Humidity indoors winter
Humidifying Your House This Winter
HVAC | November 15, 2021
It’s the middle of winter and if the cold air outside didn’t tip you off, maybe your insanely dry indoor air did. Dry indoor air can cause problems for your home and your health! Not only can it cause cracked paint, peeling wallpaper, and warped wood floors — it can lead to chapped dry skin, inflamed allergies and itchy eyes. Not to mention lots of static shock!
When the moist air in your home escapes, it is replaced by dry air from outside, which can seriously compromise comfort. That’s why it’s important to amp up the humidity in your home during the coldest months of the year.
In this article, we'll answer some of the most common questions you may be asking yourself related to the indoor humidity levels in your home:
- What should the humidity level be in a house in winter?
- What are the dangers of high humidity levels inside your home?
- How do I reduce the humidity in my house?
- How can I add moisture back into your indoor air?
Now that we've laid out the goals of this article, let's dive in.
What is a Good Level of Indoor Humidity in Winter?
When asking about the best humidity levels for the air inside your home this winter, you'll want a relative humidity level between 30-40 percent. You may be asking yourself what is relative humidity?
Relative humidity is the amount of water vapor present in the air in relation to the amount of water vapor the air can hold. Let's say for example you had a reading of 100 percent relative humidity, that would mean the air is completely saturated with water vapor and cannot hold any more moisture at that temperature.
Signs of your humidity level too high would be if you find condensation on your windows around the house. There are also more serious signs of excessive relative humidity in the home that can lead to potentially dangerous situations for your family.
What Are the Dangers of High Humidity Levels?
When the outside temperature drops, too much moisture is a bad thing. If the humidity builds up too much, condensation on the windows can eventually bead up and roll down until it soaks into the window frame.
All throughout the winter months, this water can leak back behind the wall below the window, leading to wood rot and mold. Not only is mold a dangerous situation for your family in the home, but the damage this excess water in the air can leave behind your walls can get expensive.
How Do I Reduce the Humidity in My House?
When you start to see condensation on your windows, try adjusting your humidifier so your humidity level is lower. This should fix the problem, and you should see results in a short amount of time. If it doesn't, have an HVAC specialist come to examine your whole-house humidifier.
Humidity control is the name of the game. There are many other ways to bring back low humidity levels into your home during the cold winter weather months:
- Take cooler showers or baths
- Use your exhaust/ventilation fans
- Use your laundry dryer less often
- Purchase a dehumidifier
- Open a window
When temperatures cool down, our usual response is to crank up the heat. But artificial heat from your furnace can leave your home feeling as dry as a desert. By turning down your thermostat and bundling up in extra layers, you’ll not only save big bucks on your energy costs — you’ll help retain much more comfortable indoor conditions.
Remember, humid air feels warmer than dry air, so you likely won’t need as much help from your heater if you do your part to retain your home’s humidity with cooler indoor temperatures.
How Do I Increase My House Humidity in Winter?
In the summer when we have our air conditioning running, we don't have to think about humidity levels so much because there's already enough warm air. If the humidity levels in your home are too low, there are some simple tips we can recommend to you.
Get Some Houseplants
Many plants need high humidity levels to thrive, so consider buying a plant that can survive in drier climates. Group several plants, and you’ll create a humid micro-climate in that keeps them from drying out as quickly.
Houseplants not only humidify the indoor air around them — they purify it too! Through the process of transpiration, plants pull water up through their roots to their stems, leaves, and flowers where it then evaporates, adding much-needed moisture to your indoor air.
Plants with the highest transpiration rates remove the most airborne pollutant, too.
Spread Some Steam with Your Dishwasher, Shower, and Bath
Some of the easiest ways to humidify your home involve household tasks that you perform daily.
In the bathroom, you can spread steam and moisture throughout your home by cracking the bathroom door when you shower or letting your bathwater cool before you empty the tub. And after bathing, turn on your bathroom fan to help push damp air out and into nearby rooms.
In the kitchen, skip the drying cycle on your dishwasher, leave the door open, and let your dishes air-dry. You’ll heat and humidify the surrounding area for free.
