It’s a terrible feeling. You put on your shoes and coat, head toward the door, reach for the doorknob, and ZAP! You’re electro-shocked by your own home!

This is one of the most annoying things about the weather getting colder. In the winter, the air is very dry, which causes static electricity to run rampant. That’s why you might notice that you’re getting shocked more often when you’re reaching for things like chairs, light switches, and car doors.

Static electricity in your home

Along with the dry air outside, your home’s central heating unit is also pulling moisture out of the air. As it makes the air warmer, it’s also making it drier and causing your home to be more prone to static shocks. But don’t worry, there’s something you can do to prevent your home from turning against you.

How to prevent static shock in your home

The main thing you need to change to prevent static shock is the moisture in the air, and that can be done with a humidifier. Your humidifier controls the relative humidity in your home, which is measured in percentages.

It’s recommended that you keep the relative humidity between 30 and 55 percent in your home. Any lower, and you might start experiencing a dry nose and throat. Any higher, and you run the risk of excess dust mites and mold.

If you’re feeling a lot of static shocks, check the relative humidity in your home and use a humidifier to raise it. Try and set it at around 45 percent, which is the level at which people tend to feel most comfortable in their homes. If that doesn’t help, try raising it a bit at a time until you see a difference, as long as you keep it below 55 percent. This should help avoid those annoying shocks around the house.

If you have any questions about the humidity levels in your home, or about indoor air quality in general, contact Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning, your St. Louis area heating and cooling company.

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