Keep indoor humidity in check for a healthy home.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Keep indoor humidity in check for a healthy home.

<b>photography</b> DARREN CHANG <b>design</b> THE INSIDE JOB
<b>photography</b> DARREN CHANG <b>design</b> THE INSIDE JOB

Proper ventilation is a must, especially in a warm and humid country like ours. A poorly ventilated space prevents the flow of fresh air coming in and indoor air pollutants (such as emissions from stoves, cigarettes and cleaning products) going out. This increases humidity, creating an environment where mould and mildew thrive. Here’s what to do:

Create cross-ventilation

Cross-ventilation is important because it pushes
warm air – together with the circulating dust and pollutants – out of the home
and allows fresh, cooler air to enter. It also reduces the need for
air-conditioning, which means saving on utility bills.

To cross-ventilate naturally, open the windows. The ideal scenario is to have openings (doors or windows) that are situated directly opposite each other.

During less breezy periods of the year, get air moving with an electric fan, air cooler or ventilation fan. It helps remove excess moisture that can cause health problems, especially when windows are often kept closed due to air-con usage. Ventilation fans are recommended in tight, humid areas, such as the kitchen and bathrooms, while ceiling fans help to circulate the air well.

Keep it clean and cool

Regularly clean your air- con filters — at least once every quarter. Routine maintenance keeps your air- con working efficiently for longer and ensures clean, cool air, as well as helps you save electricity. Unplug your window-type unit, take off the front cover grill and remove the filter. Soak the filter in soapy water for five to 10 minutes, before rinsing and letting it dry.

If you can, remove the unit from the casing and take it outside to thoroughly clean the coils. Spray the coils using a hose and apply an all-purpose cleaner directly. Rinse and let dry. If outdoor cleaning isn’t possible, gently vacuum the coils with a brush vacuum attachment.

Purify naturally

Adding houseplants is a simple and pleasant way to improve air quality at home. Plants absorb and filter chemicals from furniture, floor coverings, paints, detergents, air fresheners and household cleaners that can linger inside poorly ventilated homes. Besides cleaning the air naturally, they also decorate your space!

Fortunately, there are many plants that thrive indoors, even with very little attention, so you don’t have to worry about having a green thumb. The best indoor plants include ferns, snake plants (or mother-in- law’s tongue), spider plants, philodendrons, bamboo palms and peace lillies.