Air-Dry Your Laundry Indoors
Just like your furnace, your dryer robs your indoor air of moisture. To increase the humidity in your home, give your dryer a vacation.
Hang a few clotheslines around the house where you can air-dry your clean laundry. Your damp clothes will add humidity to the air as they dry while simultaneously saving energy!
Just make sure to hang your clothes in areas with adequate airflow to prevent mold and mildew from forming.
Adopt Some Fishy Friends
If you love pets, then consider adopting a few fish. Adding a fish tank to an air-conditioned room is a great way to evaporate air into surrounding areas while enhancing your home décor.
Make sure your fish tank has an open-top, and remember to keep it full of freshwater to prevent bad odors and mold spores from forming. Keep in mind that maintaining a fish tank requires lots of time, space, and expense.
You can achieve the same results on a smaller scale with a fishbowl placed near heat sources in your home.
Invest in a Whole-Home Humidifier
The most effective way to combat dry indoor air is to invest in a whole-home humidifier.
Installed directly onto your existing HVAC system, a whole-home humidifier infuses humidity into your indoor air by distributing water vapor through your home’s ducts and vents. As their name suggests, whole-home humidifiers add moisture to all the rooms in your home unlike portable humidifiers, which only add moisture to the room in which they are located.
And whole-home humidifiers only require one filter change per year, demanding much less maintenance than portable humidifiers, which need to be regularly cleaned and disinfected.
Take Control of Your Winter Indoor Humidity Level
Stop letting dry indoor air compromise your comfort. Contact your local ARS®/Rescue Rooter® today at 1-800-277-9400 to schedule an appointment with one of our Comfort Advisors. We’ll assess your indoor air-quality and guide you through our whole-home humidifier products and services, all of which are always covered by our Exceptional Service Guarantee.
8 Way's To Increase Your Home's Humidity In Winter
In the winter, the natural humidity level drops significantly, making our homes feel less comfortable. Increasing the humidity can have many benefits for comfort, health and cleanliness. Luckily, there are many easy ways to add humidity to your house, so that you can experience all of the benefits of a home environment with the proper humidity.
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Benefits of Increasing Your Home’s Humidity
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A home with a healthy humidity level can have numerous benefits. Ideally, a home should have a humidity level of about 45%. If it dips below 30%, it’s much too dry, and if it’s above 50%, the high humidity may start to feel uncomfortable. If your home humidity level stays around 45%, your living environment will be cleaner, safer, healthier and more comfortable. Learn how to decrease your home’s humidity.
The benefits of maintaining ideal humidity levels for your home in the winter include:
- Prevention of common illnesses and symptoms: Viruses, like the ones that cause the flu and the common cold, transmit more easily in dry air. Air at the proper humidity level also prevents sore throats and headaches and decreases contact lens discomfort.
- Better control of dust: An ideal humidity level helps to keep dust, allergens and pollutants out of the air, making the air cleaner and healthier to breathe.
- Hydrated skin: Prevent the symptoms of dry, irritated skin with increased humidity.
- Proper care of furniture: Extremely dry air can be hard on wooden furniture, hardwood floors, pianos and more. Proper humidity prevents warping or cracking.
- Reduces electrostatic shocks: Dry winter air makes the ideal conditions for those annoying little shocks we get when we touch certain surfaces. Prevent this by increasing the home’s humidity.
8 Tips for Increasing Humidity in the Winter
It’s not too difficult to control the humidity levels in your home, and there are many practical ways to add humidity to your house. Here are our favorite easy and creative solutions to increase humidity in winter:
- Add some houseplants to your home. Indoor plants add to the decor and ambiance of a home, but they also help purify the air and add to the humidity level. Properly watered plants will release vapor from the leaves and stems into the air. The soil for the houseplants also holds water that slowly evaporates. The best choices for humidity-boosting houseplants are tropicals with large leaves, and plants that do well in dry conditions. Choose plants like palms, philodendrons and Chinese evergreens for the best humidity control, and remember to water regularly or mist for extra moisture.
