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The Effects of a Dry Winter

We all know how dry winter air affects our skin. That’s why those bottles of lotion and tubes
of chap stick reappear on bathroom counters and living room end tables once the winter weather
arrives. But did you know that low humidity can also affect your home and the things in it?

Here’s just a few things dry air in your home can affect:
Wood floors
Wood flooring has come back in style in a big way, and why not? It’s beautiful, easy to keep clean and
better for keeping the allergens in your home at bay than wall-to-wall carpet. But it doesn’t come without
its share of needs. Low humidity can make that beautiful floor warp and crack, causing gaps in your
Wallpaper and paint
You may think peeling paint and/or wallpaper is part and parcel with owning an older home, but it could
just be caused by dry air. Keeping a steady humidity level in your home is certainly easier and less time
consuming that repainting year after year.
Antique furniture
This one falls in line with your wood floors. That beautiful antique furniture in your home is made of wood
too, and dry air can cause those hand-shaped legs on your Queen Anne chair to crack or warp.
Collectibles (books, stamps, wine, etc)
You may be keeping your signed first-edition books and Grandpa’s stamp collection behind UV-protected
glass, but dry air can still wreak havoc on your collectibles. Low humidity can cause yellowing of pages,
and paper to become dry and brittle. It can also cause the corks in your wine collection to shrivel and
allow air into the bottle, ruining that prized Bordeaux you found last year.
Musical instruments
Dry air can be a big problem for the music lovers in their home, causing pianos to be out of tune and
other instruments made out of wood (noticing a theme here?) like violins or guitars to warp or crack.
Static electricity
We know your four-year-old son’s hair sticks up pretty much all the time, but if it’s looking a little extra
poofy, it could be a sign your home is too dry. Getting zapped whenever you reach for a cabinet door?
Worried that a kiss from your spouse could turn a little too electric? You may want to check the humidity
levels in your house.
So, how do you fix this annual winter problem? There are a few solutions, depending on how much of
your own time you want to invest. Boiling water on the stove can help add humidity back into the air, as
can leaving bowls of water in rooms throughout your house, but they’re hardly the most practical way to
deal with the problem. Many home services companies offer whole-home humidity systems that allow
you to set humidity levels in your home (much like setting a temperature with your thermostat), so you
don’t have to worry about the weather anymore. Making this low cost investment will pay dividends for
years to come.

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