Maintaining household humidity levels with a wood stove or fireplace in your home can be tricky. You need to have a certain amount of moisture in your home in order for you to be healthy and feel comfortable. If you have too little or too much moisture in the air, it can cause problems. Let's discuss the problems associated with too little moisture in the air and what you can do to mend the situation.
Relative humidity in your home should be kept in the 30-60% range for optimum comfort. In the winter months, you hear people start to complain about feeling dry and blame their heating system, whether it is a conventional heating system or a wood stove. The real culprit is actually air leaks in older homes. Wood stoves draw air from within your home and then that air must be replaced with fresh air from outdoors. Older homes are often drafty, so they take in too much cold winter air which is dry and that is why you find yourself needing to supplement the humidity in your home.
When the humidity level in your home falls to 30% or below, you will start to notice discomfort. Your nose will dry out and feel stuffy, skin dries and cracks, and your eyes feel dry…especially if you wear contacts. When humidity levels drop to 20% or less, static electricity increases. At extremely low humidity levels, wood floors and furniture will shrink and crack, and allergies and asthma flare up. Another downside to low humidity levels is that the air will feel cooler. This makes you feel colder, so you try to raise the temperature in your home to feel more comfortable, increasing your heating costs.
To help keep the humidity in your home level, here are few ways that you can add or help retain humidity.
- Track humidity levels in your home with a hygrometer. These can be found in most department or hardware stores. It is important to watch the humidity levels in your home. It is easier to maintain comfortable humidity levels then to let them get too low and try to bring the humidity back up.
- You could bring in small amounts of green fire wood and stack it a safe distance from your wood stove. Green firewood has high moisture content and will slowly release it into the air in your home. After about a week or so, that wood should be dry enough to burn and then you could replace it with more green wood.
- If your home is not air tight, you will have less struggle keeping up humidity levels if you weatherize your home. You can seal cracks in foundations with expanding foam caulk. Caulk around windows and doors. You can also roll towels or use a draft guard on the floor of exterior doors. Remember in the winter, fresh air is coming in very dry.
- Add a kettle or steamer to your wood stove. The steam from it will add moisture back into the air just as a humidifier would do. A steamer is a nice alternative to a humidifier, if you are trying to keep energy cost down, because they work off the heat from your stove rather than electricity.
Northline Express offers a variety of kettles and steamers that can be used with your wood stove. They are available in a variety of sizes, so you can choose one that will not only add humidity to your home, but also add character to your hearth area.
Northline Express is here to answer all your questions. Feel free to give us a toll-free call at 1-877-734-2458 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .