Have you been waking up to dry mouth, nostrils, and skin? If you use your air conditioner consistently, there is a high chance that your room is too dry. While you’re getting cooler, the air conditioner shrinks the moisture indoors as well. So, how do you keep the room’s humidity stable when your air conditioner is on?
You can easily do this by replacing the moisture that is being removed from the air. When the air in a room is dry, it will not only be uncomfortable; it affects your health too. Some people may find it difficult to tell when the humidity is too low, only noticing after experiencing consistent running nose, chapped lips, cough, dry throat, and itchy skin. Switching off your air conditioner for some time is one solution but some days are so scorching hot that air conditioning is a necessity for your room rather than a luxury.
Instead of putting yourself and your family’s health at risk, you can try several methods to increase the humidity in your room while running your air conditioner. The best way to do this is to use a humidifier; they are portable, run for 8-40 hours depending on the product, and come equipped with a noiseless mode for a quiet night. If your humidifier breaks down, you can opt for other fun, budget-friendly ways like boiling a pot of water, using water-filled bowls, buying a decorative water fountain, drying your clothes indoors, et cetera.
Grab a cup of coffee and keep reading to find out more.
1. Use A Humidifier
Using a humidifier is the easiest way to prevent having dry air in your room. People often wonder if you can use a humidifier with the air conditioner on; of course, you can. Types of humidifiers include the vaporizer, cool mist, warm mist, ultrasonic, and evaporator model, but the basic principle is to release water vapor to improve the air moisture in your home.
Note: humidifiers can cost from $15-$500. Cool mist humidifiers are the most affordable.
You have to pick the right size of humidifier for your room to get the best results. First, check the coverage area when buying a humidifier; if your room is 300ft², get a humidifier that covers close to 400ft². Second, make sure to clean your humidifiers frequently to prevent inviting bacteria into your home.
2. Place Bowls of Water Around the Room
Another way to increase humidity in your air-conditioned room is to place bowls of water around the room. Evaporation will naturally take place and turn the water to vapor. It’s pretty much like using a humidifier but much slower. You can pour some water inside 3-5 shallow bowls (around the size of a dog’s food bowl) and place them close to sunlight near your windows. It can take a full week for a medium-sized bowl to evaporate completely.
Honestly, random bowls of water in your room may look weird to visitors. Get creative and add some pretty rocks, shells, pebbles, or flowers inside colorful bowls of water. If you have kids, keep your bowls in high places away from electrical appliances.
3. Get an Indoor Houseplant
Along with oxygen, plants release water vapor from their leaves and stems to raise the humidity. When you water your plants, the soil also retains some water that will eventually evaporate. For the best results, your houseplants should be in a cluster instead of separated, this will increase humidity faster, plus it looks great too.
Some plants boost humidity more than others. These kinds of plants soak up water quickly, so you have to remember to water them regularly, or they may dry out. Spider plant, peace lily, Boston fern, and areca palm are some humidity-increasing indoor plants you can try out.
4. Dampen Your Curtains
When you hang your wet towels in the room, even without the sun, it still ends up dry the next day. All of that moisture goes into the air. When your air conditioner is producing dry air, dampen your curtains to get more moisture into the air while it dries. Don’t worry; they will dry out in no time.
For better circulation, you can add damp towels into the mix. Just dip some towels in water, squeeze them and place them on tabletops or window sills.
5. Boil Water
Boiling turns water directly to vapor, thereby increasing humidity. You can boil more than one pot of water on stovetops to really get moisture into the air because your air conditioner is running. Give your room a refreshing scent by adding vanilla or mint leaves to the boiling water. This method works fast, but it is not exactly economical as you can’t keep doing it every night. When you turn off your burner, you can reuse the water for the other methods.
6. Get A Fish
Fish tanks or bowls are a great way to humidify a room. The water in open fish tanks will evaporate to regulate humidity in your home, and as a plus, it looks pretty awesome. You have to switch out the water in your fish tank from time to time, or it will become contaminated and have a bad smell. Having a pet is a huge responsibility, and you should not get a fish simply because you want to solve your dry air problem. Only do this if you know you will be a good owner.
