You've probably already noticed that your skin and hair gets super dry in the winter, but you might not know why. While cold air can zap your skin of vital moisture, the major culprit that's making you dry is your furnace. You see, cooler air has less humidity, so there is already less humidity in the air during the winter months. And your furnace pulls even more humidity from the air during its normal operation. The result is a dry house that causes skin problems along with sinus and respiratory issues.
Humidity levels ranging from 30 to 50 percent are comfortable for most people. If your home's humidity level falls below this range, you will start to experience symptoms. Following are three ways you can increase your home's humidity levels during the winter months.
Steam Up Your Bathroom
If you have an exhaust fan in your bathroom, don't use it during the winter. Instead, steam up your bathroom while you're taking a shower and leave the door to your bathroom open for several hours afterwards. Doing so will release a great deal of moisture into the air. Another great way to use your bathroom as a humidifier is to fill the tub with hot water for a relaxing bath. After your bath, do not drain the water. Instead, open your bathroom door and let the steam emanate from the water, filling your whole home.
Get Some Greenery
Houseplants release humidity into the air through a process called transpiration. During this process, water is transported through the root system and into the leaves where it is released into the air through pores. Interestingly, 10 percent of the humidity in the air is attributed to this process. So if you get a few houseplants, you will have more moisture in your home. What's more, plants release oxygen and have been shown to keep air cleaner and healthier.
Upgrade Your Furnace
If you want to humidify your home with no effort on your part, you can upgrade your furnace with a whole-house humidifier. These systems are connected directly to your furnace and maintain a constant level of humidity in your home using a complex network of sensors and system controls. Your local HVAC contractor will be able to hook you up with one.
There are several ways you can increase the humidity in your home during the winter months. In addition to allowing steam to fill your home after showering or cooking, you can go the natural way with houseplants or upgrade your furnace with a complete humidifying system. For more tips, contact a local HVAC company like Enright and Sons .