Maintaining and understanding humidity levels in the home will help keep you healthy and happier in the winter months here in Nebraska and the Midwest. The colder the air, the less ability it has to hold moisture and less moisture means lower humidity and uncomfortable conditions in the home.
Low humidity can cause dry and cracked skin, dry noses and throats. It can cause materials in the home like wood to shrink and warp. Maintaining proper humidity in the home is important; levels should be between 30 to 50 percent. If walking across the living room carpet leaves you statically charged then levels in the home are too low. If condensation forms on the windows then your levels are too high.
A properly insulated home will help control the levels in the home. Homes that are not insulated properly will have a hard time keeping humidity levels constant and comfortable due to the warm air leaving the home which creates a suction drawing in the cold exterior air through drafty windows, doors and other openings in the exterior envelope of the home.
In some cases a whole house humidifier is needed and other cases just simply boiling some water on the stove will produce enough extra humidity in the air to help control things in the home. Unfortunately there is no one answer to cover every situation in the home and will be a trial and error until you find the perfect level of humidity in the home for you and your family.