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11 Ways to Fight (and Defeat) Dry Indoor Air

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Did you know that in the winter, the air in your home can be drier than the Sahara Desert?

Dry indoor air can have humidity levels lower than 20% – the Sahara is in the same range.

Dry Indoor Air Causes A Lot of Problems

When the air in your home is that dry, you’ll experience the following issues:

Itchy Skin and Brittle Hair

Do you spend most of winter scratching your arms and watching your hair dry out and split (despite your best conditioning efforts)?

This is one of the most common problems caused by dry indoor air. You lose a lot of the moisture you naturally have because the air’s water content is so low – it’ll take water anywhere it can find it.

Irritated Eyes, Nose, and Throat

Our nose and throat have mucus membranes that protect us from viruses and bacteria that could make us sick.

When you have low humidity in your home, your nose and throat dry out and that mucus membrane isn’t able to do its thing. That’s why you will sometimes actually feel sick when the air is dry.

This can be even worse for people who suffer from allergies or asthma because your nose throat, and eyes become so irritated.

Damage to Your Home

Yes, it’s true! Any wood in your home is susceptible to damage when the air is dry, because wood is supposed to have a minimum moisture level.

When that happens you’ll notice your wood floors and furnishings will become noisier and you may even see gaps or cracks form.

This kind of damage can be costly and inconvenient. In some cases (like with a treasured family chair), you may not even be able to find replacement pieces.

Too Much Static Electricity

Do you seem to have an electrifying effect on everything you touch? From doorknobs to blankets to the cat, you and the objects in your home become charged with static electricity. Not only is this annoying, but it can be quite painful!

Ways to Kick Dry Indoor Air to the Curb

It’s time to say buh-bye to dry indoor air – and here’s how you can do it.

1. Add a Whole-Home Humidifier to Your Furnace

The most surefire way to solve your winter air woes is to get a whole-home furnace humidifier. These humidifiers attach directly to your furnace, and will introduce the right level of humidity into your home so you stay happy, healthy, and itch-free.

2. Eliminate Drafts

Cold air has a low humidity level. When it seeps into your home, you turn up the furnace to compensate – but that unfortunately just makes the problem worse. You may be warm, but the air is bone dry.

We recommend checking your windows, doors, and any other instances of weatherstripping for potential drafts. By eliminating them, you’ll eliminate the cold air.

3. Turn Down the Temperature On Your Thermostat

You’re about to make every dad ever so happy.


The more you use your furnace, the drier the air in your home will become. Furnaces are essential in the winter, so it’s important to find a temperature that balances heat and humidity. Your humidifier will also help with that important job!

Turning down your thermostat can also save you money on your monthly bills. Check out some of our other winter savings tips here >

4. Develop Your Green Thumb

Plants naturally produce moisture through a process called ‘transpiration’. Water from the soil is carried up through the roots to the underside of the leaves, where it gets released as vapour.

By growing your plant family, you’ll also be increasing the amount of water introduced to your air.

5. Leave Water in the Bathtub

When you have a nice, relaxing bath, don’t drain the tub right away. Let the water stand for a little while. Some of the water will evaporate and help add moisture to your air.

Please note: We don’t recommend you do this if you have small children or curious pets.

6. In Fact, Use Water Everywhere

You can use all kinds of vessels filled with water to help with dry indoor air. Here are just a few examples:

  • Boil water on your stove.
  • Warm water in your Crock Pot with the lid off.
  • Leave a bowl of water on a corner of your vent – again, not recommended for homes with kids or pets!
  • Leave vases or cups of water in sunlight.

Any way you can introduce a little more water will help.

7. Use Your Cooktop for More Meals

Using your oven actually can dry out your air more. Not great news for yummy winter casseroles!

However, we highly encourage you to cook on your stove top! Cooking food on your burners will release both really good smells and more moisture.

8. Hang Your Wet Clothes on a Drying Rack

Instead of using your clothes dryer, hang your clothes on a drying rack. The air will love all that extra water!

9. Shower with the Door Open

Every time you shower, leave the door open so that the steam can reach other parts of the house. Just make sure to also keep the fan on low so you don’t get mildew!

Tip: Hot showers strip away more of your skin’s natural oils which provide a protective barrier. Although it’s especially hard to resist in the winter, try to lower the temperature of your shower – your skin will thank you!

10. Drink More Water

This one is pretty self-explanatory. In order to keep yourself hydrated in dry conditions, you’re going to have to increase your water intake.

If you’re someone who already doesn’t love the task of drinking 8 glasses a day, a large water bottle with ounce markings can help you keep track of what you’ve already had and motivate you to keep going!

11. Keep Up a Regular Moisturizing Routine

Moisturizing will definitely help your skin, especially when you keep a regular schedule. There are plenty of moisturizers that are specifically made for dry skin and wintry conditions – just take a peek at your local pharmacy or beauty store.

Ottawa Home Services is Here to Humidify

Dry indoor air can make winter in your home almost unbearable – and that’s the last thing we want!

We carry several models of humidifiers that will defeat dry air and give you the control you need over your home environment.

Learn More About Our Humidifiers

Do you spend most of the winter itching, coughing, and feeling under the weather? There’s a good chance dry indoor air is the culprit. We have some tips to help you kick dry air to the curb, and actually enjoy your home environment.
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