When your furnace forces warm air through your home it also dries out the air. You know you have dry air when static electricity becomes a problem.
When my wife greets me when I return home from work, her kiss is delivered with an unintended spark this time of year.
Save Energy and Save Money with more Moisture
Dry air feels colder than moist air at the same temperature. When the relative humidity is about 40%, you feel warmer without noticing the dampness.
Homes with forced air heat often have relative humidity readings around 20% or less during the winter. That is dry enough to irritate you nose and throat. frequent nosebleeds are another sign that the air is too dry.
The colder it is outside the more your house dries out because cold air hold very little moisture.
When you have enough moisture in the air you can save on your heating bill by turning the thermostat down a degree or two. With enough moisture in the air you will feel comfortable at a lower temperature.
How to Boost the humidity in you home
I have an inexpensive temperature and humidity meter that I got at a garden supply store when I was trying to grow orchids. Now I use it to check the relative humidity in our house.
It is very hard to keep the relative humidity up near the recommended 40%. If you can keep it up close to 30% you are doing a good job.
Here is a list of ideas you can use to keep the moisture up so you feel warm at a lower temperature.
1. Have more houseplants and keep them well watered.
2. Plant seeds that you can transplant to your garden in the spring.
3. It is a good time of year to have tropical fish or a pet gold fish.
4. Do not use the bathroom vent fan in the cold weather. Just open the bathroom door and share the moisture with the rest of the house until the fog clears.
5. Leave some water in the bathtub after you shower.
6. Hang laundry indoors to dry. Towels and sweatshirts are the best for this.
7. Have your electric clothes dryer vent indoors during the winter. Read more about here SAVE ON YOUR HEATING BILL WITH YOUR ELECTRIC CLOTHES DRYER
8. Avoid using the kitchen exhaust fan during the cold weather.
9. Boil water for tea or hot chocolate. We like hot cider too.
10. Make stove top soups or pasta dishes.
11. Cook stews and other dishes that you can let simmer. The house smells great and makes me hungry for a good hot meal.
12. Have a squirt gun battle indoors.
13. Add moisture to the air using a vaporizer that is normally used to treat colds.
14. Humidifiers are good but they are a high maintenance item requiring frequent cleaning and parts replacement.
15. Paint the walls with water based paint. Make art work with water colors.
What other creative was do you use to keep moisture in your house?