Senior Home Care Blog - Western Cook & Eastern DuPage Counties

Fight the Effects of Dry Winter Air

By Michelle Pantoja, CNA, Senior Care Manager

If you get a shock every time you touch a metal doorknob or find socks stuck to the insides of your sheets, chances are your house is suffering from a lack of humidity caused by dry winter air.

The science behind the problem is simple – cold air just can’t hold as much moisture as warm air, which means you and your house are getting less hydration. And it’s more than just a nuisance. Dry winter air can leave your eyes itchy, your skin parched and can even make you sick. Wood furniture also can suffer from a lack of moisture.

Rather than waiting out winter with a stuffy head and static cling, try some of these simple ways to add extra humidity to your home and extra moisture to your body.

Invest in a Humidifier

Humidifiers are machines that vaporize water into the air, increasing a home’s humidity.

Whole-house models use a home’s ventilation system to add moisture each time the furnace kicks in. Smaller models can humidify a smaller area, such as a bedroom.

Dry Clothes the Old-Fashioned Way

Instead of using the dryer, hang wet clothes on drying racks. As water in the clothing evaporates, it will enter the air, adding moisture to your home. It also will save a few pennies on your gas or electric bill!

Offer Your House a Drink

Bowls of water placed throughout the house allow moisture to evaporate in the air. Water placed near heating vents or on radiators will evaporate more quickly, but any vessel, including a sink or bathtub, will do the trick.


Hydrate your dry winter skin by applying a heavy cream or body butter just after showering or bathing. Get dressed immediately. The clothing helps to “hold in” the moisture.

Find more ways to keep skin healthy in winter in our blog post, 8 Tips to Fight Dry Winter Skin.

A Nose for Moisture

Dry nasal passages cause stuffiness, nose bleeds and even increase your chances of becoming ill. Keep them moist and working right by using a nasal gel or hypoallergenic lotion inside the nostrils.

A neti pot or nasal rinse will help, too.

Drink Up

Whether it’s a dry nose, a scratchy throat or cracking skin, all of these symptoms of dry air can be helped with a simple glass of water. Stay hydrated throughout winter by drinking ample amounts of water, hot herbal tea and other healthy drinks. Just avoid caffeine and alcohol, which make dehydration worse. And watch for sugary drinks, which can cause weight gain and other problems.