The Importance of Moisture During the Winter Season

36. Drop of waterAlong with a string of holidays and vacations, the winter season often brings with it dry air, itchy skin and sore, scratchy throats. While you may believe that this is just something that must be dealt with each winter, that’s just not the case. There are many ways that you can increase the amount of moisture in your home.


The Importance of Moisture for Your Health

When the temperature drops, the amount of moisture in the air also decreases. This decrease in moisture is often accompanied by dry skin and stuffy noses, in addition to an increased risk of suffering from a sinus infection or cold. This is because the body needs a certain amount of moisture to properly function; for example, certain body fluids, such as mucous linings in your nose, mouth and throat, assist with taking air into the body. When the air is dry, any excess moisture from the body evaporates, leaving a dry nose, a scratchy throat and irritated skin. If your skin feels dry and you’re suffering common cold symptoms without actually feeling sick, it may be beneficial to increase the humidity in your home. 


Using a humidifier to add moisture to the air is one of the easiest ways to increase indoor winter comfort. There are different types of humidifier available depending upon your personal needs. Some tabletop humidifiers simply release a mist into the air while others warm or cool the water before releasing it. For those who suffer chronic dryness, a whole house humidifier may be more appropriate. These humidifiers are installed as part of your home’s heating and cooling units, allowing the moisture to be added to the indoor air as it re-circulates. 

Alternative Ways to Increase Moisture in Your Home

While a humidifier can help remedy dry air inside your home, there are plenty of ways to increase the moisture level using every day items. Some of these ways include:

  • Leave water in the bathtub or sink after you’ve finished washing. Dry air will soak up any moisture available, so this is a great way to use leftover water. However, if you have kids or pets, this could be a drowning hazard if left unattended.
  • Decorate your home using bowls filled with water. While this is similar to leaving the water in the bathtub, using bowls allows you to add moisture in the air while removing the risk of drowning. Just make sure to keep the bowls out of reach of children or pets.
  • Hang damp clothes on a drying rack and let them air dry. Not only will you avoid making the air even drier by using a dryer, your damp clothes will help increase the moisture in the air.
  • Use the stove top to cook instead of the oven. Using the oven to cook can actually dry the air out while cooking with boiling water will add moisture. Making tea or other hot drinks can also help.

Dangers of Too Much Moisture

While moisture is absolutely essential in keeping you healthy and increasing your comfort during the winter months, it is possible to add too much moisture. Moisture allows for the growth of mold and bacteria, which can be harmful to a person’s health. Humidifiers are also notorious for being breeding grounds for mold; the mold spores can be released from the unit in a mist that is then breathed in by the home’s occupants. 

One way to avoid this is to use humidifiers only when the air becomes too dry. It is recommended that you purchase a hygrometer, which measures the amount of moisture in indoor air. Routinely cleaning the humidifier will also reduce the risk of growing harmful bacteria or mold.


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