Dampness in the home can be a scourge. Nevertheless, there are simple tricks to control this problem. So keep reading to find out!
Have you noticed any yellowish or dark stains on the walls? Maybe it’s because of the humidity. In addition to identifying its origin, it is appropriate to install a home dehumidifier in certain spaces, to help reduce or prevent the consequences.
It is true that there are devices that perform this function. However, there are also more economical and ecological alternatives, since they do not consume electricity.
If you are looking for a way to combat this problem at home, then read on. Find out how to make a homemade dehumidifier.
Problems caused by humidity in the home
Whether at home or in the office, the relative humidity must be between 30% and 50%. There are some reasons why this percentage may be higher; the main ones are condensation and infiltration.
In either case, the consequences are diverse. Objects can be affected, as well as people’s health.
Some of the problems associated with higher humidity include the following:
- The quality of rest is affected.
- It is warmer inside the house.
- The paint cracks, lifts and falls.
- There is a greater presence of fungi and molds.
- Stains appear on the walls and ceiling.
- Bad smells in the environment and stored clothes.
- Furniture, clothing and other objects may be damaged.
- The risk and symptoms of respiratory diseases increase (asthma, bronchitis, rhinitis).
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What is a dehumidifier and how does it work?
There are several ways to combat high humidity indoors. The first thing to do is to identify the cause: condensation problem, leak through the roof when it rains or leak in a broken pipe.
It may also be that the environment is naturally humid. This is the case of basements or closed spaces without air circulation, among others. It may then be necessary to use a dehumidifier.
It is a device that extracts part of the humidity present in the environment. It works the same way as an air conditioner, but for different purposes.
The process is as follows:
- Damp room air enters the unit.
- It passes through a cooling coil, condensing.
- It then reaches a disk, where a desiccant absorbs the moisture.
- The extracted moisture goes into a water tank.
- The air is heated before returning to the environment.
There are different types of dehumidifiers on the market. The choice depends on the size of the space in which it will be used.
The disadvantage of these devices is that in addition to their cost, they increase the consumption of electricity, since they must remain permanently switched on.
How to make a homemade dehumidifier? 7 practical ideas
Apart from the aforementioned devices, there is the possibility of making a homemade dehumidifier from natural products. In addition to being cheaper, they do not increase the electricity bill. Let’s see what the options are.
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1. With charcoal
According to one study conducted at a university in Peru, activated carbon can be an option to control mold, as well as high humidity levels. Its porous structure promotes absorption. In addition, it neutralizes bad odors.
To make this homemade dehumidifier, you will need the following materials:
- 1 plastic soda bottle (empty) or 1 can
- Charcoal, enough to fill half the container
- 1 knife or 1 screwdriver
The procedure is very simple: just make a hole in the container and half fill it with charcoal. Then lay it in the place where there is moisture. It is recommended to change the carbon regularly, every 15 or 30 days.
An alternative to making this homemade dehumidifier is to use small fabric bags (it can be burlap or hessian). In this case, the pieces of charcoal should be smaller. You can place them in different corners of the house or hang them on doorknobs.
2. You gros sel
Salt widely used to combat humidity problems. Preferably, coarse salt is used which, in addition to its applications in the kitchen, makes it possible to absorb the water vapor present in the air.
You need the following items:
- Coarse salt (100 to 150 grams)
- 1 empty box without lid or 1 clean bottle
- Piece of fabric (an old sock, for example)
To make this homemade dehumidifier, you must follow a procedure similar to the previous one:
- Drill a few holes in the pewter base (not many). If you’re using a bottle, you can cut it in half and place it upside down, funnel-shaped, with a hole in the lid.
- Place the tea towel and add the salt.
- Place the home dehumidifier in a space where there is humidity.
But you need to place it so that the air circulates, that is, the holes under it are not blocked. Salt should be replaced weekly or every 10 daysand at least 3 times a month.
During a survey conducted in Panama to test building materials, natural fiber sheets, a combination of coconut tow, rice starch and coarse salt, were found to help reduce relative humidity.
3. Baking soda
In addition to the many uses for cleaning the house, you can use baking soda to make a homemade dehumidifier. The process is similar to the two processes described above, although gauze bags should preferably be used.
Place them in the corners of damp rooms, in drawers or in cupboards. Not only is this trick effective at fighting humidity, but it also deodorizes and creates an environment that inhibits the growth of microorganisms.
This is a home dehumidifier that is very simple to make and use. You only need a few chalks to write on blackboards, whether white or colored. Put them in a tulle or gauze bag, in other words, in a breathable fabric.
Close them well. You can add a rope to hang them.
This trick is used to combat humidity in the closet ; it prevents clothes from having a bad smell. It can also be used in the car. As in the previous cases, you should check from time to time whether you need to change the chalk.
5. Calcium chloride
Calcium chloride or calcium chloride is a salt used in the food industry for processed and pre-cooked, preserved and canned foods. It is also applied to treat wastewater and is an ingredient in the manufacture of pulp and polymers.
You can make a homemade dehumidifier out of calcium chloride. It is recommended to use the industrial type, which has greater absorption properties.
Follow these steps:
- Take an empty plastic soda bottle and cut it open.
- Add the calcium chloride halfway.
- Place a piece of tulle or similar fabric to cover the container. You can use a rubber or adhesive tape to secure the fabric.
- Place the container in the corners where there is a concentration of moisture.
- Empty the container when you see that it has filled with water.
The advantage of this home dehumidifier is that you can save the chloride, let it dry in the sun, to reuse it. However, over time, it loses its properties.
Of the studies report that this compound has been used, along with activated carbon and silica gel, for low temperature heat driven refrigeration and dehumidification systems, proving to be an effective absorbent.
Maybe you didn’t know that in addition to being an excellent accompaniment to your dishes, rice helps eliminate humidity and bad odors from cupboards when combined with other ingredients that we already have seen.
You need the following items:
- Bicarbonate de sodium
- Container without lid
- Plastic film
- Ribbon or string
- coarse salt
Put in the container baking soda, rice and salt, in equal proportions. The amount you need will depend on the humidity level and the space. It could be a cup of each of these ingredients. Mix well.
Then cover with plastic wrap, secure with tape or string, and open several holes. Place it where you need to regulate humidity. From time to time, you should check its degree of humidity to replace the mixture.
In addition to helping you decorate and brighten up the environment, there are indoor plants that absorb humidity. Among the varieties that best fulfill this function are the following:
- spider plants
- Aerial carnation
- bamboo palm
- lily of peace
Other measures to combat humidity
Apart from these home dehumidifiers, there are some tricks to get rid of humidity at home that you can apply that are quite effective. Consider the following recommendations:
- Do not store clothes inside the house. If possible, always do it outdoors.
- Open windows and doors dailyeven those of the cupboards.
- Separate furniture from wallsin order to circulate the air.
- When painting the walls, add a little whitewash to the paint.
- Spray vinegar in the corners where moisture collects to prevent mold growth.
- Keep an eye out for plumbing leaks and fix them before the moisture reaches other spaces.
The efficiency of a home dehumidifier
Home dehumidifiers like the ones just described have some advantages. They are easy to manufacture, they do not consume energy and they help to take care of the environmentbecause they are made with natural ingredients.
However, they are not as powerful as electronic dehumidifiers, and their effectiveness is limited to small spaces and nooks. Therefore, if you have a major moisture problem, in addition to identifying and fixing the cause, you may need to purchase a device.
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