Tired of everything you touch zapping you? During winter, the air in your home can feel especially dry, and sometimes it can lead to static electricity, itchy skin, and chapped lips. It’s just uncomfortable. We offer some tips to help add humidity for home comfort.
Why Does My House Feel So Dry?
The ability of air to hold water depends on the temperature of that air. Warm air holds more moisture.
Temperature: 68 degrees = 1 kilogram of air can hold 15 g of water
Temperature: 32 degrees = 1 kilogram of air can hold 5g of water
When you heat the air inside, you increase the air’s ability to hold moisture but not the actual moisture your house contains. This is what makes winter air in the home feel so dry.
How Can I Add Moisture to My Home in Winter?
First, if your home heat system is working properly, a home that feels dry is not a bad thing. It likely means that your home is well-sealed and, when moisture does return to the air, you won’t experience mold or mildew buildup.
The methods to alleviate winter dryness in your home can vary from installing a whole-home humidifier to simply keeping a pot of steaming water on your stovetop.
DIY Ways to Add Moisture to Your Home
The steaming pot of water can slowly add moisture to the air in your home. Once you’re outside the kitchen, however, you might not feel any difference. But if you continuously add water and repeat the steaming process, eventually the air throughout the home should be impacted. Convenient? No.
Another DIY way to add moisture is to leave your bathroom door open while showering. This will be a temporary solution, however.
Do Small Humidifiers Work?
Small humidifiers do add moisture and are a more convenient, effective solution than DIY methods.
Basically, a humidifier is made of a water tank, body, fan, and a filter that wicks up the water. The fan pulls air through the wick, the moisture evaporates, the wick absorbs more water, and the fan continuously distributes it.
You want to determine the square footage of the room or rooms in which you want to add moisture. Humidifier manufacturers typically list room-size capacity.
For a bedroom or small room, the tabletop models should work fine and are affordably priced. Look for features such as automatic shut-off and other safety features.
Clean your humidifiers daily and monitor their output. If there’s moisture collecting on the ceiling, then you want to decrease the amount of time you run the small humidifier or reconsider the capacity you need. Excessive moisture can lead to other comfort concerns, including increased allergies.
How Can I Add Moisture to a Large Space?
For larger rooms, consider buying a console humidifier. Console humidifiers have larger water tanks and therefore provide more moisture output.
Choose a console model whose tank can be easily emptied. Many large humidifiers include a signal or LED display that alerts you when the water storage tank is full. If there is an output hole in your console humidifier, you can fasten a discharge hose to that output and extend the hose into your sump pump for ease of water removal.
Monitor your device to see if limescale (calcium scale) or other mineral buildup is occurring. This region is known for hard water and that could impact the performance of your humidifier. De-scaling products may help alleviate this.
How Can I Add Moisture to My Whole House?
Whole-house steam humidifiers that use electrode technology can be installed to provide consistent humidity to your home. Water treatments such as lime de-scaling products are not needed for these large humidifier systems. These should be professionally installed.
You can also opt for a furnace-mounted humidifier, which connects to a forced-air heating/cooling system. Moisture is dispersed through the air delivered throughout the home. These should be professionally installed.
How to Fix a Dry House
As you can see in the sections above, there are quite a few ways you can bring comfort back into your home if you suffer from dry air. Some of the best ways to help fix a dry house include:
- Adding humidifiers to smaller spaces that are sized appropriately to the room
- Using a console humidifier in larger rooms
- Have a professional install a whole-house steam humidifier or furnace-mounted humidifier