11 expert ways to reduce humidity in your house this winter - even without a dehumidifier

Explore these expert-approved methods to lower your home's humidity to banish condensation and mould

pink house exterior looking in on window condensation to support an expert guide for how to reduce humidity in a house
(Image credit: Getty Images | Sommart)

Knowing how to reduce humidity in a house during winter months can help to prevent issues arising with condensation, mould and mildew. 

While one of the best dehumidifiers is an ideal way to reduce excess moisture levels and lower your home's humidity it might be that you haven't yet sourced one or you need more than one solution, perhaps to benefit multiple rooms at once. 

Whatever the reason thankfully, there are a few simple steps you can undertake to tackle how to reduce the humidity in your house and prevent condensation on windows even without a dehumidifier – from lowering water use as you go about your everyday activities to using salts.

Here are the expert-approved methods of reducing humidity throughout your entire house, and an explanation of how and why they work.

How to reduce humidity in a home: 11 expert tips

"Keeping humidity levels low and steady is essential for preventing mould and damp from forming in the home," says Nicholas Auckland, heating expert at Trade Radiators. 

"A home with high humidity levels is much more prone to condensation, as well as the formation of damp spots and eventually black mould, which can really negatively impact our health. Keeping humidity levels at bay is a great way to prevent this from happening and will prevent damage to both our homes and our health."

Here are 11 easy ways to reduce humidity in your house...

1. Run a dehumidifier

Black and wooden kitchen with a dehumidifier to show how a dehumidifier works to beat steam and humidity levels in any room

(Image credit: Meaco)

How a dehumidifier works by drawing in air and removing excess moisture content, helps to prevent mould and mildew growth in the home. this of course is the best method to employ to tackle condensation and humidity in the home. 

"Select a model that is energy-efficient and appropriate for the size of the space you wish to dehumidify," advises Omar Idrissi, a heating and cooling expert and owner of ADK Kooling. "For optimal results, place it in the centre of the room.

Just be aware that there are running costs of a dehumidifier to consider of course, they are an investment when purchasing, which is why we recommend looking out for the best Black Friday dehumidifier deals to help save money.

Omar Idrissi headshot
Omar Idrissi,

Omar Idrissi has over 16 years experience working in the refrigeration and air-conditioning industry. Past jobs include upgrading Fraser Suites Air-conditioning system. Omar is qualified and FGAS Registered.

2. Use extractor fans

It may feel like an obvious one but it's good to use any extractor fans more than you would normally. While you may turn the bathroom fan on while showering and the kitchen fan while cooking it can be worth letting them run for a little longer to expel unwanted humidity.

"Ensuring the use of ventilation fans, particularly in high-humidity areas like bathrooms and kitchens, can significantly improve air circulation," says Leo Watts, an accomplished DIY and home improvement expert and head of content at CNCSourced. "This not only helps in reducing humidity but also ensures a fresher indoor environment, with improved indoor air quality."

"For homes where humidity is a consistent challenge, a more robust solution like a whole-house ventilation system might be worth considering. Such systems provide comprehensive air circulation, ensuring every nook and cranny of your home remains moisture-free."

Leo Watts,

Leo is currently head of content at CNCSourced. With an MS in Control Engineering, Leo has built CNC machines and automation systems from scratch, but my expertise extends far beyond CNC. As a contractor and DIY enthusiast, I'm always exploring new techniques and materials to achieve the best results for myself and my clients.

3. Cook with pan lids on

Stainless steel pans with lids on when cooking to suggest how to reduce humidity in the house

(Image credit: Future)

When using your best stainless steel pans or best-selling induction pans it's advisable to keep the lids on to keep steam contained, therefore reducing the evaporating water from becoming airborne.

"When cooking food on the hob pans can produce a large amount of water vapour, combat this by placing a lid on top of your pots," says Peter Clayton, a heating and plumbing expert from Trade Plumbing. "Not only can this save energy by allowing hobs to be placed on a lower heat, but it will trap steam and prevent unnecessary humidity in your kitchen". 

