How to humidify your house in the winter
With winter in full swing in Charlotte, NC, you’re probably noticing chapped lips and dry skin on a regular basis. Although the cool, dry air outside plays a part in this, it’s the dry air inside that truly causes problems. Since most people spend most of their time inside during the winter, the dry and hot air quickly pulls all of the moisture out of their skin, leading to a winter of misery. The good news is that you can overcome these problems by raising the relative humidity of your home. For tips on how to do that, check out this list provided by Integrity Heating & Cooling. We understand how the weather works in NC, and hope this list will help you with your humidity issues this winter season.
1. Enjoy Your Shower
One easy way to add some extra humidity to your home is to take a little extra time doing an activity that you need to do anyway. Showering releases significant amounts of water vapor that can raise the relative humidity of your bathroom well beyond normal levels. To help get this humidity into the rest of your home, you may want to open the door to the bathroom either during the shower or immediately after you’re through. This will help improve the comfort of your home and help prevent mold and mildew growth in your bathroom.
2. Open Your Oven
When you cook in your oven, the hot air in the oven can become quite humid as moisture from whatever you’re cooking evaporates into the air. Therefore, it makes sense to leave the oven door open when you’re done cooking so that the humid air can escape into your home. Beyond adding humidity, releasing this large amount of warm air could warm your home enough to reduce the need for your furnace, which is good since your furnace typically dries out the air in your home. At Integrity Heating & Cooling, we discourage the use of this method if there are small children present in your home.
3. Repair Cracks and Gaps
Another challenge with maintaining proper humidity levels during the winter is that the warm, humid air you’ve worked so hard to create frequently escapes through cracks in various places around your home. As the warm air escapes, cool, dry air comes in to take its place. This means that you have to constantly add humidity to keep your home comfortable. If you can patch a majority of the cracks around your home, you’ll be able to keep the humidity inside and improve your home’s energy efficiency in the process.
4. Hang Clothes to Dry
Although a dryer largely vents its hot air outside, it can still release some dry air into your home. To help overcome this, we at Integrity Heating & Cooling recommend that you hang clothes to dry whenever possible. Hanging your clothes to dry has multiple benefits. As the clothes dry, water vapor is released into the air to increase the relative humidity. Additionally, line-drying is gentler on clothes, meaning they will last longer than they do when dried in a dryer. Plus, line-drying uses no electricity, allowing you to significantly lower your utility bill.
5. Add a Humidifier
The easiest and most straightforward way to increase humidity levels in your home is to install a humidifier. To fine-tune the humidity levels in your home, you have many different options of humidifiers from Integrity Heating & Cooling to choose from. For whole-home comfort, you can choose a whole-home humidifier solution.
These humidifiers work together with your HVAC system to distribute warm, humid air through the ducts in your home. Plus, a whole-home humidifier can automatically detect the level of humidity in the air to help prevent oversaturation that could lead to mold and mildew growth. To ensure that these devices work correctly, professional installation is critical.
If you have a specific room that seems to be too dry, you can try a portable humidifier instead of a whole-home solution. The great thing about a portable humidifier is that it provides intense, targeted humidification to help quickly make a room more comfortable. Plus, you can use a humidifier in conjunction with liquid medicines to help open up nasal cavities and treat symptoms of various winter ailments.
6. Air-Dry Your Dishes
If you use a dishwasher to clean your dishes, it’s likely that you usually use the dishwasher’s dry cycle so that you don’t have to dry your dishes manually. However, if you want to improve your home’s humidity levels, one easy change you can make is to allow your dishes to air dry. When you open your dishwasher after the rinse cycle, it will release an immense amount of water vapor into the air, helping to improve comfort for quite some time.
As with some of the other options on this list, drying your dishes in this way helps to reduce energy usage, providing multiple advantages from a single lifestyle change. Just be sure to use a rinse aid in your dishwasher so that you don’t end up with water spots on your dishes.
7. Create a Decorative Fountain
The stress of modern life can be a lot to take sometimes. One thing that’s helpful in relieving stress is the sound of moving water. To add this sound to your living environment, we at Integrity Heating & Cooling recommend that you add a decorative fountain to your living room or bedroom. A side benefit of adding a fountain to your home is that water will evaporate from the fountain and help humidify your home. Thus, a decorative fountain can have benefits for your mind and body.
8. Monitoring Is Important
No matter how you choose to add humidity to the air in your home, it is vital that you monitor your humidity levels at all times. The best way to do this is with a standalone hygrometer. Digital and analog hygrometers are specifically designed to measure the amount of water vapor in the air so that you can determine what your next steps should be. At Integrity Heating & Cooling, we find that the most accurate hygrometers are often those that are designed to be used with a humidor since individuals who smoke cigars need exacting humidity levels to protect their stock.
In general, you want to keep your home’s humidity levels at around 30-50%. Anything higher can cause sticking doors and mold growth. Anything under this range will cause problems with dry skin and creaky floors. Plus, dry air can dry out your nasal passages. If there’s not enough moisture in your nasal passages, they won’t be able to stop germs from entering your body.
9. Call the Experts
At Integrity Heating & Cooling, we are happy to be able to help you with all of your home comfort needs. We can take care of home humidity levels, installing humidifiers if the levels are too low and dehumidifiers if the levels are too high. We can also help you with heating and cooling services, such as furnace maintenance, AC installation, heating replacement, and cooling repair. Plus, we offer duct cleaning and sealing, standby generators, indoor air quality testing, and much more. Serving Charlotte for over 30 years, we are proud to maintain an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. We also continuously receive five-star reviews from our customers. If you need help with your home’s humidity levels, contact us at Integrity Heating & Cooling today.Humidify, Winter