How To Put A Little Humidity Back In Your House
I've always said, I'll take winter over summer any day of the year. I don't care much for the heat. The last few years haven't been all bad, only a few weeks of real hot temps, otherwise pretty moderate. The winter I prefer is the typical Southwest Oklahoma cold season where temps are in the 50's and 60's during the day, 30's and 40's at night. You know, fire pit weather. When we get these extended periods of time with such low temperatures as we've had the last few weeks, the humidity drops so low in my house, my whole body starts to itch from the dry skin, and the atmosphere gets just a little crunchy and uncomfortable. Wood furniture shrinks, things start to creak, it's too dry this time of year. I know, the simple answer is "Get a humidifier" but that's amateur hour bro. Who spends money on something you can DIY? If you didn't already know it, buying stuff is for suckers, and the answer is so stupid simple, it's been done since the depression.
My 90 year old grandma lives in the house she grew up in. There's three bedrooms, a kitchen, and a living room. Gas appliances, no central heat and air. In fact, the air conditioner she does have is relatively new, within the last decade or so. Crazy to think someone can live in SWOK without air conditioning, but she's done it most of her life. Heating for the entire house is the same old furnace that's always been there. It's one of those super old school cast iron type manifold furnaces that sits between the joists in the living room floor. That single little 24"x36" flame thrower provides heat to the entire house. You know how she puts the humidity back into the house during the cold months? She sets a metal pitcher of water on that furnace. As it heats up, it steams and makes life more comfortable without costing her a single additional dime.
What about homes without an old school in-floor furnace burner? Well, there are work arounds in the modern home. Instead of going out and buying a humidifier that will probably crap out on you within a season, put a big pot of water on the stove and let it steam. Keep in mind, you're not wanting to boil the water or even bring it up to a simmer. You just want it in that sweet spot just hot enough to steam.
Obviously, if you have a gas stove, this is optimal. Given that we've been asked to cut way back on electricity in the last week, and the fact that 99% of rental properties have electric stoves, it's not the most energy efficient. Keeping water warm enough to steam isn't the same as cranking that stove up to eleven, but still, I get it. So what then? Bust out the crock pot.
A crock pot is the best electric tool in every kitchen for humidifying the air in the home. You know why? Because they're energy efficient, you probably have one, and here's the kicker... you can put it anywhere in the home. Keep in mind, kids and pets are stupid, so you'd want to place it where they can't get to it for obvious reasons. I feel that needs to be stated since someone is suing Gorilla Glue after putting it in her hair because the warning label didn't specifically say "Not for use in/on hair." Even on the lowest crock setting, it'll steam up some humidity for you. When I set mine out, the humidity in my house was a parched 21%. After steaming off one "pot" of water over six hours, it rose to a more comfortable 55%.
Life is far too short to be uncomfortable in your own home. If you don't have a crock pot and figure you might as well buy a humidifier since you have to buy something anyway, buy the crock pot. It can humidify your home and cook epic chili and queso. You'll get far more use out of the crock pot, and because of that, you won't be a sucker for buying it.