Winter is fast approaching, which means humidity levels are going to drop drastically. This will likely leave your home feeling a lot less comfortable. Not only are humidity levels naturally lower during the winter, but indoor humidity can feel even lower if you’re running your furnace nonstop. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to improve your home’s humidity even when the air outside is at its driest.
The Benefits of Humidification in the Winter
There are plenty of reasons why you should increase your home’s humidity during the winter. First of all, it’s a great way to prevent the spread of common illnesses. Viruses that cause the common cold and the flu spread more easily in dry air. Symptoms such as dry eyes, itchy skin, and sore throats are also more manageable when more moisture is in the air. Second, higher humidity levels help keep dust and other pollutants down to a minimum, which is a must if you or anyone in your home has allergies.
An optimal humidity level is also good if you have wooden furniture, acoustic musical instruments, or hardwood floors in your home. Overly dry environments can cause wood to dry out and shrink, which can cause it to eventually crack and even fall apart. Too much humidity is not good for wood either, but optimal humidity levels will help preserve wooden furniture and other items in your home.
Finally, optimal humidity levels reduce the annoying electrostatic shocks that you sometimes feel when you touch metal in a dry environment. Nobody really likes to feel an unexpected shock when they touch a metal doorknob or brush up against someone, so anything you can do to avoid that is welcome.
Tips for Increasing the Humidity in Your Home
Now that we’ve covered some reasons why you should increase the humidity levels in your home this winter, let’s discuss how you can improve your home’s humidity. Ideally, the humidity levels in your home should be around 45 percent. Anything lower than 30 percent is too low, while anything over 70 percent is too high. Since the air is so much drier overall during the winter, you probably don’t have to worry about the humidity in your home getting too high unless you run humidifiers nonstop for too long. Still, you should buy at least one hydrometer to measure the humidity levels in your home to make sure that your living space is as humid as it needs to be. With that said, let’s talk about ways to raise humidity levels in your home.
1. Invest in Humidifiers
Installing a whole-home humidifier is the easiest way to control the humidity in your home. A whole-home humidifier is installed as part of your HVAC system and can raise and lower the humidity in your home as needed much like how a heating and cooling system controls your home’s temperature. You can also buy a portable humidifier if you live in a smaller space or only need to increase the humidity in one room of your home.
2. Add Plants to Your Home
Indoor plants are great for improving the ambiance of your home, but they also help purify the air and raise humidity levels. Properly watered houseplants release water vapor in the air through their leaves and stems, while water that sits in their soil slowly evaporates. If you’re not sure what kinds of plants to have in your home this winter, stick to palms, philodendrons, Chinese evergreens, and other plants with large leaves that do well in dry conditions. Just be sure to place them somewhere where they can get enough sunlight and keep them properly watered.
3. Boil Water
If you’re ever unsure about what to make for dinner during the winter, consider something that involves boiling water on your stovetop. It will release steam in the air and raise humidity levels. You obviously want to be careful about overdoing this and making your home too humid, but it’s still a quick and easy fix when the air in your home is too dry. If you’re not keen on turning on your stove to boil water, you can also leave pans or vases of water close to vents and radiators. The water won’t boil like it does on the stove, but it will still slowly evaporate and release vapor into the air.
4. Hang Your Laundry Out to Dry
If you have wet laundry that you need to dry, hang it up instead of using your dryer. The extra water vapor that gets into the air will increase humidity levels, and you might save some money on your electricity bill for the month.
5. Take Advantage of Shower Steam
The next time you take a hot shower, take advantage of the steam to help humidify your home. If you’re alone and not worried about privacy, you can leave the door to your bathroom open to release some of your shower steam into your home, or just pull back the shower curtain when you’re done showering. Either way, you should improve your home’s humidity significantly for a short time.
6. Wait Before Draining Your Bathwater
If you’d rather take a bath instead of a shower, don’t drain your bathtub right away. Let the hot water sit and cool on its own before you let it go down the drain. As it cools and slowly evaporates, it will release water vapor into the air and hopefully make your home feel a little more comfortable.
7. Install New Doors and Windows
Doors and windows that aren’t properly sealed will leak heat and moisture from your home. The loss of heat is obviously a problem as you try to stay warm without running up your heating bill, but the loss of moisture will leave you with an uncomfortably dry house. If you haven’t upgraded your windows in the last 15 to 20 years, consider doing so before the weather gets too cold. If your windows are relatively new and in good condition, search your home for drafts and apply weather stripping as needed.
Contact Cool Power LLC for Further Assistance
While many of these tips are things that you can do on your own, the easiest way to improve the humidity in your home is to contact us at Cool Power LLC in Ronkonkoma, NY about upgrading your HVAC system with a whole-home humidifier. We have served families and businesses since 1976, and we will be happy to assist you if you feel like your home is too dry. We also specialize in furnace and AC repair and installation, and we offer financing on approved credit for all of our installation services and products.
For more information about the heating and cooling services that we have to offer or if you have any questions about improving the humidity in your home, contact Cool Power LLC today.