Why Is My Apartment So Dry?

You’ll notice that the air in your apartment gets quite dry during the winter in most cases.

The primary reason for that is due to the central heating. However, it can also occur when a lot of the dry cold air from outside is entering your apartment.

This article explains in detail why your apartment may be dry. In addition to that, it highlights ways to know if the apartment is dry so that you can look for sources of the problem.

If that does not work, there are other solutions.

Reasons Why Your Apartment Is Dry

This article focuses on dry indoor air during cold weather. Therefore, it could be during the winter or even the fall if it gets reasonably cold where you live.

It’s important to understand that warm air holds moisture more effectively than colder air.

That is one of the major reasons why the outdoor air during the winter is dryer than that in the summer.

With that said, here are the reasons to keep in mind.

Your Central Heating System Is Responsible for the Dry Indoor Air

While your heating system may be throwing warm air into the room, there’s another issue to note. The warm air contains more moisture within the apartment.

The higher temperature allows the air to easily hold the water vapor molecules as opposed to the cooler air. However, the problem that typically occurs is that warm air rises.

So, if it’s replacing cool air in your apartment, the warm air will rise to the top, and the cooler air will remain below it.

You’ll notice this occurs more in rooms with higher ceilings than others.

Therefore, considering you’re most likely to be seated in the lower half of the room, you will feel the dry air.

Keeping Your Apartment Heating System Running for Longer May Reduce Some Indoor Air Dryness

It’s also possible that your apartment feels dry shortly after you turn on the heating system. Keeping the heating system running for longer can allow the warm air to replace the cool air over time.

Therefore, the entire room can be warm and less dry. Of course, you may need to add sources of moisture to make it feel less dry (such as a humidifier).

So, if you are at home for short periods, you may notice your room feels dry. However, it may become all right by the end of the night, for example (after running for a few hours).

If your apartment still feels dry, it’s possible that the warm air is escaping from your home (more on this below). Another symptom is that the heating system won’t seem to be working well.

Outdoor Air Is Coming into Your Apartment, and Warm Air Is Going Out

The cool outside air is the primary reason your apartment is also dry.

So, it’s possible that your apartment feels dry because a lot of the outdoor air is making its way inside your apartment.

There Are Some Common Areas That Let Cool, Dry Air Enter the Apartment

Check all of the obvious sources for air to enter your apartment. These sources include windows, doors, balconies, exhaust fans, and so on.

Check if any of the window seals are broken. Place your hand near the edges to see if you can feel any wind. If you can, then your apartment is not properly insulated.

Also, make sure that the spaces between your doors and the floor are covered. This way, you can prevent cold air from coming into the apartment.

There May Be Some Damaged Areas That Allow Cool, Dry Air to Enter the Apartment

After checking these areas, take a close look at your walls. Inspect the areas for any cracks.

Cracks in the walls can lead to cold air coming into your apartment. In addition, it can be devastating in the event of rain.

Cracks in the walls closer to the ceiling may be even worse. This is because it will allow the warm air collecting at the top of the room to escape from your apartment.

Thus, the indoor air will be cooler and drier than the outdoor air. Damaged walls can ruin the effectiveness of your heating system. In turn, it can make your whole apartment dry.

If you live in a rented apartment, have the landlord fix these faults.

Explain your situation, and try to convince them to hurry the process by explaining how leaking air could damage the heating system.

Your Home Has Very Few Sources of Moisture in Your Apartment

The indoor air may not be the only thing responsible for a dry apartment. It’s possible that there are not enough sources of moisture in your home.

Take a quick look and see if that is the primary issue.

There are certain things and practices that typically increase the humidity in your home’s air. So, not having those or doing those can make your air feel significantly dry.

For example, having no plants in your home can decrease moisture. Plants perform a process known as evapotranspiration, which increases the humidity around it.

In addition to that, you will need to spray water on the plants. That also decreases indoor dryness. So, not having any plants can make the air dry.

On the other hand, leaving your bathroom door open after a shower can make a significant change in the dryness of your home.

Sometimes, it’s best to just make small adjustments to increase the humidity levels in your home.

How to Tell That Your Apartment Is Very Dry

If you’re not certain if your apartment is dry or not, you can check for certain symptoms. These symptoms are explained below.

Your Skin and Lips are Dry

Your body reacts to a lack of moisture in the air. So, your lips may start to get dry, allowing the skin to peel off.

If you feel the need to constantly moisturize your lips, the air is most likely very dry.

At the same time, your skin may also be very dry. Your skin may have white crusts or look slightly flaky if it is not getting enough moisture.

Check If You Can Feel Static Energy

You may recall that you often get an electric shock when you touch certain objects in winter. This is because the lack of moisture has allowed static energy to build.

So, high static energy is a sign of a dry apartment. You can try wearing socks in your apartment to increase the chances of feeling static energy.

This way, you can determine whether it’s high or low.

Nosebleeds or a Cold

Nosebleeds are a common symptom of dry weather, especially in those with dry skin. Dry air causes your nasal passages to dry up.

Therefore, the skin may rupture, causing a nosebleed.

In addition to that, your body may try to compensate for this dryness. It does this by increasing the production of mucus in your nasal passages to reduce dryness.

While that may stop the nosebleeds, it will cause you to have a cold. Therefore, being exposed to dry air for long periods can be harmful to your health in the long term.

What You Can Do to Combat Dry Air in Your Apartment

There are a few simple ways to combat dry air in your apartment. Some of them don’t require much monetary investment.

However, they may not be as effective as more expensive and permanent solutions. Here are some details about these solutions.

Increase the Number of Sources of Moisture in Your Apartment

As discussed above, increasing moisture sources can significantly reduce indoor air dryness.

Making small changes, such as leaving your bathroom door open after a shower, can make a huge difference. So, the water droplets that evaporate in the bathroom can make it into the rest of the home.

In addition to that, you can even soak sponges in water. Next, place these sponges in different parts of your apartment. You can also place them in a bucket of shallow water to ensure they are always soaked.

You can also try to hang wet laundry inside your home to dry. As it dries, the indoor air will become more humid, allowing it to be more comfortable.

Have the Insulation in Your Apartment Fixed

One of the most expensive solutions is to have the insulation in your apartment fixed. However, it is also the most effective permanent solution.

If you live in a rented apartment, then have the landlord cover the costs. This is because this is to their benefit and not just yours. Make sure to make a good case on why this is necessary.

Also, show them proof of any leakages.

Get a Humidifier

A humidifier is also a temporary solution. It is effective, but it can be relatively more expensive than other temporary solutions mentioned above.

You will also increase your overall electricity bill using this device.

Final Words

A lack of proper insulation can be the most significant reason why an apartment is dry.

Therefore, make sure that older apartments have adequate insulation before you move into them.

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