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  • How to Combat Dry Air and Low Humidity in Your Home


    Often during the Winter, the air feels dry in our homes. This can cause dry skin, dry eyes, throat, and mucous membrane as well breathing issues especially for those with asthma. The reason for drier air in the home is not due to the HVAC system or the electric heater, but rather Mother Nature.

    HVAC systems work by using outside air that is filtered into the home through the ventilation system, or fresh air intakes. The humidity of this air is determined by the outside weather. In Florida, the average relative humidity appears to stay consistent. In order to see a clearer picture of the differing humidity levels from summer to winter the absolute humidity (total water content of air), should be used rather than the relative humidity level. Relative humidity is a measurement of the absolute humidity relative to the maximum for that temperature. This measurement is a percentage that shows no true magnitude of the actual water content in the air.

    Why Do We Have Low Humidity In Winter?

    In a typical cooling mode, your HVAC system would work to remove the humidity to provide a comfortable living space. However, when the humidity of the outside air is lower, there is no way for a standard HVAC system to add humidity to the air. Ecologists explain that lower humidity values are due to a decrease in the sun’s radiating heat that typically causes moisture to evaporate from the Earth’s soil. During the winter this evaporation rate is lower, directly lowering the water content available in the air.

    4 Ways To Increase Humidity Levels in Your Home

    1. Install a Whole-House Humidifier

    The most common way to increase humidity for the HVAC industry would be to install a whole-house humidifier. This option can be expensive, a cheaper alternative is to purchase a single room humidifier and place it in the room you desire to add humidity.

    2. Place Water Near Heating Vents or Windows

    Other ways to add humidity to your home are a little less conventional but can offer temporary relief from the low humidity. By placing pans of water near heating vents or windows with sun exposure, you can increase the water content in your air.

    3. Boil Water

    You can also boil a pot of water on the stove for a similar effect. Anything in your home that produces warm, humid water vapor can be used as well, such as your dishwasher and shower.

    4. Hang Dry Damp Clothes

    Hanging damp clothes around the house rather than machine drying can help humidity levels in your home.

    For more information on alternative ways for increasing home humidity, visit the Home Wizard webpage.

    by Jason Kulp

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