Dry indoor air is a common problem during the winter. When the weather begins to cool, the air will become drier. Cold air, of course, is denser than warm air. As a result, it doesn’t hold as much moisture. Your home may have a standard humidity level of 40% to 50% during the spring and summer. Once winter rolls around, though, you may discover that its humidity level is just 30% or lower.
Effects of Dry Indoor Air
What problems can dry indoor air cause exactly? For starters, it’s bad for your skin. Dry indoor air can irritate your skin. Your skin will become drier, which could lead to itching, flaking or skin allergies. Many people experience skin problems such as these during the winter because of the season’s dry air.
Dry indoor air can even damage wood furniture and floors. When made of real wood, furniture and floors require moisture vapor. Dry indoor air has little or no moisture vapor in it. Any wood furniture or floors that are exposed to it may crack or otherwise sustain damage.
Static electricity is common with dry indoor air. Static electricity occurs when the electrical charge of one object “jumps” to another object. Normally, moisture vapor in the air prevents this phenomenon from occurring. With dry indoor air, there’s nothing to stop static electricity. These are just a few effects of dry indoor air.
How to Prevent Dry Indoor Air During the Winter
There are several things you can do to prevent dry indoor air during the winter. Ensuring your home is properly sealed, for instance, can have a positive impact on its humidity level during this time of year.
Poorly sealed homes are typically drier than their well-sealed counterparts. If your home is poorly sealed, moisture vapor will work its way out of your home. Ensuring that your home is properly sealed, conversely, will keep moisture vapor inside of it.
Taking baths and shows with the exhaust fan turned off can help to raise the humidity level of your home. Exhaust fans are designed to suck up and remove moisture vapor. With dry air, you want to keep this moisture vapor inside of your home.
The easiest and most effective way to prevent dry indoor air during the winter is to install a humidifier. Humidifiers are devices that, as the name suggests, are designed to raise the humidity level of a home or indoor space. They contain a water-filled tank. When turned on, humidifiers will release some of this moisture vapor into the air.