How To Prevent Dry Air In Your Home During Winter
Cold air is dry air. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that winter weather is not kind to your home and your skin. The warm air of summer in Iowa is paired with naturally higher humidity levels and that humidity is the result of the air absorbing and maintaining moisture. With the drop in temperature, there is simply less natural moisture present.
Why does the humidity level matter?
There are health and home concerns that come with the dry air, and it’s bigger than the frustration of losing another chapstick. When humidity levels are too low, your skin dries out and windows, countertops, floors, and tables may start to become brittle and crack. Additionally, dry air leads to the buildup of static electricity which causes those annoying shocks and uncomfortable clothes and furniture.
The dry air raises a bigger concern than compromising your body and home’s aesthetic. There’s a reason that the colder months are referred to as the flu season. Viruses can move more freely in dry air, and sickness could be a breath away. That’s an important reason to not ignore the humidity level in your home.
On the other hand, too much humidity can be an issue as well, creating mold and its own set of health problems. It’s all about finding and maintaining a consistent humidity level and an ideal range is between 30-50%.
How do you measure indoor humidity?
You can purchase an inexpensive humidity monitor which will display the level digitally. If you want to perform an experiment, you can perform the sweat test. Take a glass, fill it with ice and water, and let it sit for a few minutes. If condensation forms on the glass, your home is likely an adequate humidity level for the cold weather. If not, it may be time for action. Let’s walk through a few simple ways to manage dry indoor air.
How To Add Moisture To Your Home
The end goal of combating dry air is to add an adequate level of moisture into the air. You may think this is an impossible task, and while there are no perfect home remedies, there are some options to help pump moisture into the air.
Seal cracks and gaps
Cold air entering the home is not doing you any favors in maintaining moisture. Sealing the cracks and gaps around windows, doors, and foundation of your home won’t supply any additional moisture, but it will assure you aren’t losing it due to cold air infiltration.
Use a portable humidifier
Portable humidifiers come in all shapes and sizes. Some even allow you to diffuse essential oils. You simply fill it up with purified water and let it do the work. There are cold and warm mist humidifiers and the best fit is a matter of personal preference. Just be sure to replenish the water when it runs out.
Keep the bathroom door open when you shower
Don’t let your hot shower go to waste! You might be in the habit of closing the bathroom door and flipping on the exhaust fan during a shower. However, when the cold weather strikes, you should consider keeping the door open and the fan off. The steam from the warm shower will allow the moisture to spread throughout that area of your home and ultimately increase the humidity levels.
Do more cooking on the stovetop
Finding ways to cook on the stovetop will help increase moisture levels in your home all while you take a chance on a new recipe. Steam from the food, especially from boiling water, will assist in bumping up the humidity.
Decorate with live plants
When you water plants, they return the favor when moisture evaporates from the plant into your home. Go ahead and add some green to your living spaces.
Let your clothes air dry
If you’re looking for moisture in any way you can get it, consider letting your clothes air dry. This will allow the moisture to stay inside your home instead of being eliminated in the dryer.
Install a Whole-Home Humidifier
To be clear, none of the methods above will single-handedly resolve your issues with dry air. These methods are intended to help tame the issue. It might be time to call the experts if you are ready to move beyond the DIY methods of maintaining an ideal humidity. A whole-home humidifier is set up near your furnace and will attach to your existing water supply. The system will self-regulate the humidity level and moisture will be sent through your ductwork and dispersed throughout your home. A whole-home humidifier is easy to manage and will run continuously to meet the set humidity level. This is a distinct advantage over a portable humidifier that requires you to manually fill the water and a single unit is unable to distribute moisture throughout the entire home.
If there is a medical situation in your household that requires a more precise and consistent humidity level, then a whole-home humidifier might be right for you. Perhaps it’s the dry skin and furniture damage that is reason enough for you to move toward this solution. Whatever the case, the professionals at Wyckoff Heating & Cooling are ready to go to work for you.
Contact Wyckoff For Your Heating and Cooling Needs
Dry air paired with a poorly maintained furnace is double the trouble – don’t forget to change your air filter and schedule routine maintenance to keep your heating and cooling system running its best year-round. If you have exhausted the DIY approach for fighting the dry winter air, it’s time for some professional assistance. The service technicians at Wyckoff Heating & Cooling are ready to keep your system running smoothly for every season. Sign up for our Peace of Mind service plan today. It includes bi-annual maintenance along with discounts on other products and services. For regular service, give us a call to schedule an appointment.