7 ways to make indoor air more comfortable in winter

Turning down your thermostat during winter can help save on your annual heating costs. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Jay B. of Edina, Minn.)

Turning down your thermostat during winter can help save on your annual heating costs. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Jay B. of Edina, Minn.)

During the winter months, it's common to experience scratchy throats, cracked and dry skin or dried-out nasal passages due to the lack of moisture in the air. Individuals at home may feel cold even with the thermostat set at a high temperature.

 Here are seven ways you can increase the moisture level in your home:

1. Use a small plugin vaporizer

The fastest way to increase the level of water vapor in the air and make it more comfortable is using a portable humidifier. A portable unit emits water vapor in the air for a single room, but many portable humidifiers need daily cleaning and disinfecting to prevent the growth of microbial organisms because of standing water in the unit.

2. Install a whole house humidifier

Have a licensed heating and cooling professional technician install a new humidifier on your heating and cooling unit. This humidifier will deliver the right amount of moisture to the air and help you feel comfortable even at a lower thermostat setting.

3. Place bowls of water near heat sources

Fill buckets or bowls with water and place the containers at strategic locations around the home near the heat sources, like close to registers and radiators to increase the moisture level. Make sure you position the containers in a way that avoids spills and won't be a danger for small children or pets.

4. Allow steam from the shower to leave bathroom

Instead of running the ventilation fan in the bathroom when you shower, allow the moisture to escape from the bathroom and spread throughout the house.

5. Boil water

Add moisture to your home by boiling water on the range. As the water evaporates, it delivers moisture into the air. If you live in a larger home, use fans, with controls set to the lowest settings, or if you have a central air, operate the fan on the heating and cooling unit to help circulate the moisture.

6. Hang damp laundry

Instead of using the clothes dryer, install a line indoors and hang your clothes on the line to dry naturally.

7. Turn down the heat

Remember, the warmer the indoor temperature, the drier the air will be in your home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, every degree you lower the thermostat can help save up to 4 percent on your annual heating costs.

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