Maintaining household humidity levels in your home with a wood stove 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. I am Melissa from NorthlineExpress and today I will talk about the problems associated with too little moisture in the air and what you can do to help.
The Importance of Monitoring Humidity Levels
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 humidity level in your home fall to 30% or below you will start to notice discomfort. You 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 temperatures in your home so you feel more comfortable, increasing you are heating costs.
To help keep the humidity levels in your home 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 store or hardware stores. It is important to watch the humidity levels in your home because it is easier to maintain comfortable humidity levels then to let them get too low and try to bring the humidity back up.
Add a kettle or steamer to your wood stove. The steam from it will add moisture back into the air just as a humidifier will 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.
You could also 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 that fresh air coming in is very dry.
We offer a large variety of kettles and steamers that you can use with your wood stove. They are available in a variety of sizes as well so you can choose one that will not only add humidity to your home but also add character to your hearth area. I hope that you have found this information helpful. If you have questions about kettles or steamers you can call us at 1-866-667-8454. At NorthlineExpress, home of the “Buy and Try” satisfaction guarantee, we are always happy to help.