When the air in your home is being heated during the cold winter months, it can get pretty dry and uncomfortable. Humidifiers are great for keeping the air in your home healthy, but there are other things you can do to help add humidity when the air's drying out your skin, furniture, and woodwork.
Set up a drying rack in your bedroom and lay out damp clothing to dry overnight. You'll save energy by not running the dryer, and add more moisture to the air, all while adding the fresh scent of laundry to your room. This works in the bathroom too!
In the same way that you might decorate with vases of flowers or bowls of fruit, try decorating with bowls of water. Place a few around your house and the water will evaporate into the dry air. One step further, if you have radiant steam heat: place a water bowl on top of radiators to heat the water and aid in evaporation.
If you ever take baths, leave the water in the tub after you've finished bathing. Letting it sit and cool completely allows more moisture to evaporate into the air than when you're showering. Note: We don't recommend leaving bath water unattended if you have small children.
Cook on the stovetop. Not only is this a cozy practice during cold winter weather, it also releases moisture into your home's air. If you're cooking something that can be done either on the stovetop or in the oven, opt for the stovetop when the air is dry. The oven dries the air out even more, but the stovetop adds much-needed moisture.
Finally, there are a few products out there that simulate humidifiers by producing steam but aren't electric. A few examples:
- Above, is a Ceramic Humidifier made by Kontrol for around $10 that you fill with water and hang on a radiator.
- Snow Joe Old-Fashioned Radiator Humidifier, $8.74 on Amazon.
- Lattice Stovetop Steamer, $79 at LLBean
- Cast Iron Tea Kettle, $39.95 at Vermont Country Store
Re-edited from an original post by Regina Yunghans published on 2.1.10-NT