Here’s the truth: Singapore is hot and humid all year around. You feel sticky and uncomfortable, despite your third cold shower of the afternoon. The humidity in house can sometimes makes you feel like you are living in a sponge. 

While it may seem impossible, there are ways you can control indoor humidity. There are things you can add (or remove for that matter) that will will help you feel comfortable. But first, you would have to gauge how humid your home really is.

How can you tell if your home is really humid?

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Moisture can fog up windows, damage wall treatments and furniture

Let’s say your home or apartment has humidity levels that are off the charts. Your windows are fogged up frequently, and have condensation collecting on them. There is moisture and mould on the walls and ceilings.

Excessive moisture in the air can damage wood, paint, insulation and sidings. Your allergies may be flaring up more than normal. Humidity in house are hotbeds for allergens and pollutants like dust mites and mildew, bad news for those with respiratory issues.

On the other hand, too-low humidity levels may lead to a buildup of static electricity. Your paint jobs may start drying and cracking. Experts reveal an ideal in-home humidity level stays around 45 percent. Anything under 30 percent is too dry and over 50 percent is too humid.

Besides the weather, what else is causing humidity?

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An A/C unit
The coil in an A/c works best in low moisture levels and will take longer to cool down a humid room

There are other less obvious factors as to why there is humidity in house. Some of these factors include the design and layout of your home, along with the type of construction materials, insulation, and how naturally ventilated your home is. Reaching for the air-conditioner remote is the default reaction for those living in hot climates. But what many don’t realise is that an air-conditioner unit that is too large may be ineffective in solving humidity issues. 

Why is this so? An AC unit that is too large cools your home down very quickly. As it needs to reach and maintain a set temperature, the AC will switch on and off frequently. The evaporator coil in the AC unit works to lower humidity levels, but it needs enough time for air to pass through and to absorb moisture.

So if the AC unit is too large, it will have shorter cooling cycles. As such, the AC unit will have no effect on indoor humidity levels.

Battling humidity at home with design and decor solutions

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Cross-ventilation will help circulate clean air that prevents the spread of bacteria and allergens

Fortunately, there are ways one can control humidity levels in home and indoors. For new homeowners, here are some ideas that you can apply to the design and interiors of your home to help cool things down. If you’d like to measure humidity levels at home accurately, a cheap humidity monitor will do the trick.

  • Make sure your home is cross-ventilated. This means that windows on opposite ends of the room are open. Try to get a home that has windows on both ends, or create space for windows if there aren’t any existing ones. Open the windows in the mornings and evenings to let the cool breeze in.
  • Use blinds, curtains and drapes to reduce heat transfer from the windows to the interior of the room.
  • Use colours and materials that are cool. Stick to light and neutral palettes that deflect heat.
  • Ditch carpets and swap them for cooler flooring options. Marble stays cool even in hot and humid climates.

Quick fixes to tackle humidity

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A small dehumidifier is portable and is suitable for small homes

If overhauling your home is out of the question, there are other practical ways to lower humidity levels.

  • A dehumidifier is an obvious choice. A large-scale dehumidifier works for the whole property and work best when the room or area is completely seal off. They must be kept away from walls and objects so air flows in and out of the dehumidifier smoothly. Use a smaller dehumidifier suitable for bedrooms and studies. 
  • Set your AC to “auto” instead of on. Regularly clean the AC ducts. Before buying an AC unit, make sure it corresponds to the size of the room you would like to install it in.
  • Use the exhaust fan when you are cooking or showering.
  • Keep doors and windows open if you can.
  • Add a green wall to your house. Plants are natural air purifiers and generate more oxygen for your surroundings, making your room less stuffy. You can get low-light plants that can tolerate indoor environments. Just don’t overwater them as that’s the most common way to kill your plants.

If you found this article helpful, take a look at: 5 Easy-peasy Ways to Transform Your HDB into a Green Sanctuary

Send in your comments & suggestions.

editor.sg@livspace.com