Low humidity can make homes uncomfortable this time of year

By: Matt Hoffman Email
By: Matt Hoffman Email

If you think the air is dry outside it can be even drier in your home during days like this in the winter. Low humidity can not only irritate your health, but also your home.

If the air in your home is too dry it can be very uncomfortable. You're more prone to skin irritation and even nosebleeds. And if you have respiratory issues, low humidity can be even more of an issue.

"The main thing there is they have more exacerbation of that. So they have more problems with their asthma, more problems with their emphysema," says Dr. Shef Massey from Sacred Heart Hospital.
Low humidity can make life miserable for people who suffer from indoor allergies.

"There’s more dusts and there's more if you have pets and things like that dander is going to be a bit more airborne because it's not going to be stuck to anything," says Massey.

"You can feel a lot more comfortable with more humidity in the home. Sometimes they say you can even drop the temperature in your home or drop your thermostat a degree or two cause you'll feel more comfortable," Steve Meinholz with Erv Smith Services in Eau Claire says humidity can cause more static electricity in your home which can cause issues for electronics. Dry air isn't good for wood either.

"Things will dry out. You'll have hard wood floors, banisters, staircases and things like that if it gets too dry in your home they'll definitely start to crack."

Here's an easy way to find out if the air in your home is too dry. Drop three ice cubes in a glass and fill it with water. Set it out in the room you want to check and wait three minutes. If no water droplets form on the outside of the glass then the air is too dry.

To increase humidity you can try boiling some water on the stove, set a bowl of water by your heater, or even let your clothes air dry.

You can try those methods but I was told the best option is a humidifier whether it is a stand-alone or a home humidifier. But be sure Dr. Massey says to clean them often because static water could start spreading bacteria and fungus around your home.

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