Author Topic: Best DIY humidifier techniques  (Read 7745 times)

cincystache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 129
Best DIY humidifier techniques
« on: February 08, 2015, 07:33:25 PM »
Hi MMM community,

I'm looking for cost-effective DIY ways to increase the humidity in my apartment without buying a humidifier. I have a few houseplants and we hang-dry our clothes but it doesn't do the trick. One of my guitars recently cracked due to the low humidity (stupid on my part and I have since started keeping my guitar in the case with a humidifier system) but I'm wondering if anyone has any better solutions that don't cost money or electricity.

Much appreciated.


abhe8

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 486
Re: Best DIY humidifier techniques
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2015, 07:38:24 PM »
Set out pans of water?

Nothlit

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 389
Re: Best DIY humidifier techniques
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2015, 08:29:49 PM »
Forcing moisture into the air at a rate that would make any difference requires energy. Someone's gotta pay for that. Pots of water will not evaporate quickly enough unless you heat them. If you have radiators then you could set the pots on those. If the heat is "included" in your rent, then that's as "free" as you're going to get it. Otherwise, look into making some sort of wick and blowing a fan across it.

Bracken_Joy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8704
  • Location: Oregon
Re: Best DIY humidifier techniques
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2015, 08:33:45 PM »
Insulation is going to make a bigger difference than adding humidity, IMO. Try covering windows and minimizing how much you run central air. Cooking at home and letting your clothing air dry will help marginally.

acorn

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 373
Re: Best DIY humidifier techniques
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2015, 02:24:52 AM »
Leave the shower door open after you shower. Hang-dry your towels in the apartment. Pans/pots of water are not going to evaporate fast enough unless they're heated. Look into getting an ultrasonic humidifier, the electricity consumption is fairly low, and you can usually get them for pretty cheap off craigslist.

If the low humidity is because of heating, I agree with ToLiveToLaugh that you should improve insulation and lower heating. Cover the windows with bubble wrap, and weather strip your doors.

DragonSlayer

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 166
Re: Best DIY humidifier techniques
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2015, 08:17:44 AM »
I tried everything before finally having to break down and buy a humidifier. As others said, anything that produces humidity at a great rate is going to require energy. That said, I got a Vicks filterless humidifier, so at least I'm not also blowing money on filters all the time. I also leave the bathroom door open when showering and keep the heat down. It helps, but not as much as actually getting the humidifier did. As a plus, we get sick less often and generally feel better, so the small expense was worth it. 

mskyle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 693
Re: Best DIY humidifier techniques
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2015, 08:36:09 AM »
Our apartment is noticeably more humid when we hang our laundry out to dry indoors. I've joked around (sort of) and said we should just soak and hang out wet towels or sheets every day but my BF won't go for it.

CowboyAndIndian

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1280
  • Location: NJ, USA
    • KOWines: Deep discount wine/spirits store.
Re: Best DIY humidifier techniques
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2015, 09:32:33 AM »
Use a steam inhaler and run it for a couple of hours a day. Just be careful to put it somewhere where children/pets cannot get to it, since the output is steam and will burn.

Do not use the ultrasonic ones, unless you are very good at cleaning out the container, since mold grows in it.


cincystache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 129
Re: Best DIY humidifier techniques
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2015, 08:12:52 PM »
Thanks to all for the suggestions.. I appreciate it

alberteh

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 22
Re: Best DIY humidifier techniques
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2015, 09:42:33 PM »
old school way of doing it was to vent your dryer into the living space with a lint filter. (do not do with a gas dryer!!!) if you want very low cost that's one way.

frugaliknowit

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1599
Re: Best DIY humidifier techniques
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2015, 11:09:21 AM »
As someone who is very sensitive to dry air (automatically leads to sinus infections and eczema on my hands), I can tell you that there is NO effective way to humidify your apartment enough to make a significant difference, except by leaving the shower running on hot 24/7.

If your guitar is damaged from the air, you have seriously dry air.  You should get a hydrometer to start with. 

The humidity in my apartment varies with both the outside temperature (thus more heat in the radiators) and moisture in the atmosphere (when it's cloudy and or raining/snowing).

I run 2 of these:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002QAYJPO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

My guess is they cost me about $5 per month to run.  The filters last about one month (about $10 each). They are very easy to clean, don't spray any dust, and can usually get my humidity above 40%.

Yes, I know you don't want to spend that, but the cost of very dry air is even higher (bad skin, sinus infections, etc.).

