Kate's Corner: Why does humidity matter in the winter?

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BRIDGEPORT, W. Va. (WDTV) This Kate's Corner is going to answer the question, "Why do we care about the humidity in the winter?" A special thanks to our viewer Jeff who noticed that the changes in the humidity really affects his guitar.

When you think of humidity you usually think of a hot and muggy summer afternoon. However the the humidity levels in winter are also very important.

In winter, the air is colder and drier. This is why you may have extra dry skin, static hair, or even shrinking woodwork that could lead them to crack. To talk about moisture in the air lets first define the two main ways we measure atmospheric moisture: relative humidity and dew point.

The relative humidity is the ratio of the actual water vapor in the air to the amount needed for the air to be saturated. Basically it tells you how moist is the air. Now relative humidity is temperature dependent since warmer air can hold more moisture than colder air.

Now, on to dew point. This is the temperature to which air must cool to become saturated. During the winter, the air is colder and can't hold as much moisture so dew points are lower. However when this dry, cold air is brought inside and heated up, the relative humidity becomes desert-dry inside your home.

The best way to help fight this is to have a humidifier or keep a bowl of water next to your furnace.

That's going to do it for this edition of Kate's corner thanks again Jeff for the idea.