Dehumidifying heated rooms in winter?

Hi,
What's the best way to stop rooms drying out overnight once the central heating is on? We've got fresh air coming in (by leaving windows ajar), but the rads seem to dry the rooms out so much overnight, we're waking up with blocked noses, sore eyes, dry mouths etc.
I know there are commercial dehumidifiers available, but are there any quick and easy solutions? I heard of putting a wet towel over the rad, but wondered if anyone had experience of this or anything else that works?
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"Mentalguy2k8" wrote:

Why not have the heating off during the night and use extra blankets or a thicker duvet if necessary? A dehumidifier would remove even more moisture from the air! Google found lots of results for humidifiers. Wet towels will cause steel radiators to rust.
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Professor Strabismus wrote:

Why are you wasting money by opening windows that let that expensive heat out? Turn off the heating and see if that improves matters - or there may be an allergy problem with the bed etc,,,or you might simply be developing the bloody virus that going around which gave me and my other half many of the symptoms you have.

Reply to Mentalguy2k8 via Professor Strabismus as the original message is not showing in my newsreader.
A *dehumidifier* will make things a damn site worse:
1 With the windows open, it will be constantly running trying to take the moisture out of the air its dragging in through the open window - and the noise *will* keep you awake for sure!
2 It will dry out the air even more, thus exacerbating your situation!
What you need (if you must have the heating on) is a *HUMDIFIER* to moisten the air - as for puttung a towel over the radiator, forget it, it won't be big enough or wet enough do do want you want.
If you must use water, stick a big bucket full of the stuff in the room - or better still, turn the rads off or fit thermostatic radiator valves which will control each individual radiator.
Woodworm
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Yes, I meant humidifier, sorry!
I now realise I've asked for suggestions on how to dry out my house even further....
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Mentalguy2k8 wrote:

Mentalguy2k8,
I've sorted out the problem and I can read your posts directly now - (I'd killfiled all Gmail and Google Mail posts and forgot about it).
Another, simpler way is to simply put your heating on 'timed' - so that it shuts off before or just after you go to bed and turns on say half-an-hour before you get up in the morning.
Woodworm
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I did think of something similar, but I've gone and left it until we've got zero temperatures outside, so I'm not sure if it's going to get far too cold without the heating on. I should have tried it when it was 10 degrees outside just to be sure.
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Well this must be a wind up or you have money to burn. If the latter is true, put some of the cash my way ;-)
Gio
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Yeah, I kind of gave the impression that I have all my windows wide open with the heating on full, and a humidifier and dehumidifier running 24 hours a day in every room :)
Basically, the house is very well insulated and usually warm except for days/nights like now where the heating is on more than normal (I leave it on continuously and let the thermostat turn it on and off at around 19 degrees). The upstairs bedrooms have the windows open a very small amount, just to let a bit of fresh air in (behind curtains). But when the heating comes on, it dries the air out far too much. The house gets a little too cold to leave the heating off (or stat turned down) all night (yes I've tried it with the windows closed too), so I was wondering what I could do to re-humidify the rooms. In other words, make things less dry and stop waking up with various dry symptoms.
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Basically, the house is very well insulated and usually warm except for days/nights like now where the heating is on more than normal (I leave it on continuously and let the thermostat turn it on and off at around 19 degrees). The upstairs bedrooms have the windows open a very small amount, just to let a bit of fresh air in (behind curtains). But when the heating comes on, it dries the air out far too much. The house gets a little too cold to leave the heating off (or stat turned down) all night (yes I've tried it with the windows closed too), so I was wondering what I could do to re-humidify the rooms. In other words, make things less dry and stop waking up with various dry symptoms.
---------------------------------------------
Years ago we had a humidifier consisting of a plastic box that hung on the radiator, containing a reservoir of water and a sheet of sponge material as a wick. At the time we thought we needed it but now I'm not so sure. The wick eventually went mouldy, and having reservoirs of water standing for long periods must be a health concern, eg for Legionella. Though IIRC it dried out pretty quickly and needed frequent refilling when the rad was on.
Chris R
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My mother had one of these about 10 years and AFAICR it worked very well. Something like this http://www.airandwatercentre.com/capri-radiator-humidifier-0-8-litres-99-details /
Our house is a bit rambling and some rooms have three outside walls (the house is T shaped.) It takes an age to warm up from very cold and we leave our heating on 24/7 but have a timer room stat in the hall http://tinyurl.com/32v4lxm which works brilliantly with the current very cold nights. We also have the bedroom rad stats set low which allows the living rooms and hallways to be warm but the bedrooms cooler.
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I've got storage radiators, which also dry the air. One of the best ways I find is to put washing on a clothes horse overnight. Quite effective, and saves using the tumble drier when it's wet outside :-)
Roger

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You run the heating all night!!! Why? Just invest in a winter duvet and turn the heat off. I can't rememember when the bedroom radiators in our house were last used
Mike
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MuddyMike wrote:

Just wait Mike until age catches up with you and you need to run the bedroom heating to back up the old ToG 13 duvet as well on the odd occasion - ah, those were the days! LOL
Woodworm
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We don't have any heating in our bedroom.
Rob Graham
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Neither do we. And we sleep with the window open, and the heating is on for 11/2 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening. No probs.
I've just checked, and the (unheated) greenhouse is - 8C Must bring the Schwarzkopfs in methinks.
Steve
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