HipGnosis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1432
Re: Best DIY humidifier techniques
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2015, 10:04:13 AM »
You can put a pot of water on the stove on low - if you don't have small children.  It's only cost effective with a gas stove.  And you might not be able to use the pot for cooking after a while as the minerals accumulate.
If it's a big pot, you'd want to heat up the water to at least warm before turning the burner down.

LOTs of well watered plants add humidity.  Not all plants can take it.

You can stop the drain as you're rinsing off in the shower, then leave the shower curtains open for the water to evaporate into the home.

Hanging heavy, wet items does add humidity.  It works even better if you put the bottom of them in a pot of water and they are in the flow of air from furnace or draft.

On very cold, dry days, I spray water into the air above a couple rugs with an indoor plant sprayer.

The 'best' technique is to put a humidifier on a lamp or appliance timer so you don't wake up in, or come home to, a very dry home.




PatStab

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 133
Re: Best DIY humidifier techniques
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2015, 08:07:20 AM »
We are up north and our air is dry too.  I just bought a Vicks cool mist humidifier too as I don't want
to overdo the moisture in the air but this is helping.  I don't like my skin to get dry either.

Doubleh

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 270
  • Location: London
Re: Best DIY humidifier techniques
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2015, 08:43:03 AM »
Wow, I had no idea this was a thing! I live on a boat in the UK and fight a constant battle to reduce condensation and humidity. Things I've found which make my job harder, and so may help for you, include:

As mentioned boiling a pan will help, but doing it just to humidify is a waste. Instead you can multitask by:
- Boiling pasta
- boiling a tea kettle - when you're British that happens a lot. Benefit is that you can drink the tea!
- keeping a stock pot, pot of stew or soup simmering on the stove.

Also I've found:
- hanging washing as mentioned, bonus points if it's over a radiator
- breathing - humans generate moisture while breathing. You can increase the output by increasing the number of humans (have a party, get room mates) or the rate of breathing and exertion of the inhabitants ;)
- get a dog or cat, these will also breathe for you. Added benefits from tracking moisture in on their fur!
- ironing, especially with an electric steam iron so heavy cottons are best. If you don't have enough ironing of your own you could start a side hustle taking in other peoples' thereby generating an extra income at the same time

Hope some of this helps

PatStab

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 133
Re: Best DIY humidifier techniques
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2015, 12:45:38 PM »
Those things just don't put enough moisture in the air as the furnace will dry it out again pretty quickly.

FLBiker

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 927
  • Age: 42
Re: Best DIY humidifier techniques
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2015, 08:49:25 AM »
I rented a house years ago that had radiators and the air got supper dry in the winter.  I stuck bowls of water on all the radiators, though, and that did the trick.

Spacedad2

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: Best DIY humidifier techniques
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2018, 08:09:05 AM »
I cut up an old towel to make a rag 7 inches wide by 15 inches long. I folded 2 inches over on one end and sewed diagonally up the corners to allow the fold to fit over the top of a desktop fan and hold it in place. I cut slits in the long end starting about one inch from the end, and extending up to the fold. The slits were about 3/8 inch apart. There will be lots of bits of fluff from the towel. Closer together provides more surface area, but the fabric of the towel starts falling apart.  I half filled a square plastic kitchen container (about 6 inches square and 5 inches deep) with water. I dunked the towel cloth into the water and hung the fold over the top of the fan. The capillary action keeps the fabric wet, and the slits allow air from the fan to evaporate the water easily.
It is easy to make, easy to clean, easy to refill, the fan doesn't make much noise, and if the towel gets crusty, throw it in the wash.

Car Jack

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 888
Re: Best DIY humidifier techniques
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2018, 11:46:15 AM »
Anything passive is going to do virtually nothing.  I've got a hygrometer (measures humidity) and have tried lots of things mentioned.  None of them do anything.  I used a real humidifier and I tell you what......to get the humidity up even 1% takes lots of water.  Of course it depends on the outside humidity and size of your house but getting the humidity up much at all was taking a good 5 gallons a day into the humidifier. 

If it's winter, and you're heating your house anyways, boiling water on the stove isn't really a waste, if you're home all day to keep adding water.  That boiling is heating your house, right?  Higher humidity makes your house feel warmer too. 

If you can get an automatic system that hooks up to a water source and your heating system, you'll be able to set the humidity to whatever you want.  (done that too).

We have forced hot air heat and a wood furnace so our house is usually very dry when the heater/wood burner is running.

big_owl

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 555
Re: Best DIY humidifier techniques
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2018, 04:46:41 PM »
Install a humidifier?  Or live with cracked guitars, I guess.  It's not like humidifiers are that expensive to run.