Indoor air quality is very important, especially during the winter months. If you find yourself with itchy, dry skin, a scratchy throat, a bloody nose, dry sinuses or respiratory problems during the winter months, then it might be time to check the humidity level in your home.
Cold temperatures mean sealing up your home as much as possible and turning on the heat — doing both reduces the amount of moisture in your home’s environment. Increasing the level of humidity in your home can provide the proper amount of moisture and decrease sickness. The best level is around 30 to 50 percent.
Poor indoor air quality is not only a concern for your family’s health, but also the health of your home. Low humidity levels can cause issues for any wood surfaces, since wood needs moisture to retain its form. Poor air quality can ruin hardwood flooring, furniture or musical instruments, and it can even cause paint or wallpaper to peel.
Here are a few ways to improve the humidity level in your home:
- Purchase a humidifier
- Use the dryer less and airdry clothes
- Vent the dryer inside
- Put bowls of water on top of registers and window sills
- Use a tea kettle to heat water instead of the microwave
- Leave the bathroom door open during showers
- Let bath water cool before draining
- Purchase houseplants, as they release moisture into the air
- Let dishes air dry
- Do more home cooking
- Re-purpose candle warmers
Purchasing a humidifier is one of the best ways to combat humidity. They increase humidity in the air in a safe, water vapor form to help make your home healthy and comfortable. Do your research when selecting a humidifier because there are many different types on the market. Some can consume more energy, while others may cost more. Some of the most popular types include: warm mist humidifiers, steam vaporizers, cool mist humidifiers, impeller humidifiers, evaporative humidifiers and console humidifiers. You can also purchase humidifiers that attach to your furnace.
Other than experiencing health issues, how do you know your home’s humidity is unbalanced? It’s easy to spot moisture on walls and windows, but also be aware of water stains, peeling paint or wallpaper, an increase in static electricity, mold throughout your home and musty odors.
You can check a home’s humidity level through a smart thermostat. These devices contain sensors that detect relative humidity in a home.