7. Use A Soaked Sponge
Another natural way to get moisture into the air of an air-conditioned room is to use a sponge. Soak a sponge in boiling water, place it on a plate in the middle of the room and let it dry. The water will naturally evaporate and can increase humidity in a room for half a day.
8. Take A Shower with The Shower Curtains and Bathroom Door Open
The bathroom is the moistest room in the home. I mean, the air in the bathroom even feels different. The steam from the shower will circulate your room when you leave the bathroom door open while taking a shower. This will get more moisture into the air and increase humidity.
9. Leave a Little water inside your bathtub
You can either leave your bathwater after a bath or run some water in the bathtub and leave the bathroom door open to let it slowly evaporate. This will reduce the dry air while your air conditioner is running.
10. Don’t Drain Your Rinse water
When you rinse your dishes after washing, leaving the water in the sink to dry out instead of draining. This method will not only humidify the air, but you also get to reduce water wastage as well. If you use a dishwasher, you can alternate with handwashing to try this out.
11. Skip the Dryer and Let Your Clothes Air-Dry
Your laundry will not only dry out a little quicker when your air conditioner is running, all that water will evaporate into the air. Line dry your clothes inside your home using a drying rack and save energy while you’re at it by ditching the dryer.
12. Don’t Use Heating Appliances
Generally, an air conditioner will reduce the humidity of a room, but heating appliances also do the same. Using your thermostat, hairdryer or oven will significantly reduce humidity. Air conditioners cool a room by condensing the moisture, and heating appliances will create hot air by drying out the moisture in the atmosphere. Although these two processes produce different results, one thing is common; moisture is sucked out of the air.
13. Use A Spray Bottle
Get a spray bottle, fill it with water and spray on all surfaces in your room. Mist the air, floor, walls, tabletops, curtains, or even your bed sheets whenever you feel like your room is dry. The water dries up very fast but will increase humidity for hours if you really get every corner of your room.
Want to know more? Here are some common questions answered
How Air Conditioners Reduce Humidity
When cooling your home, your air conditioner will condense water vapor from the air as well. This all occurs when the moist air comes in contact with the evaporator coil inside your air conditioner, and the liquid is then removed and sent down a drain as water droplets. So yep, all that water dripping from your air conditioner was once the moisture in the air.
While air conditioners reduce humidity, they can sometimes dry out the air too fast. Depending on the average humidity of where you live, this can be a good or bad thing. Dry air and overly moist air both have negative consequences. Humidity is usually measured in percentage: Below 30% means that the air is too dry, 30%-60% is an acceptable humidity level, and above 60% indicates that the air is too moist. The goal is to keep your room within the recommended range, which is 35%-50%.
How To Tell If Your Room Is Too Dry
The fastest way to measure humidity is to use a hygrometer. This is a device that will indicate the humidity level of your room by measuring the moisture present in the air. Hygrometers will give you a precise figure, they are not overly expensive, and you can get them at a local store. If you experience symptoms related to dryness like sore throats, bloody noses, coughs, cracking wooden furniture, and chipping paints, your room is most likely too dry.
If you don’t have a hygrometer, you can download the app “Barometer and Altimeter.” Then, using your phone sensors or the location data of your home, you can determine the humidity of your room. While it is not as accurate as a hygrometer, you will get a close figure. Don’t you just love technology!
How Does Air Conditioning Affect Overly High Humidity?
When the humidity in a room is too high, it will cause your air conditioner to act as a dehumidifier. Naturally, air conditioners will take moisture from the air for the cooling process, but you can tweak the settings to get rid of the excess air moisture without the cooling effect.
Excessive humidity will promote mold growth, decays, corrosion, and dust mites. It also causes your room to feel hotter than it is, and this may cause the body to overheat, leading to frequent sweating. If you keep on experiencing high humidity and your air conditioning is not helping, just buy a dehumidifier.