Where possible you can eradicate the source of water by choosing to cook meals in the oven or better still use an air fryer, because there are so many things you can cook in an air fryer.

4. Open windows with frequency

It may be cold outside but maintaining good ventilation in all rooms is a natural yet crucial method to counteract humidity, ensuring the levels don't build up with nowhere to go.

"A good ventilation system is one of the best methods to lower humidity," explains Omar. "When the outside air is dryer than the inside air, open the windows and doors."

"To ventilate your home regularly we recommend opening windows and doors for at least 10 minutes a day," suggests Nicholas Donnithorne, UK technical manager at Peter Cox, the UK's leading damp and mould specialists. 

"Especially after cooking or showering. Even better, use the trickle vents on windows or keep a quarter light open for background ventilation." 

5. Avoid drying clothes on radiators

radiator with clothes on

(Image credit: Getty Images | Sinenkiy)

When drying clothes indoors it's important to limit the amount of excess moisture you are adding to the room. An extra spin after washing will help with that task but it's also about how you dry that is crucial to reducing the moisture levels. Avoiding using your clean radiators as a drying space is one thing to remember. 

Avoid drying clothes on radiators as this blocks the heat and prevents the air from circulating," explains Nicholas Donnithorne. " It also releases large amounts of water vapour into the home as the clothes dry, which can lead to condensation. Dry clothes outside whenever possible, though if you must dry clothes indoors, use a drying rack or clothes airer in a well-ventilated room." 

Using one of the best heated clothes airers is a good way to speed up the process but ensure you are drying in a well-ventilated room to avoid heat building up. Using a dehumidifier is good for drying clothes by removing excess moisture.

6. Reduce shower times and temperatures

While it can be tempting to stand under a hot shower for prolonged periods during the colder months, it is a surefire way to up the humidity levels in your house. 

"Reduce the temperature of your showers, as well as how long you shower for," suggests Nicholas Auckland. "The shower is the main humidity-creating appliance in the bathroom, and once you've showered you'll often find that your bathroom is incredibly humid and there's condensation on the windows and mirrors. This is more likely in the winter as condensation is formed when hot air touches cold surfaces (such as your mirrors and windows)."

"To prevent how much humidity is being created, I recommend turning your shower down a bit (if you can stand it) and showering for a shorter length of time. This will reduce how much hot, moisture-laden air is created and therefore prevent excess humidity from becoming a major problem in your bathroom."

Nicholas Auckland

Nicholas is a heating and energy expert with over 10 years of experience in the industry. Nicholas is dedicated to finding the best heating solutions for every need, as well as optimising energy usage, reducing costs and helping others live with lower-cost energy bills. 

7. Welcome indoor plants

Houseplants are not only great for adopting the Biophilic trend, a hugely popular interior design trend in recent years that welcomes nature to enhance our indoor environments, but certain plants can help with condensation.

Certain houseplants, such as Boston ferns and Snake plants, are said to aid in absorbing excess moisture in the air. Just be mindful not to water them too much, since this might increase the humidity levels in the room.

Medium Boston Fern: £25 at Marks & Spencer

Medium Boston Fern: £25 at Marks & Spencer 

This fern comes in an attractive ceramic pot and measures up to 50cm in overall height. Position in a bright space but ideally not in direct sunlight. Best kept in a more humid room, such as a bathroom.

 Snake Plant: £16.99 at Waitrose Garden

 Snake Plant: £16.99 at Waitrose Garden

This statement plant is approximately 45cm in height, note the blue-glazed pot is sold separately. This plant is ideally positioned in a bright position, with some full sun, but will also tolerate shade.

8. Put out salt, rice or baking soda

Look no further than your organised pantry to provide key drying ingredients that can all help to heat humidity. These are salt, rice and baking soda – all especially useful in smaller spaces like cupboards or closets to remove moisture.

