Reducing air humidity in your home is a great way to make your home more comfortable, save some money, and most importantly, keep your house safe. One way to go about it is getting a dehumidifier; however, these are ugly, noisy, and will increase your electric bill.
A cheaper, prettier, and more natural solution is to get specific houseplants that will draw moisture out of the air, while also decorating your home.
How humidity makes your home uncomfortable
If you live in hot climates, then you have probably experienced this at some point. There are some days where the air feels heavy, sticky, and somehow hotter than it should, and it’s all because of the high moisture in the air.
On hot days, our bodies usually keep us cool by sweating. As water evaporates from your body, it draws out heat and makes you feel fresher. However, when the concentration of moisture in the air increases, the evaporation of sweat slows down and you feel hotter because your body can’t cool itself normally.
Unfortunately, when it’s cold outside, humidity can also make you feel colder than you should. On colder days, sweat is not really an issue, but what happens is that air with a high moisture content can transfer energy a lot better than dry air, since water is a great conductor. This results in your body-heat dissipating faster than it should, making you feel cold.
High humidity costs you money
As you can imagine, no one wants to live in a home that feels hot, sticky, and damp during the summer and colder than normal during the winter, so most people resort to running their A/C units or heaters to keep their households livable. This, in turn, makes their heating and electric bill a lot higher than it could be.
Now, we’re not saying that buying plants is going to drastically change the temperature inside your house, the right plants can prevent you from turning on the climate control on those days that aren’t quite hot/cold enough to warrant it, yet you do because it would otherwise feel uncomfortable.
High humidity can be dangerous
Finally, the most important reason why you need to keep air humidity in your house low is that it can be bad for your health. Notably, high moisture content in the air can worsen allergies and lung conditions, as well as enable mold growth, which could eventually require mold remeditation.
In case you’re not familiar with the dangers of mold, it can cause irritation, headaches, lung conditions or even death, as well as structural damage to the house. If you’re interested, you can learn more about it here: difference between black mold and mildew
What kind of plants absorb humidity?
Most plants absorb some moisture from their leaves, however, in most plants, the effect is minimal and thus, not enough to reduce the humidity in your home. Nonetheless, some select species of plant have a huge foliar uptake, which means they absorb most, if not all of their moisture through their leaves. These are usually plants that like very moist soils, or plants from very dry climates that evolved to make do with any moisture available.Peace Lily.
1. The Peace Lily
Peace Liliy is a great choice for anyone trying to reduce air moisture in their home. It’s beautiful, requires minimal sunlight, and will uptake a lot of damp through its leaves, even when watered. That’s not all though, the peace lily will also improve your air quality by filtering contaminants such as formaldehyde, ammonia (found in window cleaners), xylene released from car exhaust and cigarettes, and rid the air of airborne mold.
2. English Ivy
Outdoors, the English Ivy is an invasive, destructive vine that will climb your walls and destroy your brickwork. It behaves a lot better when you keep it indoors though, by keeping it in a pot and having the vines hang down, you can prevent it from spreading where you don’t want to, while you reap the benefits of its moisture absorbing and air filtering qualities.
Much like the Peace lily, the English Ivy will filter out mold, formaldehyde, ammonia, and xylene from the air. Just keep it in indirect sunlight and mist it or water it occasionally, when the soil gets dry.
3. Boston Ferns
Boston Ferns are epiphytes, a type of plant that takes root in the soil but then climbs up other plants and surfaces, because of this, it usually intakes a lot of its water through the leaves. Boston ferns require moist soil and a relatively moist environment to thrive, so if your house gets too dry you’ll see them turn yellow and have to water or mist them.
4. Spider Plants
A great plant for those of us who DO NOT have a green thumb, spider plants are nigh indestructible and will survive a lot of neglect while also filtering your air of 90% of its toxins, including mold and carbon monoxide. Spider plants require minimal watering and only indirect sunlight, so they are a great option if you want to just set it and forget it.
Should I get a dehumidifier?
There comes a point where you have no choice but to get a dehumidifier unless you want your house to look like a rainforest. Of course, these require a lot less work than setting up plants, at the cost of needing electricity to run, being noisy and an eyesore.
Nonetheless, they are still a great purchase if you’re having trouble with moisture, as they will allow you to precisely set the amount of moisture you want in your home. It may seem like overkill, but extremely dry air can also be harmful, so having a way to regulate it is great.
How much humidity should my home have?
Most experts suggest that you set your dehumidifier anywhere between 30% and 50%, in this range, mold, mildew other bacteria won’t be able to reproduce, the exact setting depends on what you and your family feel comfortable with. However, a dehumidifier will not filter your air of any contaminants, for that, you need an air purifier.
Should I get an air purifier?
If you’re concerned about the quality of the air you’re breathing, and plants are out of the question, then a purifier is a way to go. It will filter any contaminants from the air, including mold, mildew, and other contaminants from exhausts, smoke, etc. The only downside is that while a purifier will keep your house safe, it won’t get rid of that sticky, damp feeling caused by moisture. In that sense, houseplants are the most efficient option, since they can perform the function of both machines at once.