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Winter can be a really troublesome time for damp and condensation build up inside your home, particularly if you live in an older style house or are using indoor racks to dry your clothes.
With a regular humidity level consistently above 60 percent, you’re creating the perfect environment for mould spores and dust mites which can be particularly problematic for people with allergies or asthma - not to mention an extra cleaning chore to be constantly keeping on top of.
Although costly, addressing ventilation and insulation issues is often the best solution, but of course that isn’t an option if you’re renting.
A few women in the Bunnings Mums group on Facebook, had a much cheaper, albeit temporary, solution that worked a charm at their place.
It’s this $3.29 Damp Free moisture absorber unit which uses a bag of crystals inside of a small container to draw moisture out of the air.
“These are fantastic, work great on window sills in the winter,” one woman posted last week.
“They work like a dream!” another said, “I think I had them in our cupboards for around 6 months.”
A third person shared a photo of their little container full of water, writing, “Mine is ready to replace now. They are great.”
It wasn’t the perfect solution for another woman however, who said, “Pretty easy to use! Much tidier than refill crystals [but] they fill up fast. I ended up buying a little dehumidifier because it was costing too much to keep replacing these.”
Highly rated dehumidifier
Another option, as suggested by the last commenter, is a dehumidifier.
This 700ml Hysure Dehumidifier has lots of positive reviews on Amazon Australia with shoppers saying it’s very effective when used in small spaces, with one reviewer saying they had the same experience as the woman on Facebook.
“The wife is always using up those disposable dehumidifiers all the time [and] I got sick of them not working properly if they're nearly full. If you don’t constantly check them out then no dehumidifying action,” he wrote.
“I use this bad boy in the walk-in wardrobe since it’s next to the bathroom in the master bedroom. Works well. Slick. Not loud.”
Someone else said, “For such a small unit, I think it did well. I bought two and put one each in two similarly-sized rooms hoping to reduce condensation on the windows which were weeping with moisture.
“Worked well on the room with one window where I was able to aim the flow of air from the machine straight at the window. Not as directly effective in the room with two larger windows as I could not aim the airflow to cover both windows, but still collected a lot of moisture regardless.”
While many of the reviewers say it’s great for a small space like a walk-in wardrobe or home office, they warn that a bigger model would be needed to tackle a larger room like a basement or bedroom.
What should the humidity be in your home?
According to the National Asthma Council of Australia, you want to keep the relative humidity in your home to between 30 to 50 percent.
Any lower than that range and it becomes an issue for dry skin and eczema, while going much above it causes problems with mould and dust mites.
If you’re interested in monitoring your humidity levels at home, there are plenty of simple, low cost devices available including this $18 model that connects to an app on your phone to graph out how your humidity levels change over a period of time.
Other things you can do to reduce humidity in your home
Avoid drying clothes on racks inside the house as much as possible, it’s always best to take them outside or put them in a room with an exhaust fan as they release a lot of moisture into the air
Always run the exhaust fan when showering and leave it on for around 15 minutes afterwards. Also keep the bathroom door closed while showering so the humidity doesn’t escape to colder parts of the house, and bear in mind that the longer and hotter your shower, the more humidity you’re creating
Likewise when cooking, run the exhaust fan, cover pots to reduce humidity and close the kitchen door
Make sure exhaust fans in your bathroom, kitchen and laundry are ducted externally so the humidity is taken outside and not trapped in your roof
Double glazing on windows and extra insulation in your walls will help prevent condensation forming on your windows
You can try a dehumidifier or if you have humidity levels above 60 percent
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