- Boil water and cook using the stovetop. When you use the stovetop for cooking and boiling water, you’ll release steam into the air while you prepare your food or boil water. Simply using the stovetop more often than the microwave will help improve your home’s humidity level. Leave lids off of pots and pans to release even more moisture.
- Set out a pan or vase of water. Leave open containers of water on top of radiators or near heating vents, and the water will slowly evaporate into the air. The warmth from your heating system will help speed this process along. You can use decorative vases or vessels that add to the decor of the room, and even include citrus peels, vanilla or essential oils to provide a pleasant scent while you humidify the room. Alternatively, boil a pan of water on the stovetop to add humidity a little faster. Just remember to turn off the stove when the water has evaporated.
- Hang dry your laundry. Forgoing the clothes dryer and hanging up laundry inside means that all the moisture will evaporate into the air of your house. You’ll also save on energy costs by reducing your dryer usage while you line-dry and improve the home humidity in winter.
- Use your shower steam. Any time you take a bath or shower, some steam is released into the air. Make the best use of this extra steam by opening the bathroom door, if privacy allows for it, or just keep the door and shower curtain open after you’re done. Don’t use the built-in bathroom fan, as this is designed to suck the excess moisture from the air. You could even use a stand-up fan to blow the moist air into the rest of the house.
- Don’t drain the bathwater right away. As long as the water from a bath remains warm, it’s contributing moisture to the air. So, after a bath, resist pulling the plug immediately. Let the bathwater sit and cool completely before draining, and you’ll get the full benefits of that added moisture.
- Upgrade doors, windows and weatherstripping. In the winter, inefficient doors and windows leak out heat and moisture. This means energy costs increase and the home environment is less comfortable. Mitigate this heat and humidity loss by installing newer, more efficient windows and doors. If new doors and windows aren’t in the budget yet, consider using weatherstripping or other means to seal up cracks and keep your warm, moist air inside and the cold, dry air outside.
- Install a humidifier. Perhaps one of the easiest solutions for controlling the house humidity in winter is to use a humidifier. You can buy a smaller, portable unit that works in a small area or have professionals install a whole-home system. This is your best option for the ultimate in humidity control. These whole-home humidifiers are more efficient and ensure an exact humidity level to keep you comfortable and healthy while protecting wooden furniture and other delicate items in the home. You can also consider adding an indoor weather meter to give you accurate readings of the interior temperature and humidity levels in the home.
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Humidifier Installation From Home Climates
To improve the indoor humidity of your home this winter, installing a humidifier is the way to go. All of our tips on how to increase humidity in winter certainly help, but the option that gives you the most control and the most peace of mind is a whole-home humidifier system. You’ll get all of the benefits of a properly humidified home in an easy-to-control system. Home Climates is proud to be your home HVAC experts in Elizabethtown and can help you prepare your home for the cold, dry months ahead. Contact our expert representatives for any of your questions about home humidity or any HVAC concerns. We will help you get on track for a comfortable home, whatever the weather.Interested in Humidifier Installation?
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What air humidity will be in the winter on the street and in the apartment?
The answer to this common question could be quite monosyllabic: in apartment - low .
What kind of humidity will be on the street - this is a question for weather forecasters.
But still, as a forecast, let's first define what region we are talking about:
- If there are harsh Siberian frosts outside, you can safely wear felt boots without galoshes, since the risk of getting pneumonia from damp shoes is extremely negligible.
The stronger the frost - the less moisture is contained in the atmospheric air - or, simply put, it freezes.
- If you live on the coast of the Black or Caspian Sea, most likely you have not had to deal with a lack of humidity - it's time to look for solutions to combat it.
One way or another, but most of the time in winter we spend indoors - in the office, at work, at home.
And if you don’t complain about your health in principle, then you simply don’t bother yourself with such “nonsense”.
But in vain!
Indoor humidity is low in winter.
And the lower it is, the colder it is outside.
I ran into a problem where the complaints of the household went from sobbing into some wistful howling.
Yes, and he himself was a little fed up with receiving discharges of static electricity when touching a variety of objects, including the tip of his own nose.
