It happens the moment your household heating system kicks on. Your skin becomes drier. You reach for the lip balm. There’s a tickle in your throat and your eyes itch. Your sinuses may become irritated and asthma sufferers find their symptoms exacerbated. Winter is definitely here, and with its frigid winds comes thirstier air both indoors and out.
So what can you do to ease the dryness of your indoor air?
Most homeowners are aware of the dangers of high indoor humidity. Too much moisture can lead to the growth of dangerous molds as well as promote the population of dust mites, bacteria, and fungi. But too little humidity brings its own complement of hazards.
Cold air doesn’t hold moisture well. Yet when the heater kicks on, that air will naturally suck moisture from where it can find it—like your skin, throat, sinuses, eyes, and the lining of your lungs. Many studies have shown that flu viruses hang around longer in low humidity and spread a lot easier. Drier skin can develop small fissures that make you more susceptible to infections. This is why winter is called the cold-and-flu season.
Raising the humidity levels in your home will help mitigate the dryness as well as the associated susceptibility to infections.
Higher Humidity Hacks
There are lots of simple DIY ways to raise humidity levels in your home during the heating season.
Go Old-School And Put Pots of Water On Your Cast-Iron Radiators
Go New-School And Buy Portable Humidifiers For The Rooms You Inhabit Most
Use Your Radiators As Drying Table For Wet Mittens, Sweaters, And Towels
Dry Your Laundry On Lines Inside Your House
Keep A Big Pot Of Water Simmering On The Stove
Keep Your Bathtub Full And The Door Open
Drop The Temperature In Your Home A Few Degrees
It’s a good idea to invest in a small, inexpensive hygrometer to get an accurate measure of your home’s humidity level. If these hacks don’t raise air moisture to a satisfying comfort zone, you may want to check your house for leaks, especially around windows, exterior doors, vents, recessed lighting, and electrical outlets. Caulking fissures will reduce humidity leakage while offering the bonus of saving you on heating and cooling costs year-round.
The most definitive way to reduce the problem of indoor dryness is to install a whole-house humidifier. Since moist air feels warmer, a whole-house humidifier may even save you some money on heating costs. There are several options when it comes to these units, so if you’re considering this option, don’t hesitate to call your trusted plumber.