Dry air in homes can cause a few health problems and make a living space uncomfortable. As a homeowner, you want to avoid this, especially if you or a family member suffers from respiratory issues or allergies. This blog post will briefly discuss indoor dry air and how to fix dry air in a house.
Dry Air in Your Home: What Is It?
Dry air, also known as low humidity, is a condition where the air lacks moisture and has been stripped of its natural humidity. If this occurs, the air will become dry and still. The ideal humidity level for a living space is between 30 and 50 percent. Anything below 30 percent is considered overly dry air, while anything above 50 percent is too humid.
It’s important to note that every home is different, and the cause of the dry air can vary. However, regardless of why your home’s air is dry, there are several ways how to add moisture to dry air in rooms.
How to Humidify Your Room or House?
Below are tips on how to add humidity to your house:
Invest in a Humidifier
This is an appliance that adds moisture to the air. It works by pulling in dry air and passing it through a water-filled filter. The air becomes saturated with water vapor and is released back into the room.
There are different types of humidifiers, including:
- Central humidifiers. This is a whole-house humidifier because it is attached to your HVAC system and can humidify the entire house.
- Evaporative humidifiers. These work by evaporating water into the air.
- Ultrasonic humidifiers. These humidifiers work by vibrating water at a high frequency, creating a fine mist released into the air.
Boil Water on the Stove
This is a simple way to release excess moisture into the air. Boil water on the stove and let the steam escape into the room. You can do this for about 30 minutes each day.
Hang Wet Towels or Clothes in the House
This is a great way to add moisture to the room without using any electricity, and at the same time, you let damp clothes dry without using a dryer. Wet some towels or clothes and hang them up around the house. The evaporation will help humidify the air.
You can also place wet sponges or rags in front of your fans. The moving air helps evaporate the water, making the room more humid.
Plants are great for increasing indoor humidity levels. They release water vapor as part of their natural process, which can help improve the moisture in the room.
Some of the best plants for humidifying the air include:
- Aloe vera
- Boston fern
- Spider plant
- Peace lily
Use a Bowl of Water and an Oscillating Fan
Consider using a bowl of water and an oscillating fan to increase humidity in the room. Put the bowl of water in front of the fan, and let the moving air evaporate the water, adding moisture to the room.
Seal Any Cracks and Gaps
If your home is not well-sealed, this can cause the conditioned air to escape, leading to dry indoor air. To help reduce this, you can seal any cracks and gaps in your home. This includes weatherstripping doors and windows and using caulk to fill in any gaps around pipes or wires that come into your home.
When Does Indoor Become Usually Dry?
The winter season is typically the time of year when the air inside your home becomes the driest. This is because, as previously mentioned, central heating systems can remove moisture from the air, and people are less likely to open their doors and windows because they don’t want cold winter air to enter their homes. Dry winter air can also trigger respiratory problems like asthma and bronchitis.
Note that keeping fresh air inside your house is still essential to reduce the risk of dry air. You can do this by opening your doors and windows for a few minutes each day to let fresh air in.
What Causes Dry Indoor Air?
There are various reasons for low humidity in houses, including:
During the winter, central heating systems can get rid of moisture from the air as they operate. They also improve indoor air quality.
When warm air is circulated through your home, it can cause the water vapor in the air to evaporate. Additionally, if your home has forced air heating, the problem can get worse by the fact that the furnace’s blower circulates air more quickly through the house, further reducing the humidity levels.
Living in an area with a dry climate can also contribute to dry air inside your home. It’s because there is not much water vapor in the air to begin with.
If your home is not well-sealed, air leaks can occur, allowing moisture to escape. In addition, when running your central heating system, you may lose conditioned heated air through gaps and cracks in your home’s structure.
Cold air in your home to become dry. When the outdoor temperature drops, the air holds less moisture. When it gets colder, you’re most likely to turn on your heating system, which can further dry the air.
Signs of Dry Air Inside a House
Only some people own a hygrometer, a device that measures humidity. However, there are other ways to tell if the indoor air is too dry. These include:
- Static Electricity. If your hair is standing on end or your clothes are sticking to your body, this is a sign that the air inside your house is too dry.
- Dry Skin, Lips, and Eyes. You can feel it if your skin is too dry. It may feel itchy, tight, or flaky. You may also notice that your eyes are red and irritated or your lips are chapped. You may use petroleum jelly or moisturizing lotion for cracked skin and a lip balm for chapped lips. Also, avoid hot showers, which can further dry out your skin.
- Sinus Congestion. This means that the mucous membranes in your nose cannot correctly moisturize the air you breathe, causing congestion.
- Dry Cough. Overly indoor air may make you cough more than usual because your throat and respiratory system are drier than they should be.
- Sore throat. A 2013 study found that the lower the temperature and humidity, the higher the risk for upper respiratory infections, including sore throats.
- Asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory illness. When you are in a low-humidity environment, your airways are more likely to become irritated and inflamed.
Dry air can cause various problems, including dry skin, static electricity, and respiratory illness. If you find the air in your living space too dry, the most effective way to humidify the air is to use a humidifier. You can also take other steps, such as sealing any cracks and gaps in your home and using a bowl of water and an oscillating fan to help add moisture to the air.