condensation on window

How Do Space Heaters Affect Humidity?

Using a space heater in the winter can be a great way to warm up a chilly room or keep an office comfortable. While they’re often helpful, space heaters can greatly affect the humidity of a room. Unfortunately, space heaters produce a lot of dry air, which can have a serious effect on your health and well-being.

When are Space Heaters Most Appropriate?

Space heaters are most appropriate in rooms or office spaces that get chilly during the colder winter months. Space heaters can be used in lieu of central heating systems to heat individual areas. They can also be used in addition to central heating to cut energy costs by selectively heating rooms.

How Do Space Heaters Affect the Humidity Levels in the Home or Office?

Space heaters can be great solutions, but even energy efficient space heaters have a noticeable effect on humidity. When space heaters warm air, the capacity of that air to hold moisture increases. However, since no new moisture is added, the relative humidity, the amount of water in the air compared to how much that air can hold, decreases. That makes the air feel even drier, especially when using forced air heaters.

You might notice that you feel stuffy all the time, your skin can become dry, and your hair might become frizzy. This decrease in relative humidity can also have detrimental effects on your pets, furniture, and even musical instruments.

How to Combat Dry Air

The best way to combat the dry air that is being caused by a space heater is with a humidifier. Air that’s overly dry can cause detrimental effects on your furniture among other issues.

Humidifiers release moisture into the air so that you and your family can breathe easier. When operated consistently, they can drastically improve dry environments from ceramic space heaters and other types of space heaters.

Choosing and Maintaining the Right Humidifier

Humidifiers come in many different sizes, types and styles. Some are cold mist humidifiers, and others release warm vapor. All expel water into the air to combat dryness.

Large humidifiers are ideal for houses or garages, while smaller ones are great for bedrooms and offices. To increase efficiency, use the humidifier in the same room as the space heater.

Remember to keep the humidifier clean to give a long life. You can do this by changing the water and using a vinegar rinse to get rid of any buildup or germs inside of the appliance. Forgetting to clean a humidifier can result in mold or other allergens.

Be sure to follow any instructions that accompany the humidifier to ensure it’s being cleaned properly.

For recommendations on humidifiers, check out our guide: The 4 Best Humidifiers.

Control Humidity at Home or Work

During the winter, space heaters and humidifiers should go hand in hand.

Combatting dry air from a space heater with a humidifier can ease scratchy throats, dry nasal passages, and scaly skin during the winter months. Be sure to do your research before purchasing either. Using both appliances can drastically improve your health and well-being, especially during colder months.

Still have questions? Ask an HVAC expert directly via chat or phone.

Published on 2018-10-05 by Ben Travis

Last updated on 2021-08-30

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