Once heating season begins, the air in your home can get pretty dry and uncomfortable, causing dry skin, irritated sinuses, chapped lips, and more. Plus, low humidity can cause wood and other plant-based furniture, flooring, and musicals instruments to shrink and crack.
The good news is that tweaking a few of your everyday habits can help add much needed moisture to the air in your home. Start by picking up an inexpensive digital thermometer with a humidity gauge so you can monitor indoor moisture levels. For optimal humidity, aim for levels between 30 and 50 percent. Levels above 50 percent can cause problems, too, such as mold growth, structural decay, warping of wood furniture, and damage to painted surfaces.
Ready to be a whole lot more comfortable indoors this heating season? Here’s what you can do to add moisture to the air inside your home.
Lower the thermostat.
Central heating blows hot air throughout your home, increasing evaporation and drying the air out. To slow this process down, keep the heat set at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. This simple move will also lower your energy bill.
Place bowls of water around the house.
Heat naturally evaporates water, increasing humidity. Place small bowls of water on surfaces around the house. If your home has radiators instead of central heating, place a bowl of water on top of each radiator to humidify each room.
Boil water on the stove.
Add moisture quickly by boiling a pot of water on the stove. Do not leave the pot unattended. Once the water boils away, the pot will get dangerously hot.
Cook on the stovetop.
Make dinner on the stovetop rather than in the oven whenever possible. Doing so helps add a bit of incidental moisture to the air and with very little effort.
Add humidifying plants.
Plants naturally release moisture through a process called evapotranspiration. Water from the soil makes its way up through the roots of the plant, through the stems, and up to the leaves, where it evaporates into the air through pores on the leaves. Give the areca palm, Boston fern, spider plant, or peace lily a try.
Leave the bathroom door open.
While you’re showering, leave the bathroom door cracked open to let steam escape and fill other rooms with much-needed moisture. And if you prefer baths, don’t drain the water immediately after use; let it sit and cool naturally instead.
Steam out wrinkles in fabrics.
A portable steamer removes wrinkles from clothing and curtains while adding moisture to the air. Now that’s a win-win.
Air dry dishes.
At the end of your dishwasher’s rinse cycle, open the door and pull out the racks to let the clean dishes air-dry. This easy move adds moisture to your home and saves a few bucks on utility costs by not using the heated-dry setting on the appliance.
Crack a window open.
Take advantage of a mild winter day to open the windows, especially if it’s rained recently. You’ll freshen the air and bring some humidity into your home.
Install a whole-house humidifier.
A whole-house humidifier works in tandem with your heating system to deliver desired humidity levels throughout your home. At Air Professional Associates, we offer a variety of humidifiers to deliver the right amount of moisture into the air for any size home. Contact us today and find out how you can enjoy added comfort and improved indoor air quality all winter long.