Tips & Resources
7 Ways to Increase Your Home's Humidity in the Winter
Talk of wintertime inspires thoughts of holidays, snuggling, snow angels, and warm socks in some people; cold weather and slippery sidewalks in others. One thing that everyone in Colorado can appreciate, though, is that the natural humidity level drops in winter, and heated air indoors is even drier.
If this is your first winter as a Denver Metro Area homeowner, you may not realize that maintaining a proper humidity level inside your home pays numerous dividends for your family’s comfort, health, and safety. Fortunately, there are several ways to increase the humidity levels inside your home.
What humidity level is normal for a home in Colorado?
Colorado is dry because of the high altitude and lack of nearby major water sources such as oceans. The average relative humidity in Denver is just 30-42% and indoor heated air levels can dip significantly lower. Most people consider a humidity level in the range of 40-60% to be the most comfortable.
What are the side effects of having such dry air?
Low humidity can irritate throats and nasal passages, lead to itchy eyes, and cause dry skin. Conversely, high humidity levels make a home feel stuffy and lead to condensation buildup on walls and other surfaces, triggering mold and bacteria.
In addition to these general effects, there are several specific benefits to maintaining ideal humidity levels in your home:
- Prevent common illnesses by slowing the transmission of cold and flu viruses, among others
- Improve dust control and decrease the incidence of airborne allergens and pollutants
- Keep skin and eyes hydrated to avoid itchiness and irritation
- Prolong furniture life by keeping wood furniture, pianos, and hardware floors from warping
- Reduce electrostatic shock
Do you have any tips on surviving Colorado’s dry winters?
We sure do. Here are 7 ways to raise the humidity levels in your home that you may not have thought about. Incorporate these into your routines to stay comfortable this winter in your Denver Metro Area home.
1. Keep some houseplants
Houseplants release vapor and water evaporation from their leaves and soil. Choose some fun tropical plants with large leaves, like Chinese evergreens, philodendrons, and palms.
2. Boil water or cook at home
Boil water or cook on your stovetop, instead of using your microwave or oven, to release steam into the air. Where possible, cook without lids to increase the amount of moisture being released.
3. Put out a few pans or vases of scented water
Leave out an open container of water, such as a pan or vase, to release moisture into the air through evaporation. Station on or near a radiator or heating vent to increase evaporation. Include essential oils, vanilla extract, or even citrus peels in the water to add a pleasant scent.
4. Air-dry some laundry
When laundering sweaters and similar clothing, lay them out flat or hang them up and let them air dry. In addition to not having the dryer shrink your favorite sweater down to toddler-size, you’ll be adding more moisture to your indoor environment.
5. Open the bathroom door
Rather than using the vent fan, open the bathroom door to let the steam from showers and baths move into other parts of the house. Consider leaving the bathwater in the tub until it has cooled to get every bit of evaporation possible.
6. Stop the heat loss
Weather-strip doors or windows that don’t fit perfectly (presuming there’s no budget to replace them) to mitigate heat and humidity loss.
7. Install a whole-house humidifier
All of the above will help increase the moisture levels inside your home, but take it a step further and install a whole-house humidifier into your central heating and air system. Whole-house humidifiers regulate your indoor air year-round. They can be adjusted to increase or decrease humidity in response to seasonal outdoor fluctuations and ensure you stay warm, comfortable, and nicely hydrated.
Count on Colorado Discount Heating & Cooling
Located in Englewood, Colorado, Discount Heating & Cooling serves the entire Denver Metro Area. We’re here to help with professional whole-house humidifier installation and expert advice on maintaining a comfortable indoor home climate year-round.
Contact us today to consult with our team and get customized HVAC solutions from our trained and experienced professionals.