Dry House? Increase the Humidity and Increase your Home Comfort
Colder temperatures can have a big impact on the humidity levels in your home. As the furnace cranks out more heat, the amount of moisture in the air goes down, making for a less comfortable environment and often a lower quality of indoor air. A relative humidity of 30 to 60 percent is recommended for most homes. You can measure the level of moisture in your home using a hygrometer, which is available at most hardware stores. While too little moisture in the air is a problem, too much humidity can promote the growth of dust mites and mold. Finding just the right percentage is important. How can you tell if the air in your home is too dry? When the inside air is too dry, one of the first things you will notice is an increase in the amount of static electricity. The static can create more than a pesky shock to your skin and hair. Excessive friction can also damage your electrical equipment including televisions and computers. In addition, dry air makes for dry, itchy skin. And, less humidity in the air can make allergy or asthma symptoms worse and increase the frequency of colds, flu and respiratory ailments. Not to mention what the dry air can do to your house. Too little moisture in the air will cause wallpaper to peal, plants to go limp, plaster and drywall to crack and gaps to widen in wood floors and paneling. So how do you increase the humidity? The most obvious answer is to use a humidifier. Point-of-use humidifiers are used for a single room, while a whole house or furnace humidifier connects to your HVAC system and provides humidity to the entire house. At Apollo Home, we can install a humidifier onto your furnace for whole home comfort. Consumer Reports recommends certain models and gives a great explanation of what type would be best for your needs. Other steps to increase humidity levels in your home are:
- Air drying your laundry
- Venting your electric dryer inside, which adds both heat and moisture to the air
- Place containers of water on top of heat vents or radiators. The evaporating water will increase the humidity levels in the air.