Why and how to humidify the air in your home?
Air that is too dry dries out the skin and mucous membranes, making them more sensitive to winter microbes (dry throat, blocked nose, irritated eyes). On the other hand, air that is too humid encourages the proliferation of moulds, fungi and the appearance of saltpetre, which are responsible for respiratory allergies, asthma, eye, nose or throat irritations, coughing, shortness of breath, etc. It also encourages the development of dust mites, which love humidity associated with heat!
Ideally, the humidity level in rooms should be between 40 and 60%. This can be measured simply with a humidity thermometer.
How to humidify a room with too much dry air ?
Releasing steam from a pressure cooker
The "old-fashioned" technique is to use a pressure cooker in which water is pressurised and then opened in the room to release steam: this works but is admittedly not very practical (and it’s noisy).
Using an electric humidifier
The simplest and most practical method is simply to pour water into an electric humidifier. This is not very expensive, uses very little energy, lasts a long time, and is sufficient for standard-sized rooms (e.g. the children's bedroom). You can even add a few drops of essential oil (True lavender in the bedrooms, for example, or Scots pine in the winter, depending on the age of the children) to give a light fragrance.
Our new API Ultrasonic Humidifier Diffuser delivers a light water mist that can be accompanied or not by Essential Oils. Made of glass, it is ideal for rooms in your home up to 30 square meters. It has an autonomy of 6 hours and 30 minutes and its changing lights create a cocooning atmosphere.
Drying clothes in the house
Do you want to save electricity and humidify a particular room? Dry your clothes on a drying rack in the driest room of the house! This will greatly help to humidify the air. The moisture in the clothes evaporates slowly into the air.
Airing the rooms in your house
Opening the windows in your home for at least 10 minutes, both in winter and summer, is a simple and effective way to achieve optimum humidity levels.
Open the bathroom door
When you take a hot bath or shower, you create steam naturally, so don't waste it! Simply leave your bathroom door open while you shower, this will allow the steam to humidify the air in the surrounding rooms.
Caution! The water bowl on the radiator is a method to be avoided, as the water will stagnate and can encourage the development of fungi.
How to dry out a room that is too damp?
Never block the ventilation systems in your home, and clean them regularly to ensure that they remain efficient. If you have a VMC, have it checked regularly (every 4 or 5 years by the plumber or electrician).
Ventilate the bathroom after washing, and if you have a tumble dryer, position the drain towards the outside.
Turning on the heating from time to time in rooms that are too damp is a good way of reducing the humidity level. This leaves no chance to the water molecules in the air.
Beware of mould in the bathroom
When taking a shower or drying clothes, steam quickly raises the humidity level in the room. What do you need to avoid? Condensation on the walls should be avoided, often because the walls are too cold. Condensation quickly turns into allergenic and toxic moulds.
It is not a question of overheating, but of heating regularly. In the bathroom, remember to air the room every day (especially after showers) and to maintain the ventilation system, especially if the room is windowless, which constitutes a real risk.
As for the laundry, it is preferable to dry it in a large ventilated room rather than a small bathroom, or in a tumble dryer (with a drain towards the outside).
Extracts from "Je veux une maison zéro pollution ! Avec les huiles essentielles" by Isabelle PACCHIONI, published by Leduc.s Editions.