Dry air can cause any number of problems, from parched nasal membranes, cracked lips and dry, itchy skin. In fact, a study published in the February 2010 issue of "PLoS Biology" noted a connection between a drop in absolute humidity, or the amount of vapor in the air, to seasonal flu outbreaks. Dry air is more common in the winter, when home heating systems remove extra moisture from the air. Using a humidifier in a room will increase the moisture content of the air. If you don't have the space for a humidifier, or don't want to increase your electric bill by using it, there are some ways to naturally humidify the air in a room.
Add houseplants to your room. A houseplant can add moisture to the air by a process called transpiration, which is the evaporation of water from plant leaves. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 10 percent of the moisture in the atmosphere is released by plants. While all plants can help increase indoor humidity, the type of plant seems to matter. Succulents and cacti have lower rates of transpiration, since they are designed to conserve water, for example. A report published in the December 2016 issue of "HortTechnology" specifically studied jade and spider plants, and determined they both were capable of improving indoor air humidity.
After a household member is finished taking a bath, leave the water in the tub for awhile and let it cool, instead of immediately draining. This allows time for some of this water to evaporate into the air. After showering, open the bathroom door to allow the steam to naturally humidify nearby rooms.
Hang your washed, wet clothes to dry in the room you want to humidify. An indoor drying rack may work best. Not only will you save on your energy bill by not running the dryer as much, you can can add some moisture to your indoor air.
Boil water on the stove top to humidify your kitchen, or leave a pot of water near the back to the stove. Another option is to place a dish of water near your heat source. If you have radiator heat in your room, place a pan of water on the radiator. Make sure the pan can handle the heat. This enhances water evaporation into the air, increasing moisture.
Set vases of water on sunny windowsills. Add a decorative touch by putting colored stones or marbles in a glass vase. Or relax with an indoor fountain. The sound of the moving water can be very relaxing and the extra humidity added to the room will keep your skin moist.