Top tips for reducing apartment humidity in Hong Kong

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6th March 2024 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong residents are now witnessing their own walls mimic the moist embrace of the tropics, courtesy of an unyielding humidity wave. The Hong Kong Observatory has issued forecasts that suggest no immediate respite, with relative humidity levels pegged to reach a breathless 100% until midweek. This climatic event has transformed urban dwellings into cave-like enclaves, as condensation clings to every available surface, threatening the sanctity and structure of homes.

The siege of humidity has rung alarm bells across households, with concerns over air quality, the integrity of wooden furnishings, and the proliferation of mold. In response, experts are advocating for the deployment of desiccant or compressor dehumidifiers, renowned for their prowess in moisture management. Yet, amid this clamor for electronic intervention, it is important to note that not everyone may have immediate access to such devices. Thus, a trove of alternative strategies has emerged, tailored to combat the current atmospheric onslaught.

Ventilation: A Breath of Fresh Air

The simplest measure lies in amplifying ventilation. Actions as elementary as engaging exhaust fans or propping open windows can significantly disrupt the stagnation of humid air. However, vigilance is advised when the source of humidity is external, such as during the city’s notorious summer rains.

The Accidental Dehumidifier: Air Conditioning

Air conditioning units, by their operational design, inadvertently extract moisture from the air, mirroring the function of a compressor dehumidifier. The transformation of sultry air into a cooler, drier atmosphere provides a double boon of comfort and humidity control.

Clothes Drying: The Indoor-Outdoor Dilemma

Hong Kong’s compact living spaces often necessitate indoor clothes drying, a process that traps moisture indoors. A dryer with external venting capabilities presents a viable solution, as does the adoption of dedicated laundry modes in dehumidifiers like those from Ionmax, which expedite drying while managing humidity levels.

Surface Management: The War on Wetness

The act of wiping down kitchen and bathroom surfaces post-use is a frontline defense against the formation of airborne moisture. Similarly, the regular laundering of damp floor mats and towels is essential to prevent them from becoming inadvertent humidifiers.

The Natural Absorbers: Desiccants

For those seeking a non-electric approach, desiccants such as silica gel, charcoal, and rock salt stand ready as hygroscopic sentinels. These materials can be rejuvenated with exposure to sunlight or an oven’s warmth, ensuring their continued utility in the moisture-absorbing crusade.

Comprehensive Strategies for a Drier Dwelling

Beyond these measures, residents might consider a plethora of additional tactics. Upgrading air conditioners, installing ventilation fans, and even adopting shorter, cooler showers can significantly reduce indoor humidity. Leaky pipes and drippy faucets should be promptly addressed, and maintenance such as gutter cleaning can preempt water-related woes.

For the laundry-laden, an outdoor clothesline is a simple yet effective tool. Relocating houseplants, known for their moisture-releasing tendencies, can also aid in drying domestic atmospheres. The use of charcoal briquettes, renowned for their moisture absorption capabilities, presents a novel, barbecue-inspired solution.

The act of opening windows might seem counterintuitive in a humid environment, but it can facilitate air circulation, preventing moisture from settling. Vigilance against moisture-trapping materials, such as rugs, is advised, with regular cleaning or replacement being prudent measures.

Residents can also take a page from the DIY playbook, leveraging rock salt or baking soda as homemade dehumidifiers. Silica-based cat litter, another absorbent material, can be repurposed from pet care to moisture management. For homes with crawl spaces, the installation of a vapor barrier can be an effective deterrent against soil-sourced humidity.

The Tools to Monitor and Mitigate

For those wishing to keep a closer eye on their domestic environment, humidity monitors offer a window into the unseen world of airborne moisture. Weatherstripping around doors and windows creates a barrier against external humidity intrusion. Finally, the removal of carpets, notorious for their moisture-retention, could be the last piece in the puzzle for those seeking to establish a drier, healthier home.