How to Raise the Humidity in your Home02/22/2017During the winter months the weather is a constant thought on our minds. We check the weather when we wake up in the morning to decide how many layers we need to wear, we “winterize” our vehicles for maximum comfort and safety when driving to avoid the treachery of the roads, and we crank our thermostats up in our homes to combat the corresponding drop in temperature outside. For the majority of the country, taking winter precautions for the home is a yearly routine, on par with putting up the Christmas tree and making hot cocoa. When the temperature drops, people become concerned about maintaining a comfortable temperature in their home. However, something that a lot of people don’t think about is the humidity levels in their home. From a professional standpoint, knowing and controlling the humidity levels in your home is just as important as the temperature, if not more so. The humidity is the amount of moisture in the air. If you’ve ever walked into a room or home – and the air just felt a little too dry or sticky – then its humidity level is skewed in one way or another. During the winter months the cold air holds less moisture than warm air, causing humidity levels to drop. This causes the air to dry, which makes the air feel cooler than what the temperature actually is. We overcompensate for this by turning our thermostats up even higher, unnecessarily increasing our utility bills. Humidity also has a direct impact on the health of those living in the home. Some of the symptoms of poor humidity levels include upper respiratory congestion, headaches, allergies, fatigue, dryness of skin, and watery/red eyes. The ideal range for humidity in a home is between 40-50%. This promotes health, and will allow you to be at your most comfortable in the home. During the winter months it takes a concerted effort to maintain the desired levels of humidity in your home. This is simply because cold air holds less moisture. Moisture in the air is the definition of humidity. If you are finding your humidity levels are too low, there are a few tricks to keep your home at a comfortable level: First, we recommend having a whole home humidifier installed in your home. This is the best long-term solution to combating the inconsistency of humidity. A whole home humidifier will push moisture through the home in the ductwork to help keep every room at a comfortable level. It can be controlled by a humidistat mounted on your wall, which will constantly measure and regulate the humidity levels in the home. A whole home humidifier is critically important with a forced air heating system. This is because the furnace uses combustion to heat the air being pushed throughout the home. This combustion drains the air of the moisture that it originally had. The addition of a humidifier will add the moisture back to the air, increasing the indoor air quality along with the comfortability of the home. Other than the whole home humidifier, there are some inexpensive DIY tricks to raise the humidity level in your home during the winter months. These “tricks” are as simple as boiling a pot of some water, or cooking on the stove. Putting some water in bowls in direct sunlight will let the water evaporate into the room it is in. You can also turn the heat down. With the furnace running less it will help the moisture come back up in the home because there is less combustion from the furnace to dry out the air. Running a hot shower and opening the bathroom door can improve humidity in the home as well. We hope these suggestions help, and if you need any further information about anything in here, or anything HVAC related, feel free to give us a call at (913) 432-3342 or visit our website at www.polestarplumbing.com. We’re always happy to help out! Thanks for reading!