bowls can be left for weeks at a time, depending on how much heat you’re blasting.

Take Note

This method might be tricky if you have pets or children who might knock the bowl over.

Add Some Flowers

Flowers on windowsill

Flowers add a nice touch to any room and they can also add some moisture to the air. Place a few vases with flowers in your window sills and let the sun heat it during the day. Like the water bowls, the moisture will evaporate as it heats and therefore humidifies the room.

Let your kids pick a few flowers from the garden to place in the vases. This method is effective, but it can be slow depending on sun exposure and temperature.

Open the Dishwasher

Open dishwasher

Dishwashers use a significant amount of water to wash your dishes, but they also use a significant amount of energy in the drying cycle. Luckily, you can save some energy while humidifying your house.

Before the last drying cycle, open the dishwasher door and allow the dishes to air dry. You’ll notice a significant amount of hot steam leaving the appliance as you open the door, this will humidify the air.

Indoor Fountain

Indoor water feature

If daily life has left you feeling stressed, an indoor fountain can help you in more than a few ways. Indoor fountains come in many designs as well as sizes, so it’s easy to find one that suits your style. These decors are often used to bring some much-needed zen into a busy home.

Simply place the fountain in a room that needs to be humidified. It will be even more effective if placed near a heat source or sunlight. As the water circulates the fountain, some of it will evaporate into the air.

Legionella Risk

Indoor fountains can also spread Legionella bacteria.

What Is Considered a Low Humidity Level?

Indoor humidity plays an important role in our well-being. Too low moisture results in dry skin and congestion, whereas high humidity can result in mold and allergens. Low humidity is generally measured under 35 percent.

Improving the Atmosphere

Low humidity can cause a number of health issues for you and your family. You might feel congested, experience itchy and red eyes, dry mouth and throat, as well as irritated and itchy skin.

Happily, there are many effective ways to slowly increase the humidity within your home. These tips are sure to make you more comfortable.

The most effective method is using a humidifier. However, these can sometimes do more harm than good. If not cleaned properly, it could spread mold and other contaminants through your air.

Simple changes such as drying clothes indoors and showering with an open door can also humidify your house quickly.

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About the Author

Matthew Sullivan

Matthew is a freelance writer with several years of experience in DIY and HVAC. For as long as he can remember, Matthew has always found great pleasure in taking things apart and learning how to put them back together.