Living in Kansas City is special. The people are friendly, the amenities are rich in culture and events and the seasons are wonderful: winter, spring, summer, and fall. People talk about the weather a lot in Kansas City and when they talk about it, the word ‘humidity’ is usually part of the conversation. There is either too much humidity (for your taste) in the summer or not enough humidity in the winter. Fall and spring are humidity favorites as it feels as though the humidity is perfectly balanced with the temperature.

In order to put humidity back into your home in the winter months, there are 3 ways you can accomplish this.

Low-tech Humidity

Leave a bowl of water next to your heating element (radiator or other heating systems). After you wash your clothes and towels, hang them in the house to dry. Although leaving wet items out to dry may not be as effective as other methods, if your home or apartment has smaller square footage this can be a help. Large houseplants that don’t require a lot of humidity to thrive also help put moisture into the air (make sure you water and mist them regularly). Taking a shower and leaving the door open adds humidity to your house. Keeping your thermostat at a comfortable level (and not too hot) also keeps humidity in the air and staying away from microwave cooking and choosing to use your stove preserves humidity in the air.

Portable Humidifier

Portable humidifiers can be used in any room that needs more humidity. Sizes range from desktop models to models that can humidify 1-2 rooms up to several rooms at a time, depending on the power and size you choose. Being able to move a humidifier to a bedroom at night or the family room in the day is an advantage of a portable humidifier. Did you know that you can purchase a whole house humidifier for much less than a quality portable humidifier? This is something to keep in mind if you are serious about humidifying your home. If you are renting an apartment or a home, then this is probably the best option for you.

Installed Home Humidifier

This is by far the best option between a portable or installed model. An installed humidifier works directly with your furnace systems utilizing the blower system on your furnace. Check out your options before you buy. Some have features that you may prefer. The best feature about the installed home humidifier is that it requires little to no maintenance and humidifies your home.

EPA concerns about humidifiers

Excessive moisture from cool mist humidifiers can encourage the growth of biological organisms, such as dust mites, in your house. These microscopic animals can cause allergic reactions to dust and molds. These organisms can also live in the water tanks of humidifiers and are then forced into the air during operation. Proper care and cleaning of portable humidifiers can help this from occurring.  If your water has a high mineral content, this can be exasperated.

The EPA has advised that the very young, the very old and people with lung disease or respiratory allergies may suffer more from these pollutants in the air. Evaporative ad steam humidifiers that come equipped with a tank for standing water have a tendency to produce less airborne pollutants than the ultrasonic or cool-mist humidifier system.

Outdoor winter scenes can be beautiful but the indoor scene, due to lack of humidity,  can look a little bleak: dry skin and hands, static electricity in your hair and cracking furniture, wood floors, wall paint and peeling wallpaper. Investigate your options for installing a home humidifier this winter. At Concrete Raising Systems, we want you to take care of the inside of your home as well as your concrete driveway, sidewalk, and patios!

This post was originally published 12/2013 and has been updated.