Beating the Winter Dryness

Beating the Winter Dryness

We’ve been into winter now for a little while. But no matter how much you mentally brace yourself for it, you can’t fully anticipate the zaps and static shocks you get from a light switch or when you accidentally ground yourself to something metallic. Now, it can be good fun to sneak up on an unsuspecting relation and use this power to your advantage, but as a general rule, these are indicators your home could use the benefit of a humidifier.

Beyond removing your toddler’s endless frizzy hairdos (never mind your own!) a humidifier can have some excellent health benefits as well as advantages for the rest of your home and pocketbook.

Your health

The greatest contribution a humidifier can make to you and your family is to your health. Prairie winters are not only cold, but they are also very dry. The dry air takes its toll on our bodies in many different ways. Consider your knuckles for just a moment. Perhaps your elbows and knees as well. The skin on these areas can quickly become dry and begin to crack. The immediate solution to the discomfort is to put some lotion on, but what your dry skin is telling you is long term results will require a bit more moisture in the air.

Germs are another enemy you can combat with the use of a humidifier. Some viruses thrive in the dry winter air and spread much easier in these conditions. A humidifier isn’t the one-stop solution to reducing germs in the air, but it makes it much more difficult for them to survive.

Reducing energy

As your humidifier adds moisture back into the air in your home, it actually begins to make your home feel warmer. Cool air is not able to hold moisture in the same way warm air does. However, running your furnace may not fully be addressing the problem. Even though the air in your home is getting warmer, it’s actually not adding any moisture to the air. Even though your thermostat reads a balmy 22 degrees you may still feel chilly;  prompting you to increase the temperature even more.

When moisture is added to the air in combination with heat, the overall temperature of the home doesn't change, but you do feel warmer. This can help stave off the race to the thermostat to bump it up a few degrees, especially during a cold snap.

Protects your wood floors and older wood furniture

Dry air can take older wood that is already lacking moisture and make the problem worse. Wood furniture can begin to crack or split and you may eventually see gaps forming in your hardwood. Although maintaining these items in your home goes beyond the humidity, it certainly helps and acts as preventative maintenance.

If the idea of a humidifier running in your home or perhaps the maintenance that goes along with the machine doesn't get you excited, there is a natural alternative available to you as well. Keeping some hardy houseplants in the home over the winter months can help add moisture to the air. Although they may not be as directly effective as a humidifier, you can't find a humidifier on the market that looks as good in your home as a few houseplants.

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