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Humidify for comfort

Higher in-home humidity levels can make you feel warmer during the heating season, as well as ease cold symptoms, like coughing and congestion. But turn up your humidistat too high and you could be facing some pesky bacteria and mold issues. Before you make any humidity adjustments, check out these helpful tips:

  • Raise your humidity, lower the thermostat. Dry air causes moisture to evaporate from your skin, leaving you feeling cold. But adequate humidity can help you feel warmer at lower temperatures. For each degree your house’s temperature is lowered, you’ll save about 2 percent on your heating bill. 

  • Pay attention to your body’s symptoms. Low humidity levels can cause dry nasal passages and throat, bloody noses, cracked lips, and itchy eyes. Too much humidity can lead to respiratory, allergy, and asthma problems. Check with your doctor before using a humidifier, and, especially if you have allergies or asthma, keep your humidifier clean.

  • Check your windows. If condensation appears on an insulated window, your humidity may be too high. Failure to lower a too-high humidity level could lead to an increase of dust mites, bacteria development, and mold growth, all of which can cause respiratory and allergy problems.

  • Address moisture sources head-on. If your humidity levels are below normal, opt for a vaporizer or humidifier. No-energy solutions include showering with the bathroom door open; watering your plants regularly, keeping a dish under each pot to hold runoff; and hanging wet laundry over your shower curtain rod instead of using the dryer. If too much humidity is the problem, make sure your kitchen, bathroom, and heat-producing devices, such as clothes dryers, are properly vented. For more moisture control tips, visit epa.gov.

 Copyright 3cp 2012