Stop Annoying Winter Problems With a Humidifier

It has finally turned to winter and I'm being reminded of the many problems I have around the house every winter. I have dry itchy skin, I often get nose bleeds while I sleep, everyone keeps shocking me, and my house feels cold. The funny thing about all of these problems is that they have a simple solution, a humidifier. I always seem to forget this each year.

If you are afflicted with any of these problems, the first thing you should do is get a hygrometer. Hygrometers are available in both digital and analog versions. You will need one to check the relative humidity in your house. The ideal relative humidity is between 30% and 50%. If you are suffering from these issues and your humidity isn't below 30% you may want to go see a doctor.

Now that you have verified that you have low humidity, you will want to choose a humidifier to raise the relative humidity in your house. Humidifiers come in several varieties, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
  • Evaporative (cool mist) - These humidifiers have a reservoir of water and use a wick to draw the water near a fan where the water evaporates. These are good because they are self-regulating but they can spread bacteria if the water is contaminated and the fan can be loud. Look for a unit with Microban technology to reduce the risk of mold and bacteria growth.
  • Steam (warm mist) - These have a reservoir and a heating element that boils the water. They are very cheap and can be used with a medicated inhalant but they have a high energy cost, can cause steam burns, and hard water deposits will dramatically reduce their life. Use distilled water if you live in a hard water area.
  • Other types humidifiers include impeller humidifiers, ultrasonic humidifiers, and forced air humidifiers.
Low humidity in your house can also cause warped wood furniture and floors, paint peeling and cracks, sinus problems, chapped lips and skin, and some bacteria and viruses spread better in dry air. The usual cause of low humidity in the winter is the heating of your house. You will notice the change once you start using a humidifier. The best thing about having the correct humidity is that your house will feel warmer even at a lower temperature, so this can save you money on your heating bill too.
Hints on Chester's Clean House are provided "as is" and Chester's Clean House shall have no liability for any damages (whether direct, indirect, consequential or otherwise) arising from the use, attempted use or application of any of the hints described in this blog.

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