Condo Blues: How Do You Fight Dry Winter Air In Your Home?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

How Do You Fight Dry Winter Air In Your Home?

During the winter, furnaces keep our houses warm but they also dry out the air. If you find ways to add moisture to the dry heated air in your home during the winter, it makes you feel warmer because moist humid air feels warmer than dry air, reduces static electricity, and if you’re me keeps your skin from drying out and itching and driving you crazy.

I keep the thermostat set at 58 degrees during the day but the heater still drys out the air in my home.

To add moisture to the air, I have

  • Place bowls of water in front of the heat registers. 
  • I line-drying laundry on hangers in our second bathroom. I admit that line drying laundry is a bit of a pain, but it also saves electricity (although I do use the dryer to fluff up stiff dry towels and jeans and to dewrinkle shirts.) 
  • Open the dishwasher and pull out the rack and let the dishes air dry
These things help keep static electricity down so I get that look from Blitzkrieg after we’ve shocked each other that says, “Why did you do that? You promised me that no one would hurt me ever again!”

Static electricity is not my friend.

But my skin is dry and I’m power scratching even after I’ve slathered myself from head to toe in shea butter several times a day (TMI?)

I’m considering a fountain but I wonder if it’s going to add any more moisture to the air than the big decorative bowl of water I already have sitting on a table in the hallway.

I’m thinking that I’ll have to break down and buy the humidifier that my doctor keeps telling me that I should use to keep my skin from drying out. I’ve been avoiding it because it looks like a pain to clean because they get yucky often, don’t they? And then I have to deal with dispoable filters don't I? And what size do I get? How often so I have to run it? What about cleaning it?

To humidifier or not to humidifier? That is the question…

Any thoughts or recommendations?

What do you do to add moisture to the dry winter air in your home?


Andi said...

A simmering pot of soup on the stove will add moisture to the air. An electric potpourri pot (for the simmering stuff -- they look like mini crock pots) will do the same thing. They're a lot easier to clean than a humidifier and don't need replacement filters. If you toss the peels from an orange or tangerine and a couple cloves into the water, it will add a subtle warm fragrance to the air...

Pop and Ice said...

Adding extra humidity to your home helps immensely! For the last three years I've had a large tabletop humidifier downstairs and a personal humidifier for the bedroom. And when they run out of water or somebody forgets to refill them, we really notice! My children also have personal humidifiers to use, should they so choose. It really helps keep the static electricity down (nice for our pets) and I cough far less than I used to and I'm not itchy (still use moisturizer every day, even with a humidifier!). We replace the filters twice during the winter season and have an disinfectant/antimicrobial ball added to the humidifier to keep it as clean as possible. We keep them running 24 X 7 and we're all a lot more comfortable!

Robj98168 said...

If the doctor reccomends a humidifier then do it. Other than that- I take a shower with the bathroom door open, humidifys the whole house and I don't have to run the exhaust fan, for some strange reason my dryer sets moisture off into my house (vent/hose is not plugged and is attached-) I don't worry about it too much cause is sets some nice humidity. Put up an abundance of plants works too!

Tiffany said...

I vent my clothes dryer indoors and it totally fogs up my windows so I know it is making the house humid. We leave the bathroom door open after hot showers too. Also we are quite liberal with coconut oil on the skin.

Jenny said...

Like Rob said, plants definitely help. As for a humidifier, I have a small one (no filter) in my bedroom, and it's fairly easy to clean. But even easier to clean is a basic vaporizer...Bucky the pekingese & Mr. Cat hate getting zapped too!

EnviRambo said...

I feel your pain! Well, I used to anyway. We had a whole house humidifier installed on our furnace this year. I am loving it!! No raw skin from scratching, cotton mouth in the morning, dry eyes, bloody noses, static, or hardwood floor shrinkage. Also, no water to deal with. It does have a filter, but only gets changed once a year when the furnace is serviced. It monitors itself and does all the work for you. Ours is made by AprilAire and cost about $300 with installation. Totally worth it!

Mrs. Money said...

I air dry all of our clothes in our basement. It does take a long time, but saves the environment and our money! Our own homemade humidifier too. :)

ojack36 said...

I used to sell the air humidifiers AprilAire is one of the best and it is good to hear the costs have gone down. They do not require a lot of maintenance just anal servicing normally does it. During the summer months you want the humidity to be reduced so most of the newer models
will adjust themselves to what ever your set point is.

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savvybrown said...

We have a humidifier for the bedroom, but I'll admit it's a bit of a pain to clean. I like to boil water in a spaghetti pot on the stove and put a few drops of lemongrass oil or eucalyptus oil in it. Makes the house less dry and it smells great too!

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