There is no better time to curl up in a warm blanket near the fire than on a frigid winter night. When the winter chill sets in, it also means cranking up the heat in the office, car, and home. But a constantly running furnace mixed with the harsh weather from outside can create a dry environment that depletes moisture from our skin and sinuses.
It’s not uncommon to wake up in the dead of winter with a sore throat or a bloody nose. Your mouth and nasal passages need moisture in order to function properly, and when they are too dry it can mean getting sick more frequently. Those who are allergy-prone may also experience severe symptoms from all the dust and pollen that even a clean furnace kicks up.
Avoid cracked skin and irritated nasal passages this winter by preserving the moisture in the air and showing dryness who is really in charge.
- Give your heater vents a source of moisture. Fill pans or containers with water and put them near all the heating vents in your home. Make sure to keep them tucked away so they will not get spilled.
- When showering, go easy on the heat. Even though it feels nice to have a steaming hot shower on a cold morning, such high-heat will dry out your skin. Keep the water temperature at medium and try to keep your showering time short. When you are finished, leave the bathroom door open to let the humidity flow through the rest of the house.
- Install a whole-house humidifier. Humidifiers moisturize the air and are especially useful at night to avoid dry mouth while sleeping. A professional can install a whole-house humidifier directly to your forced-air heating system. Most units today allow the moisture to flow equally throughout the house without causing problems like mold.
- Use a room humidifier. If you do not want a permanent humidifier installed, try a single-room unit. These portable appliances are much cheaper than a whole-house humidifier; however, they need to be cleaned and refilled every week.
- Boil a large open pot of water on the stove. Turn the heat up until the water comes to a boil, then set the temperature on low for several hours. For added benefits, put several drops of your favorite essential oils or perfume scents.
- Rely on clothing to keep you warm. Instead of keeping the heat high and adding to the dehydration in the home, turn the thermostat down a few notches and stay warm with blankets, slippers, and sweaters. If you want to spend time in the colder rooms of the house, like a basement or sun room, opt for a heating blanket instead of a moisture-sucking space heater.
Trying out these simple tips will ensure that your home does not dry up like the Sahara Desert this season. Instead of suffering all winter long from dry sinuses, head colds, and an irritated cough, take care of the root of the problem and put the moisture back into your home. You will be glad you did.
About the Author: Lucy Markham is an avid blogger and, as a recent homeowner, considers herself a bit of an expert on all things home improvement, gardening, and home decoration. In addition, she writes about air conditioning in Montreal and other services at Confort Expert.