Thursday, January 5, 2017

Easy Ways To Add Moisture To Your Home This Winter

Is your house too dry in the winter? It is easy to tell, try going through the day without a static electric shock! You can always purchase a humidifier to solve the problem, but that costs money and electricity. 

What is my solution? I offer three inexpensive ways to add moisture to your home! 

#1. Set out bowls of water throughout the house. This is the easiest one to do! Once you set them up, all you need to do is fill them once a week or so. I fill mine when I am watering my plants. Note of caution, don't put the bowls of water on the floor, someone will kick them over. When I lived in a different state, the heat vents in our home were in the floor. I would put the bowls of water next to the heat vents. My family was always knocking them over. On top of a cabinet or bookcase where they will not be disturbed works better.

#2. Skip the dishwasher drying cycle and open the door to let the dishes air dry. I typically don't use the dishwasher, instead I opt to wash them by hand. However, if the dishes pile up and overwhelm (this usually happens at holiday time), I will grudgingly use the dishwasher. All you need to do is turn off the drying cycle. When the dishwasher stops, open the door. Quite a bit of steam and moisture will be released into the house! It will warm the air and the dishes dry quite quickly!

#3. Don't use the clothes dryer! Drying your clothes on a clothes rack in the winter is an easy way to add moisture to your home! In addition, there are quite a few other benefits of giving your dryer some time off:
  • You will save money. In my opinion, this is the biggest benefit in forgoing the dryer. There is a significant difference in my electric bill between the months I use the dryer and the months I don't. (Your mileage may vary if you have a gas dryer.)
  • Your clothes will last longer. All that lint your dryer produces, isn't good for your clothes. What is lint? It is the breakdown of the clothing fibers. While you can do some creative things with the lint your dryer produces, your clothes will be better off if they don't produce it in the first place.
  • It will help reduce allergens. If you have allergy problems, you can greatly reduce your exposure to pollen by drying your clothes indoors. While I am not opposed to drying clothes outdoors on a clothes line, many neighborhood associations forbid it (including mine). In addition, any sensitivities to the chemicals in dryer sheets can be eliminated when you air dry your laundry.
If you have a basement, you have a ready made area to hang a clothes line. However, not everybody does. I know someone who hangs her clothes on the back of her kitchen chairs. She lives in the southwest and the clothes dry very quickly there. Here in the southeast, our clothes don't dry that quickly, so I use another solution. I use drying racks. I set them up at night so they are not in the way. By morning, the clothes are dry. 

I usually put them in the family room. With a hot fire going in the fireplace, they can even dry in just a few hours! If you are interested, there are many places you can get drying racks. Google it and you should find lots of sources.

Here is a picture of my racks in use a few days before Christmas.

OK, I will admit skipping the dryer does take some planning. If you need a certain piece of clothing right away, this idea may not work. However, I can state it is easy to do, and it will make your house warmer and add a significant amount of moisture to the air. In my opinion, when compared to using the dryer, the additional time it takes to hang the clothes on the racks is no more than a few minutes.

Almost everyone finds static electricity and very dry air in their home annoying during the winter season. (And we all know dry air makes your skin feel dry too!) These tips will help you to add moisture to the air without a lot of time and effort. This will raise the humidity and make the environment in your house feel warmer and more comfortable without turning up the thermostat. You won't get as many static shocks when you walk across the rugs or pet the dog either!

And best of all, these tips are a frugal answer to a common problem!

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