As the cold of winter approaches much of the country this year, you may be gearing up for many frigid months – along with increased heater usage and resulting dry air. Dry air is a real problem because it causes dry skin and eyes, nosebleeds, and an increased risk of catching a cold or the flu. As the temperature drops outside, we tend to crank up the heat which only lowers the indoor humidity more and more. There are ways to humidify your home during the dry months.
One solution to this problem is to go out and buy a new home humidifier. But, even with one of these devices in operation, you may have other parts of the house that remain dry. That’s where this list of simple (and free) methods to humidify your home comes in handy. Simply follow these suggestions for increasing your air’s moisture content and enjoy the benefits to your skin and health that will result.
Houseplants for indoor humidity:
One of the best ways to not only increase indoor humidity but also add to the look and feel of your home is acquire some houseplants. Plants are natural humidifiers in that the water they absorb via their roots is pulled up and through the leaves and evaporates in a process called transpiration.
An extra benefit to having indoor plants is that they also act to filter out harmful toxins in the air. Various home building supplies, like carpet, drywall, and insulation, can emit pollutants such as benzene and formaldehyde. Plant leaves act like sponges by absorbing chemicals from the air and emitting fresh oxygen. So, by thoughtfully arranging an assortment of plants throughout your home, you’ll be increasing humidity, lowering levels of pollutants, and adding to the overall style and comfort – sounds great, right?
Place plant vases in sunlight:
This tip coincides with the previous one. While you’re arranging plants or flowers in your home, place any vases in direct sunlight. This will allow the light to warm the water and thereby increase evaporation. Just remember to regularly refill the water and you’ll be contributing to your home’s indoor humidity.
Instead of using a microwave for making tea or cooking food, which traps heated moisture within the device, try using your stovetop more. A tea kettle or pot of boiling liquid on the stove directly releases evaporated water molecules into the atmosphere to humidify your home. This increases the air’s moisture content and can even help warm it up – remember that humidity increases the perceived warmth of air! (Think of a warm, dry climate vs. a hot and steamy jungle…)
Shower with the door open:
As long as you don’t have company over at the time, (which could make this awkward), opt to leave the door open next time you take a shower or bath. The hot water will evaporate and spread throughout the surrounding rooms of your home, adding moisture along the way. Think of this as a large shower-powered home humidifier. And, if you opt for a bath instead, leave the hot water for a while after you get out before draining. It will continue to humidify your home as it evaporates at a faster rate while it’s warm.
A bowl of water near the heater:
An especially effective way to increase home air humidity is to fill up a container of water and place it directly on or near a home heater. This could be a floor heating vent or a radiator. The direct heating of the water will make evaporation into the air a speedier process. Just ensure that the water isn’t at risk of spilling onto an electric heater – pet owners take extra precaution!
Use an indoor clothes drying rack:
We all know the experience of removing dry clothing from the dryer (especially during winter months) and zap! You get shocked by the static electricity. This is more likely to happen during the cold months when the air is very dry. To avoid this, and to increase your home indoor humidity level, choose to dry your clean clothes on an indoor clothing rack. While they dry, water will be sucked out and into the air, thereby adding moisture and helping you avoid some of those unwelcomed zaps!
Now that you’ve read some of these easy tips for ways to humidify your home without a humidifier, you’re well on your way to enjoying a winter season with less dry skin and perhaps even less risk of getting sick. To gain even more peace of mind, add a home warranty which can cover expensive home repairs. Compare plans and decide what coverage is best for you today.