Trisha Bowen - RE/MAX Real Estate Center

Posted by Trisha Bowen on 1/7/2018

Keeping your house warm throughout the cold winter months is getting more and more expensive. While it is a relief to step out of the cold and enter your warm, cozy home, that heat comes with one serious downfall: dry air.

One of the byproducts of heating your home in the winter is that it reduces the humidity. A comfortable humidity level for your home is anywhere between 40% and 60%. Drop into the 30s or below and you’ll quickly find that your throat starts to feel sore, your nose might feel uncomfortably dry, and your skin gets dry faster.

To make matters worse, many of us suffer from the cold and flu this time of year, making it more important than ever to have comfortably humid air to recover from a sore throat and stuffy nose.

While you can purchase a humidifier to keep the indoor humidity at a good level, a decent humidifier will cost you around $200 and will increase your electricity bill each month--an expense you don’t need on top of your heating bill.

Fortunately, there are ways to increase the humidity in your home without having to buy a humidifier that are more cost effective.

In today’s post, we’re going to look at five simple solutions to dry indoor air to help you stay comfy and cozy during the cold winter months without increasing your utility bills.

1. Air dry your clothing

One of the most cost-effective ways to increase humidity is to hang up your clothes to dry after you wash them. Set up a drying rack or clothesline a safe distance from your radiators and you’ll be able to quickly dry your clothes, increase the humidity in the house, and save money by not having to run the dryer.

Though this is a win-win solution, if the air in your home is moderately to severely dry, it likely won’t be enough to increase the humidity to a comfortable level. So, it’s a good idea to combine it with a few of our other tips.

2. Leave a pot of water on radiators

A centuries-old solution to dry air was to leave a pan of water on a wood-burning stove to slowly evaporate into the air. This still works with wood-burning stoves (just be careful your pot doesn’t have plastic handles than can melt), but you can also apply this technique to radiators.

3. Get a house plant or 10

While you won’t be able to achieve drastic changes with just a few houseplants, they will increase the humidity in your home by evaporating moisture off of their leaves.

Plus, houseplants are a great way to brighten the mood of your home in the winter time and they can help to purify the air in your home to boot!

4. Let the shower steam out of the bathroom

If you take a hot shower every day, leaving the door to the bathroom open will allow the steam to distribute throughout the home, raising the humidity.

5. Try out an oil diffuser

While this one technically does cost some money, you might find that blending and diffusing oils can be a fun and relaxing hobby. Essential oil diffusers are basically small humidifiers that emit a light steam infused with the oils of your choice--peppermint, chamomile, lavender, you name it!

Tags: winter home   humidity   dry air  
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