Signs Your Home Is Too Dry and How to Combat It

Winter blankets the world in its chilly embrace, and our homes become cozy havens shielded from the biting cold. Yet, amidst the warmth of our abodes, a common problem often goes unnoticed—the issue of dry air. The winter season tends to bring about dryness indoors, which can lead to various discomforts and even health issues. Understanding the signs of a dry home during winter is crucial to maintaining a comfortable and healthy living environment.

1. Static Electricity

Have you been experiencing those pesky shocks every time you touch a doorknob or another person? That’s a telltale sign that the air in your home is excessively dry. When the air lacks moisture, static electricity builds up more easily, causing those shocking encounters.

2. Dry Skin, Eyes, and Throat

If you’ve noticed your skin feeling extra dry, your eyes becoming irritated, or your throat feeling scratchy or sore, it could be due to low humidity levels in your home. Dry air can zap moisture from your skin and mucous membranes, leading to discomfort and potential health issues like respiratory problems.

3. Warping of Wood Furniture and Floors

Wooden furniture, flooring, and even musical instruments can suffer from prolonged exposure to dry air. When humidity levels drop, wood loses moisture, causing it to shrink, crack, or warp. If you notice gaps in your hardwood floors or changes in the shape of your wooden furniture, it might be due to low indoor humidity.

4. Increased Allergy or Asthma Symptoms

Dry air can exacerbate allergy and asthma symptoms by irritating nasal passages and airways. Low humidity might be a contributing factor if you or your family members have been experiencing increased coughing, sneezing, or congestion, especially at night.

5. Unusual House Creaks and Cracks

As the air becomes drier, materials in your home, such as wood and paint, can contract, leading to unusual creaking sounds or more noticeable cracks in walls or ceilings. These changes can occur due to the lack of moisture in the air, affecting the structural components of your home.

Combatting Dryness in Your Home

Thankfully, there are various ways to address low humidity levels and create a more comfortable indoor environment:

  • Use a Humidifier: Investing in a humidifier can significantly increase moisture levels in your home. Placing one in commonly used rooms can alleviate dry air symptoms.
  • Proper Ventilation: Properly ventilating your home using exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms can help reduce moisture buildup while maintaining a balance of humidity.
  • Houseplants: Certain indoor plants can naturally add moisture to the air through a process called transpiration. Spider plants, peace lilies, and Boston ferns are known for their air-purifying qualities and can also help increase humidity.
  • Seal Air Leaks: Check for drafts around windows and doors. Sealing these leaks can help maintain indoor humidity levels.
  • Monitor Humidity Levels: Use a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels in your home. Aim for a relative humidity of around 30-50% for optimal comfort.

Understanding the impact of dry air on your home during an Ontario winter is the first step toward creating a more pleasant and healthier indoor environment. To learn more about the importance of using a humidifier during the winter and other tips to combat dryness, read our comprehensive blog post here!

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Scott Tizzard

President & Founder

Since 2013 I have been helping Canadians by providing the best in class heating and cooling solutions for their homes and businesses. I am hands on with my business and take pride in our work and craftsmanship. We look forward to taking care of your needs. Feel free to contact me directly.

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