How to Reduce the Negative Effects of Static Electricity

Monday, January 21st, 2019

Happy family of three playing on the floor

Winter weather means the holidays, the first snowfall, and many other fun winter activities, but it can also bring along so many different small annoyances throughout the day. You have to get bundled up head to toe just for a quick trip out of the house, your car is freezing cold when you first get into it, and then there’s the static electricity.

Is your hair constantly standing on end? While static electricity in your home can be quite an annoyance, not many homeowners realize that standard HVAC services can eliminate this problem from your home for you. Static electricity is caused by dry air in your home. Here in Illinois, we experience very dry winter conditions. Fortunately, we can help you balance the levels of moisture in your house. If you’d like to counteract the effects of static electricity in your home, try installing a humidifier this winter.

Here’s a more in-depth look at how humidifiers help with static electricity.

What Causes Static Electricity

So what exactly causes static electricity? As we mentioned above, static electricity is caused by dry air. When the air in your home gets dry, it makes static electricity much more common. Static electricity can build up throughout your house any time of the year, but it’s more common to release in dry air. Even if you’re not experiencing chapped lips, dry skin, or dry hair due to the air in your home, it could still be very dry. Static electricity is a sign that the relative humidity in your home is much lower than it should be, even if you can’t feel the effects.

How to Reduce Static Electricity in Your Home

What can you do to reduce the effects of static electricity in your home? You can reduce the amount of static electricity in your house by keeping the indoor humidity levels above 35%. Maintaining water vapor in the dry winter air helps discharge static electricity gradually.

Winter air is already dry, and the gas-fired heater that you likely have in your home just makes it even drier. You can offset the effects of this with a humidifier. We recommend a whole-home humidifier rather than ones that are plug-ins dedicated to one room. A whole-house humidifier works alongside your heating system and boosts the level of moisture in your home and extends this moisture to all your living spaces.

What Else Can a Humidifier Do for You?

As we mentioned above, humidifiers help with static electricity by maintaining the ideal humidity levels in your home. But their benefits extend beyond just reducing static. Here are some of our favorite reasons to install a humidifier:

Protect Wood Furnishing

By introducing moisture into the air, a humidifier can significantly improve the condition of wooden furnishings in your home. Dry air causes static electricity, but it can also lead to the wood drying out, shrinking, and ultimately cracking or warping. A well-maintained humidifier protects your valuable furniture and woodwork from these damaging effects.

Better Health and Well-Being

Dry air is a common culprit behind respiratory issues, colds, and allergies. By restoring moisture in the air, a humidifier helps you avoid catching colds and allows you to recover more quickly if you do fall ill. Proper humidity levels also contribute to alleviating problems associated with dry skin, hair, and brittle nails. This can be particularly beneficial during winter months when indoor heating systems tend to dry out the air, exacerbating these issues.

Improved Sleep Quality

One of the often-overlooked benefits of using a humidifier is its ability to improve sleep quality. Dry air can lead to throat and nasal irritation, which may cause snoring, coughing, or difficulty breathing during sleep. By maintaining optimal humidity levels in your bedroom, a humidifier can help alleviate these issues and provide a more comfortable sleeping environment. This, in turn, can contribute to better overall sleep quality and a more refreshed feeling upon waking up.

Reduced Static Damage to Electronics

Static electricity can be harmful to sensitive electronic devices, potentially causing data loss or even permanent damage. As we’ve discussed earlier, humidifiers help with static electricity by adding moisture to the air and reducing the likelihood of static buildup. By doing so, they can also protect your valuable electronic devices, such as computers, TVs, and smartphones, from the harmful effects of static discharge.

Other Ways to Reduce Static Electricity in Your Home

Now that you know how humidifiers help with static electricity (and many other common problems), let’s discuss other ways you can reduce this annoying static in your home:

  • Anti-Static Spray: Spritzing carpets, curtains, and upholstery with an anti-static spray can be very beneficial. This spray contains a positive and negative charge that neutralizes the static charge, eliminating static shocks.
  • Fabric Softener and Baking Soda: Both of these solutions introduce an anti-static chemical that can help eliminate static cling. Additionally, dryer sheets can remove static electricity from clothes as they tumble in the dryer.
  • Consider Your Footwear: Opting for leather-soled shoes over rubber-soled shoes can help prevent static electricity from forming as you walk around. If you don’t have leather-soled shoes, consider going barefoot to reduce the amount of static built up from contact with the carpet.

How Comfort First Heating and Cooling, Inc. Can Help Reduce Static Electricity

No matter how long you’ve lived in Illinois, you’ve likely asked yourself at one point or another, “Why does my house have so much static electricity?” Now, you can confidently say the problem is dry air. If you’re ready to say goodbye to the little zap of static electricity, reach out to Comfort First Heating and Cooling for the perfect solution — a whole-home humidifier!

We’re experienced in everything HVAC at our company — we’ve been doing it for over 25 years — and can help you equip your home with the perfect humidifier to help with static electricity. Contact us today to schedule a humidifier installation and live comfortably as static disappears and your indoor air quality improves.

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