How to Add Moisture to Dry Winter Air in Your Home

Dry indoor air is one of the most common challenging aspects of winter. It also causes a wide range of health issues, such as the following:

  • Worsens of triggers asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, and other respiratory ailments

  • Dries out the sinuses and the throat

  • Dehydration and fatigue

  • Nosebleeds

  • Cold-like symptoms

  • Dry, rough, and flaking skin

  • Worsening eczema and acne

  • Decreased skin elasticity

In order to avoid any of the above health issues, it’s important to know how to add moisture to the air in your home. By making sure that your home’s humidity is at around 30 to 50 percent, you can enjoy optimum comfort and stay at the peak of health. When you add moisture to the air, you also avoid damage to furniture and musical instruments.




Why is My House so Dry in the Winter?

Before we proceed, let’s discuss the factors that contribute to low humidity during winter.


The Effect of Cold Air on Humidity

Winter is inherently a low humidity season. This is because cold air is not able to retain as much moisture as warm air. However, warming up the air is not enough to increase moisture in your home.

The Effect of Heating on Humidity

In addition to the low humidity in the air during winter, using the furnace to artificially heat the air can dry it up further. This is why homeowners need to know how to add moisture to the air in their homes during the winter season.


The Ideal Humidity for Your Home

When humidity is too low, it can cause a wide array of respiratory and skin problems. Furthermore, low humidity or dry air can cause wooden components to crack and shrink. Once this type of damage is done to wooden fixtures, it would be nearly impossible to reverse.

On the other hand, when humidity is too high, it can cause problems too. A few health issues associated with high indoor humidity include asthma and allergy-like symptoms. These health issues can be linked to the fact that mold and dust mites flourish when indoor humidity is too high.

Therefore, the ideal indoor air humidity is somewhere within the range of 30 to 50 percent.

To keep tabs on the humidity of your indoor air, you can get a thermostat with a humidity sensor or purchase a separate hygrometer. Some digital hygrometers can even alert you when the humidity is deviating from your preferred range.

A final caveat when monitoring the humidity of your home is you cannot fully rely on any built-in hygrometers in humidifiers. These hygrometers tend to be too close to the humidifier to give you an accurate reading of humidity in the room.




How To Add Moisture To The Air During Winter

1. Get Humidifier(s)

On this list of how to add moisture to the air in your home, getting a humidifier is the most seamless and hassle-free solution. Depending on the needs of your home, there are different kinds of humidifiers that you can choose from.


A. Warm Mist Humidifiers

Warm mist humidifiers have a heating component that boils water and produces steam. Therefore, this type of humidifier is a great way to add moisture to the air whilst also slightly warming the room.

The counterpart of warm mist humidifiers, which are the cool mist humidifiers, are best for hotter climates.


B. Ultrasonic Humidifiers

Ultrasonic humidifiers make use of a metal diaphragm that vibrates and produces small droplets of water. These small droplets are then launched into the air using a fan. The mist that ultrasonic humidifiers produce is cooler than warm mist humidifiers.


C. 3+ Gallon Humidifiers

Compared to other plug-in humidifiers, these larger humidifiers have more water capacity (3-5 gallons or more.) They are ideal for open concept/large spaces, as they are enabled to cover more square feet of space (i.e. 1000 square feet or more).


D. Furnace Humidifiers

Furnace humidifiers, sometimes called whole-house humidifiers, enable you to add humidity evenly and consistently throughout the entire house. These humidifiers are able to add moisture to air from a heating component before the air is distributed to the house.

There are 3 main types of furnace humidifiers:

  • Flow-through humidifier: Freshwater is allowed to trickle down, add moisture to heated air, and eventually drain away. This is one of the most preferred types because it does not allow water to stagnate and is slightly less energy-consuming than producing steam.

  • Drum/Reservoir humidifier: A reservoir of water is used to moisten a rotating drum. As air flows through, moisture evaporates from the drum. This is considered to be a highly efficient type of furnace humidifier because all of the water placed into the system gets added to the home’s air.

  • Steam humidifier: Steam is created and then injected into the flow of air. This type of humidifier can quickly add moisture to the air in large quantities. This type of humidifier can also allow homeowners to control indoor humidity with more precision.


2. Boil Water or Cook with a Stove Steamer

This is one of the simplest ways to add moisture to the air in your home. Simply boil water using a steamer. Though this may not be effective for larger homes, it may work for smaller studios or apartments.


3. Keep the Bathroom Door Open Whilst Showering

Though this is not intended as a standalone solution, this can add a bit of humidity to your indoor air. During a time when moisture in the air is constantly lacking, why let this opportunity slip by?


4. Get More House Plants

House plants can also help increase the humidity in your home. Though this is not a standalone solution, it can help. You need 2 or more plants per 100 square feet. You can also opt for plant species that are known for humidifying properties, such as:

  • Rubber plant

  • Lady palm

  • Boston fern

  • Peace lily

  • Jade plant

  • Spider plant




Get Optimal Home Comfort with Napoleon

This wraps up our guide on how to add moisture to the air in your home during winter. On top of implementing the solutions here, you can take further steps to improve your indoor air quality, with Napoleon.

A selection of Napoleon’s systems come equipped with UV-C technology, the same technology used in hospitals to sanitize the air. This can kill airborne pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, mold, and so on. Explore more solutions for added home comfort.