What is the best way to increase the moisture in my home?

January 30th, 2016

Fall and winter months are typically cold and dry months.  The air in our homes usually gets very dry during these times.  As a result, our skin loses a lot of moisture causing itchy skin, dandruff, worsening eczema (a skin condition that is related to allergies), dry noses, sore throats and chapped lips.

Here are some great ways to increase the humidity of your home so you can feel better:

  • Grow indoor houseplants.  Plants release oxygen and moisture into the air.  They can also purify your home environment of toxins.  If you don’t have a green thumb, even having a “lucky bamboo” plant sitting in a vase with water can be helpful.  These just require you to remember to fill the vase with water every few weeks and do not require much sunlight.
  • Fill a stainless steel bowl or cookie sheet with water and place it on top of a radiator.  The heat from the radiator will evaporate the water.  Be sure to change to water in the bowl every day to avoid mold growth.  Also, make sure it is out of reach or any children.
  • Purchase a humidifier.  I recommend avoiding the humidifiers with the “blue plastic tanks” because they are difficult to clean and can be a breeding ground for mold.  The humidifier can then disperse the mold spores into your home and cause terrible allergies, nasal congestion, and even fungal pneumonias!  I highly recommend a humidifier with an easily cleanable tank which is called the Venta humidifier.
  • Turn on your shower.  If you don’t pay for hot water, this is a great way to humidify your home quickly and cheaply.   Turn your shower on with warm water and leave the door open to the bathroom for about 20-30 minutes.  You can even put a fan at the doorway to your bathroom blowing the steam out into the rest of the apartment/house.
  • Take a bath and leave the bath water in the tub afterwards.  If your home is warm and dry, the evaporation will increase.
  • Avoid turning up the heat too much in your home.  Sure, 80 degrees feels great but forced heat is dry air.  Keep it in the low 70 degrees Fahrenheit and your skin will remain more moist.
  • Open the windows on days when it is humid outside to let in moisture.  Check your local forecast and see if the humidity outside is high.  Generally morning hours are the most humid and mid afternoon are the least humid times of day.