Air conditioning is a must for surviving a hot summer. But in Phoenix’s desert climate, sometimes that comfortable cooling comes with uncomfortably dry air. During the summer, your indoor humidity level should be somewhere between 35 and 65 percent. Lower than 35 percent and you’ll notice dry skin, and irritated eyes and sinuses. Here are five simple ways you can increase the humidity level in an air conditioned room without investing in a humidifier.
An easy way to improve the humidity in an air conditioned room is to place a few bowls of water around the room. The water will gradually evaporate into the air. For faster evaporation, use large, shallow bowls and place them in direct sunlight where they’ll warm up quickly, such as a window sill. To dress things up a little, try filling a tray with decorative stone or glass pebbles and water.
A decorative tabletop water fountain can help, too. You’ll get more comfortable indoor conditions along with the soothing sound of running water.
Add Some Indoor Plants
Just like people and animals sweat, plants transpire water vapor into the air and raise the humidity around them. The soil they’re in also holds water that slowly evaporates. Look for plants with a high rate of transpiration. Many humidity-boosting plants don’t tolerate dry conditions well. You might need to help them get the moisture they need by placing them in trays filled with pebbles and water or misting them regularly.
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The best choices are often tropical plants with large leaves. including the:
- Areca palm (Dypsis lutescens)
- Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea)
- Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema)
Opt for Air Drying
Instead of tossing your laundry in the dryer, set up a drying rack in your living room or other dry parts of the house and hang your laundry there. You’ll save electricity and improve your comfort. If you don’t have much laundry, you can get the same effect by hanging a few wet towels on a drying rack. For a little extra moisture, let your dishes air dry instead of using your dishwater’s drying cycle. Leaving the dishwasher door open helps boost humidity in an air conditioned room, too.
Use Your Stovetop
To combat dry air, place a pan of water on your stovetop or a hotplate. Turn the heat on high enough to boil the water, then lower it again to allow the water to simmer. While this will add some heat to your home, it’s one of the fastest ways to raise the humidity in an air conditioned room. Add some citrus peels, spices or vanilla extract and your improvised humidifier will do double duty as an air freshener.
Let off Some Steam
When you take a shower, leave both the shower curtain and the bathroom door open to let the steam flow into the rest of the house. If you don’t have the privacy for that, just open the shower curtain and bathroom door after showering for the same effect. When you cook on the stovetop, leave the lids off your pots to let the steam add moisture to the air.
For more tips on improving humidity in an air conditioned room and maintaining healthy humidity levels year round, contact Forrest Anderson Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We can discuss more ways to control humidity levels in your home or business.