It's that time of year when temperatures and wind chills are brutal outside. But did you know that during the coldest weather of the season, the air in your house is its driest? It all has to do with the process of heating up the air. If the temperature is 15 degrees outside with a relative humidity of 75%, once you heat that air to 70 degrees, the humidity drops to 15% on average.
But a five-minute trick can tell you if you need to add humidity to the air, or not. Just put a glass of ice-water on a table and walk away. If, after five minutes, there is no moisture on your hand if you rub the outside of the glass, you need to add moisture to the air.
But how do you do that? There are a few simple ways to do that. If you have a green thumb, having tropical plants adds moisture. Simple actions in the kitchen also add moisture like boiling water for pasta! Taking a long bath versus a quick shower will add moisture to the air. Just be careful not to soak too long! Best way to offset dry air in your home: buy a simple humidifier that you can plug into the wall, adding water to it every few days.
If you have a hygrometer (which measures humidity), the optimum indoor humidity for Winter is between 20-40%.
Adding moisture to the air has numerous health effects. You will notice cracked knuckles and that cold-weather itchy scalp go away...possibly completely.
-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen