Besides the cold, winter can wreak havoc inside your home in other ways. One of the most common complaints other than the cold is how dry the air inside your home gets during the colder months of the year. Here we’ll discuss some of the more common symptoms of dry air and how to combat them.
Upper Respiratory Issues – This can include sinus headaches, nosebleeds, and the common cold. Your nasal passages require a moist environment to be able to appropriately trap viruses and other unwanted debris before they can make their way into your system. When your nose and sinuses dry out, you are more susceptible to colds, sinus infections, and nosebleeds. Plus, when your heat turns on, it can stir up allergens like dust and pollen, triggering allergy attacks and irritation to your airways.
Dry Skin – Just like your nasal passages, cold air sucks the moisture out of your skin as well. This can be compounded by hot showers. Hot water can strip your skin of its natural oil layer, drying your skin out even further. You may notice your lips get more chapped in the winter and your skin may have a more aged appearance due to the lack of moisture.
Static Electricity – You’ve probably realized that you create many more static shocks in the winter than during other months. This is because the decreased moisture levels in the air cause static electricity to build up. When that happens, clothes and blankets stick together and you may get shocked every time you touch a metal surface like a doorknob.
Harm to the Wood in your Home – Just like your body, cold air draws moisture out of wood as well. You may notice your wood floors creaking more during the colder months. It can affect door jambs also making some doors hard to open or close.
What can you do?
One of the best things you can do to combat winter dryness is to add moisture back into your home. The best way to do this is with a humidifier. While you can add a portable humidifier to one or multiple rooms of your home, there are more permanent solutions such as a bypass humidifier. These humidifiers use your HVAC airflow to deliver moisture to your home. An example is the Lennox HCWB17. Another whole-home option is a power humidifier like the Lennox HCWP18. A power humidifier does not require an air handler or furnace to distribute moisture. Other than adding moisture into your home, you need to add extra moisture to your body. Increasing your water intake, using a skin moisturizer, and shortening your showers can all help to combat winter dryness.