Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Battling Dry Indoor Air

Those of us with forced air furnaces are confronted every winter with dry air. Every time the furnace runs, it sucks out any moisture in the air. Dry air is responsible for many ailments from dry skin, aggravated allergies, and bloody noses to colds and the flu. Here are a few ways to naturally bring moisture into your home this winter.

First, keep the thermostat down. The fewer times the furnace runs, the more moisture remains in the house. We wear long johns, sweatshirts, and fleeces in the house. You’ll really see a difference in your energy bills; in addition to losing less moisture.

Indoor plants produce moisture by transpiration. The moisture from the plant evaporates from the leaves and stems and into the air. Note: plants must be kept well-watered. Always choose plants that can tolerate dry conditions, unless you want to mist every day; which does help to add humidity. Flowers in a vase on a sunny windowsill will naturally evaporate moisture into the air.

In the bath, shower with the door open to release all the steam into the rest of the house. If you bathe, let the water sit for a while to evaporate into the air before you drain the tub.

The stovetop is a great place to create humidity. Everything you cook will give off moisture. Use a kettle instead of microwaving your water for tea (it will taste better too!) Simply boil water, then reduce to a simmer. Add a few drops of tea tree oil, it has germ killing properties. Leave the dishwasher open to air dry the dishes. This saves energy and releases all that moisture into the air.

It’s an old- fashioned trick, but placing containers of water on top of heat registers is one of the best ways to add humidity to your air. It can be hard with pets and kids around, but it’s very effective.

Any more ideas for raising the humidity in our homes?