Winter brings with it a picturesque landscape with blankets of white snow and a frosty chill in the air. On the downside, it can make your home air extremely dry. When the temperature takes a dip during wintertime, so do the humidity levels. Moreover, when you turn on the heating system, it further dries out the air in your home.
Dry winter air can be more than just a nuisance; it can cause health issues and pose damage to your home. It can lead to worsening of allergies, dry skin, nose bleeds, trouble breathing, and cracked furniture.
But before you let the stale indoor air get you down, here’s the good news – there are numerous ways you can humidify your home and maintain ideal humidity levels. Let’s look at how you can combat dry air in winter:
1. Seal Cracks & Gaps in Your Home
Sealing and insulating your home is a great first step to counter low humidity issues in your home.
Cold air coming from cracks and gaps will affect the cozy environment you have created inside, and you will be forced to crank up your heating. This will result in more dry air circulating in your home. To fix this, you should find the air leaks in areas such as doors, windows, exterior walls, and attic and seal them using weatherstripping and caulking.
2. Automate Your Home Climate
These smart devices have in-built humidity sensors that can monitor and maintain humidity levels in your house. In addition, you can view your home humidity levels from anywhere using your phone and make changes on the go.
Cielo Breez smart controllers have Comfy Mode that lets you set your preferred humidity range. When the levels deviate from your set value, it will automatically trigger your unit to achieve your desired setting. You can connect your humidifier with a smart controller as long as it comes with an IR remote control.
You might want to look at this guide on HVAC humidity control.
3. Invest in a Humidifier
In winter, humidity levels drop as cold air holds less moisture than warm air. When the air feels cooler, you crank up the heat, which further takes the moisture away. Cold, dry air pulls moisture from your skin, mouth, and nose, leaving them itchy and dried out. This is a vicious cycle that continues in the cold season.
The best way to handle this issue is to invest in a humidifier. You can use a one-room humidifier or go for a whole-house humidifier for dry winter air. When you humidify the air, it will also make it easy for you to breathe. Moreover, you will save on energy bills as you won’t be increasing the temperature every now and then.
4. Run an Air Purifier
You spend more time indoors during the cold season. Dry winter air combined with little to no ventilation can cause health problems.
To tackle this, invest in a good air purifier and run it when you are at home. This will help keep the virus, bacteria, and other allergens at bay.
5. Inspect Your HVAC System
Have your HVAC unit inspected before the cold season sets in. Call a professional and have all the main AC components checked for proper functioning. In addition, make sure the evaporator coils and air filters are properly cleaned. If you continue to use your heating system without maintenance, it can affect your home’s air quality.
6. Utilize Stovetop Steam
Increase your stovetop cooking to take advantage of the hot steam. Make soups, broths, or boil water for your green tea. Steam from food and boiling water will boost your home humidity levels.
7. Simmer Fruits & Herbs
This winter, get rid of air fresheners and make use of fruits and herbs to make your home smell nice and fresh. Air fresheners contain chemicals hazardous to human health, and you should try to limit their use in your house.
Add lemon, orange, and grapefruit peels and fresh herbs such as cinnamon or ginger in a pot of boiling water and let them simmer for some time. The fruity, spicy aroma will quickly fill your home, and the steam will boost your home humidity levels.
8. Air Dry Your Clothes
This winter season, ditch your electric dryer and switch to air drying. Use a clothing rack and dry your clothes in the house. The moisture from wet clothes will evaporate into the air, increasing humidity levels. This method will also help you reduce your HVAC bills!
9. Dry Hats & Mittens on a Radiator
Release moisture in the air by placing your hats, mittens, and other clothing items on the radiator. You will not have to hang your laundry in the cold winter air, and it will also help them dry out faster.
10. Bring Greenery Inside
Indoor houseplants not only improve indoor air quality but also increase humidity levels inside your house. They release moisture in the air, which can help counter dry air issues in the colder months.
One thing to keep in mind is that most houseplants require a high amount of air moisture to thrive. If the moisture levels in your home dip below 30 percent due to heating systems, you will need to take steps to increase humidity for plants.
11. Dust Your House Regularly
Dusting won’t elevate humidity levels, but it can help you with other issues that come with dry air during the winter months.
The allergens and dust particles build up in your home due to low moisture content. To tackle this, make dusting a regular part of your cleaning routine. Use a microfiber cloth and use it in areas where dust usually accumulates. Regular vacuuming and dusting also ensure your HVAC unit doesn’t circulate dirt particles with conditioned air.
12. Keep Door Open When Showering
Next time you take a shower, try keeping the shower door open. The residual heat from the hot shower will travel to the rest of your home and help to get rid of the dry winter air.
Note that you will only be able to use this technique if you don’t use a shared bathroom.
13. Let Hot Water Sit In the Tub
After taking a bath, don’t let all that hot steam go to waste. Instead, leave the door open for some time to let the water evaporate to increase the moisture level in your house.
14. Shorten Your Showers
Taking hot showers in winter can dry out your skin. Limit your shower time to 10-15 minutes. Also, try using lukewarm water instead of hot water. Some people like using hot water in winter, which irritates the skin and prevents it from locking in hydration.
15. Use Water Bowls with Heaters
If you use a radiator, consider placing a water bowl on top of the radiator or near to deal with the humidity woes. The water heated by your radiator will evaporate in the air, raising humidity levels. Some companies have even designed special humidity tanks that you can use with your heating system.
16. Spray Down Your Curtains
Use a spray bottle to spritz your curtains during the daytime. The water will evaporate, and moisture will be released into the air. You can also open your windows and let the sunlight in to speed up the evaporation process. Plus, opening up windows will help with air circulation and remove the stale, dry air from your house.
17. Use Decorative Bowls
Decorative bowls and vases add to your home aesthetic and help you tackle dry air during the winter season. You might already have them on your living room shelves or dining table. To increase humidity, pour water into the bowls and vases. The water will slowly evaporate and raise humidity. Put the decorative pieces near a sunny window to increase the evaporation rate.
18. Slather on Your Moisturizer
During the winter months, you may suffer from red, rough, raw, and itchy skin. The best way to combat skin dryness is to lock in moisture. Use ingredients that are better able to retain hydrated skin, such as ceramides, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid. Also, don’t forget to wear lip balm to deal with parched lips.
19. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Dry winter air can pull the moisture from your body, leaving it dehydrated. So, it’s important to keep yourself hydrated even though you may not feel thirsty in the colder months.
Drink lukewarm water and take hot beverages such as green tea, cinnamon, and hot chocolates. They will not only warm you up but also replenish the lost moisture. You can also consume fluid-filled fruits such as oranges and strawberries to increase your water intake.
20. Layer on Extra Clothes
Instead of cranking up your thermostat, try putting on an extra layer of clothes to deal with frigid temperatures. You will feel warm and cozy without the heating system sucking moisture from your home.
21. Open Windows to Let Fresh Air In
While it may seem counterintuitive, it is actually helpful to open the windows and remove the stale, dry air from your house.
Open windows during the daytime to let the fresh air in. It will help you breathe easy, and your skin won’t feel that dry and itchy. Plus, it will also improve your home air quality. You can close your windows as cold winds take over when the sun starts to go down.
Dry air in winter can bring in big troubles if not dealt with timely. To battle the low humidity issues, seal all the cracks in your home to prevent cold, dry air from pushing its way in, and then use different methods explained above to increase moisture content. Adding a humidifier and using a smart climate control device is surely the best technique to counter winter woes.