- My wife complained about dry skin when she bought boxed moisturizers.
- The same reason caused all sorts of dermatological ailments in the father-in-law.
- My mother-in-law's chronic bronchitis immediately worsens in winter.
- Yes, and he noticed that in the morning he began to wake up with a creaky throat and sand in his eyes.
Having discarded apocalyptic theories such as “communal workers poison water with chemicals”, I bought a simple electronic hygrometer and… and was horrified!
Humidity in the apartment did not exceed 15% at best.
And even then, in the kitchen with a boiling kettle.
In the hall and in the bedroom - 11%.
This problem, to be honest, is not an easy one.
After analyzing the offers on the market, I rushed to buy steam humidifier .
However, he quickly found his place in the pantry, after the grandson almost scalded himself with a jet of hot steam.
Bought ultrasonic .
The first week everyone was happy - the humidity level was raised to 30 percent.
However, it turned out that this device also has its drawbacks:
- If the purest artesian water flows in your pipes, feel free to buy.
- If ordinary tap water - very soon terribly tired of wiping a thin coating of fine whitish dust.
I'm not even talking about the fact that she also has to breathe.
There is a way out - pour distilled water into the unit. If the wallet allows, of course ...
I tried the notorious air washer .
I don’t know what she washes there, but more than 22% humidity was not achieved.
Since my wife and I are still physicists by education, we built complex structures on batteries from improvised means.
Cloths, threads, containers, bottles... now I'm looking at the hygrometer - 46 percent!
The main thing is not to forget to add water to the whole thing.
But it is obviously not necessary to talk about aesthetics...
The problem is less acute if the apartment is not ventilated.
But this is excluded - we cannot imagine life without fresh air - even in the most severe frosts, even with a crack, but the windows are always ajar.
What am I actually getting at...
I have long had good personal and business relations with the founder and head of the TURKOV company - that's how I learned about the existence of supply and exhaust ventilation with heat and moisture recovery.
I'm seriously thinking.
And certainly, there can be no question of acquiring such sophisticated equipment somewhere else - especially knowing about the attitude of the company's employees to their work and the level of their professionalism!
Why is the air humidity low in winter
Even humid winter air from the street, getting into the room and heating up with the help of heating devices, becomes very dry.
There are two physical quantities that characterize the humidity of the air:
Absolute humidity is the mass of water vapor contained in a cubic meter of air, measured in grams per kilogram of air. One cubic meter of air weighs about 1.2 kg.
Relative humidity - the ratio of the mass of water vapor contained in one cubic meter of air to the maximum possible at a given temperature. Measured in percentage. It is relative humidity that we feel, as it corresponds to the rate of evaporation of moisture from the surface of the skin and objects.
Another important concept is the dew point. This is the temperature at which air with fixed values of absolute humidity and pressure reaches 100% relative humidity. As the temperature drops further, the vapor begins to condense.
As the temperature increases, the maximum amount of moisture that air can absorb increases significantly. Below is the temperature and the corresponding maximum absolute humidity:
Maximum moisture content
|– 25°C||0.6 g water/m 3 air|
|10°C||2.4 g water/m 3 air|
|0°C||5.2 g water / m 3 air|
|+10°C||10.1 g water/m 3 air|
|+ 23°C||23.1 g water/m 3 air|
If it is 10 °C outside and the relative humidity is 80%, then its absolute humidity is 1. 9 grams per cubic meter of air. This air enters the room through the ventilation system, cracks in the windows and open vents. At the same time, it heats up and expands, while maintaining the same moisture content, that is, at a room temperature of + 23 ° C, its relative humidity is only 7%.
In fact, there are always additional sources of moisture in the premises: people, kitchens, bathrooms, interior items. Thus, indoor air humidity in winter is usually about 15% or lower if forced ventilation is installed in the house.
With such humidity, water evaporates intensively from the surface, and we feel the dryness of the air when inhaled and with our skin.
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The current level of technological development makes it possible to increase the comfort and quality of a person's daily life.
Humidifier is a climatic device primarily used to increase the humidity of indoor air.