"Place small bowls filled with rock salt around your home, particularly in high-humidity areas," suggests Ollie Creevy, managing director and co-founder of Insulation Advisor UK. "The salt will absorb moisture from the air, helping to reduce humidity levels."

Nicholas also suggests how to use rice: "Fill a long sock with uncooked rice and tie the end securely. Place these rice-filled socks in closets or other enclosed spaces where humidity tends to be a problem. The rice will absorb excess moisture."

"Much like rice, baking soda can absorb moisture. Leave an open box of baking soda in your closet or pantry to help reduce humidity." Thanks to the benefits of cleaning with baking soda it can also help to eliminate any damp odours.

Oliver creevy headshot
Ollie Creevy

Ollie Creevy boasts a wealth of experience exceeding four years within the insulation and home improvement sectors. Ollie remains at the forefront of the industry, staying well-versed in the latest trends, cutting-edge technologies, and best practices. His dedication and exceptional writing abilities have meant his work has been showcased in esteemed publications such as MSN, Bustle, and Realtor.com.

9. Avoid overcrowding rooms

neutral living room with brown leather chair

(Image credit: Future)

It seems there's nothing that can't be improved by decluttering your home, be it making your house look more expensive on a budget or trying to reduce humidity.

"Moisture can be trapped in crowded rooms that are overstuffed with furniture and other items, preventing airflow," Omar explains. "To improve airflow, move and declutter your furniture." This also helps to make a small room look bigger, which is an added benefit.

10. Seal any potential leaks

Fixing any leaks or cracks is not only a good idea to keep spiders out of your house it's also essential for maintaining the ideal atmosphere indoors. Even the smallest of cracks can allow moisture to enter your home, which can then lead to dampness and condensation due to unbalanced humidity levels. 

"Examine your home's foundation, windows, and doors for any gaps or cracks," says Omar "Pipe leaks should be fixed right away. You can keep outside humidity out of your house with proper sealing."

11. Keep your home cool

While keeping your house warm in winter feels like the aim, the experts say that keeping a more even temperature is best to reduce humidity in the house – not too hot, not too cold. Turns out an air conditioner vs a dehumidifier can help to balance humidity. 

"Reduce the temperature in your house by using the air conditioner," suggests Omar. "Lower humidity levels are a result of cooler air's reduced capacity to store moisture. For optimum efficiency, make sure your HVAC system is maintained correctly."

Does opening a window reduce humidity?

Opening windows can help to reduce humidity in a house because it ensures your home is well-ventilated. "Ventilation is a great way to remove excess humid, damp air, so make sure that you always have your window vents open at least. "I also recommend opening your bathroom window wide for a relatively short period after you've showered/bathed, as this helps remove the humid air created by the shower quickly and effectively," says Nicholas Auckland. "You could also open your kitchen windows once you've finished cooking to do the same, as well as remove any lingering cooking smells."

"Your home should have a humidity level of around 50% (perfect number is between 40% and 60%)," explains Nicholas Auckland. "So anything higher than this could be a cause of concern when it comes to the growth of mould and general dampness."

Hopefully our expert's advice can ensure less humidity in your house this winter, but they are of course only methods to help reduce normal levels of humidity, as stated above. If problems persist you might need to seek professional help with damp proofing solutions. 

Tamara Kelly
Lifestyle Editor

Tamara is a highly experienced homes and interiors journalist, with a career spanning 22 years. Now the Lifestyle Editor of womanandhome.com, she has spent the last 17 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, and it’s with these award-winning interiors teams that she gained a wealth of knowledge and honed her skills and passion for styling and writing about every aspect of lifestyle and interiors.

A true homes and interiors expert, Tamara has served as an ambassador for leading interior brands on multiple occasions, including appearing on Matalan’s The Show and presenting at top interior trend forecasting events such as the Autumn Fair and Spring Fair.