In our second article on indoor humidity, we covered high home humidity and what to do about it. This article is our third and final in the series, digging into low home humidity. If your home has low humidity levels, you may find yourself with dry and itchy skin, or experiencing small electric shocks between you and family members. Humidity levels that are too low can cause damage to your furniture, your home, and your health.

Signs of low humidity

For those of us who live in colder climates like Chicagoland, dry air is something you are definitely familiar with. On the other hand, if you are in a warmer climate, you might not know the signs of low humidity, or how it can pose threats to your family and your home. Common signs of low home humidity are:

  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Static electricity
  • Susceptibility to illnesses (viruses and germs thrive more easily, and your defenses are compromised in overly-dry air)
  • damage to wood furniture, musical instruments, and art as air pulls moisture from the porous material

Further, dramatic fluctuations in humidity levels can intensify the effects of low and high humidity. Our first humidity article is this series covered what humidity level is recommended, how to test in-home humidity, and tips to maintain ideal levels.

Low humidity occurs most often when the temperature outside starts to drop. Colder air means that the air cannot hold as much moisture, which results in that dry feeling you get. Forced heat, combined with the low moisture, can create uncomfortable living spaces. However, low humidity doesn’t just happen in colder temperatures. In fact, some air conditioning units have dehumidifiers built into the system. These can cause low humidity if the air conditioner is running too much, or the settings are not correct.

How to increase humidity in your home

To add humidity to rooms in your home is to help:

  • Keep your sinuses clear, which helps you breathe
  • Reduce risk of infection
  • Alleviate dry skin
  • Prevent those with asthma and allergies from further discomfort
  • Keep nasal passages damp to help heal quicker
  • Relieve snoring and improves sleep

The most effective solution to add humidity to a room is to purchase a room humidifier. Any portable humidifier will provide your home with more comfort and is cost effective. Additionally, a humidifier will prevent your room’s furniture from getting damaged and stop static electricity from occurring. Believe it or not, it will also hinder bacteria growth…the kind of viruses and bacteria that like dry air.

Another way to increase your home humidity levels is to run the shower for a bit to allow steam to moisten the air. You can also boil water, or place several room-temperature bowls of water around your home. It will slowly evaporate, adding more moisture to the air. Additionally, some houseplants add moisture to the air.