When winter closed in and the temperature dropped, you probably tightened your home with storm windows and weather-stripping. This in turn lowered the inside humidity. In fact, the humidity in your house could be drier than a desert right now. One sign of lower humidity is the increase in static electricity. You’ve probably experienced the shock when you touched a metal doorknob or even another person. The sparks can fly with an “ouch”! Lower humidity also means you’re more vulnerable to picking up germs and spreading illnesses.
What can be done?
You need to introduce moisture into your home and there are several ways to do this. The most complete is to install a humidifier on your furnace. When the furnace turns on, a wick inside the humidifier rotates through a reservoir of water sending moisture into the heating vents and throughout the house. A centrally installed humidifier does require a little maintenance and needs to be cleaned thoroughly at the end of the heating season.
Go with a portable
Another approach to solving the low humidity problem is with a portable humidifier. These compact units can be easily moved from room to room in your home. The moisture is drawn out of the unit as a fine mist with a fan and evaporates into the air. You can choose either a warm or cool-air humidifier with a variety of options including adjustable humidistat, auto shut-off, and refill lights. The most sophisticated units give 100% protection against bacteria, mold, and spores releasing germ-free moisture into the air.
Go the simple way
Some low-tech approaches to improving humidity in your home include putting out pans of water to evaporate. (Don’t put them on the floor if you have small children or thirsty pets!) And, add more houseplants. They release oxygen into the air and through transpiration, release water into the atmosphere.