You know the feeling: cold, dry air that sucks the moisture from your skin, tightening your face and splitting your hands while sending a sharp pain down your scratched throat with every breath. Few people would deny the comfort that humidifiers bring to homes during the winter months.
But did you know that on select days a free, energy efficient humidifier already exists in your home?
When we came to Korea, we were disappointed to learn that short of waiting 3-4 hours for a clothes dryer to properly dry our garments (our clothes still came out damp in places after that time) washed clothes could only be completely dried by hanging them up to dry indoors. This turned out not to be a nuisance (we quickly learned to plan laundry in advance to ensure proper drying time), but a blessing as the damp, hanging clothes provided a humidifier at night, protecting us from sore throats and cracked skin on laundry days.
Interested in putting your humidifier on the back burner a few times a month? Hang dry your damp clothes (a few garments per room) in rooms that could use a little extra moisture in the air, particularly in rooms where you sleep or spend much of your day. Not only will this practice save on the electricity used to run your humidifier, but it will also save on the electricity needed to run your clothes dryer – thus saving money and freeing you up to run the heat that you need to keep warm during the cold months.
Tip: Like the idea of air drying your clothes, but can’t stand the feel of the rough, crinkly texture of your clothes afterwards? Add a few tablespoons of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to naturally soften your clothes, or just pour it into the softener compartment. As an added bonus, the vinegar will kill illness-causing bacteria on your clothing.