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Removing Humidity From the Home for COPD

Watching out for humidity wasn’t one of the things we though about when mom was first diagnosed with chronic lung disease. As time went on, we came to understand that the hot and humid days of summer were not easy for her to get out and move around in. That got us all to thinking about how humidity in general could bother her. It made sense that there were a lot of side effects from breathing moist air. It took time, and some sleuth work, but we were able to address many issues. By thinking about removing humidity from the home for COPD, we figured it out.

Using proper steps to help make the air a little less heavy for her to breathe meant she was more active, happier, and healthier. Lord knows, we wanted mama happy.

Removing Moisture From Your Home

Ventilate Appliances – Your kitchen may be the place with the highest humidity, especially during meal time. If you are cooking on a stove top, be sure and use the overhead vent, It can pull moist air out, and allow you to spend more time in your kitchen. Running the dishwasher can also create moisture in your home. The vent a hood can help with that too. Also, consider the dryer location and good ventilation.

Bathroom Vents – Many modern homes come with a built in vent that is turned on with the bathroom light. Mom’s older home did not have one. It became a topic of discussion, but then she would always argue that the place was too big for her to take care of anyway. In the end, she moved and lived in nice apartments for several years. Then she moved to a housing complex where she had a duplex. They were fairly new and had vents in both bathrooms. It was nice for her to be able to soak in the tub without having as many problems breathing.

Air Conditioning – Whether it is a window unit or HVAC, forced air is a big help! By keeping your house cool, you will experience less problems with breathing. A lot of that is because the unit itself will dry the air out, making it easier to breathe. Timing– If you are going to be heating or cooking items on the stove, wait until later to wash your dishes. It may be best to push the start button just before you go to sleep. That way you will not be up and around to experience the moisture in the air. The same thing can be done with the dryer. By staggering the use of indoor appliances, you can minimize the risk of breathing difficulty. Dry them at night unless you are drying clothing that needs to be folded quickly.

Of course, mom got to where she thought it was a good idea for us to come over and help her with the laundry. She would wait to dry a load when we were there. Over time, the same became true of cooking. If we didn’t come help, she would not feel cared for. It makes me laugh to remember our family times and all the ways we learned to help her breath easier and live many years longer with COPD.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • ajschulte
    11 months ago

    This answer is for Baron
    After having read about your delemna my thought was what if you could obtain maybe from friends or junk yard small fans, they even sell some very small ones in electronic and turn them on in rooms that are not used either during the day and or night. It might not do as well as a ceiling fan or vent but still two small ones could do wonders in your living room while you sleep and then in your bedroom while you are in the living room?

  • Baron
    11 months ago

    Thank you for posting this article. The issue is not very well understood and never discussed here in the UK at patient level. Whereas I realise that no 2 people are the same, the simple fact is that water will displace oxygen in humid air and will make it harder to breathe for everyone, let alone those with compromised lungs. I am a long term COPD sufferer with an FEV1 of 16%. This summer we had a long period of high temperatures, a situation which is normally problematic for me. However, the humidity was hovering around 90% on occasions, and that’s me almost completely immobilised. As a general rule houses in the UK are not air conditioned and even if they were, the cost of energy is prohibitive for people like me. De-humidifiers would be useful in the living space but the noise and expense would make the exercise futile. I don’t know, one day they may come up with a magic pill which alters the water/oxygen mix in the air we breathe, but until then,for me at least, high humidity means immobility.

  • SuziRopiequet
    11 months ago

    You are a good daughter, God Bless you!

  • Barbara Moore moderator
    11 months ago

    It is so nice of you to thank our caregivers. We are often so caught up in our own problems we forget that they don’t have to walk beside us.
    You are a good daughter.
    Barbara Moore (Site Moderator)

  • Karen Hoyt author
    11 months ago

    Thanks for bringing that up. Some stuff with COPD is different for every person. For mom, during the dry winters, she would use a humidifier near her bed…. sometimes. There was never a constant rule.
    One thing we learned that if the washer and dryer were going and stuff was on the stove, she would have to sit down. That’s how we learned to stagger those chores.
    Do you have any humidity in your city that makes it harder to have humidity in the house?
    Thanks for posting. Great question!

  • lizlizardrn
    11 months ago

    I thought some humidity would be helpful for COPD . I’m not talking humid weather… I’m thinking of humidifier during sleep to keep air from being too dry . Maybe I’ve been doing the wrong thing??

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    11 months ago

    Hi Lizlizardrn and thanks for your post. I would suggest you not doubt yourself. For some, humidity is helpful in certain conditions (usually dry conditions), while for others – there is no effect. Try to determine what works best for you and then, follow that solution for yourself. Wishing you well, Leon (site moderator)

  • Barbara Moore moderator
    11 months ago

    Hi lizlizardrn,
    I think humidity has a place and we need to find the balance. You don’t want to be getting shocked walking across a room but too much humidity means too much water in the air. That will make it harder for you to breathe.
    Barbara Moore (Site Moderator)

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