7 Low-Cost Ways to Increase Your Home’s Humidity Levels in the Wintertime

7 Low-Cost Ways to Increase Your Home’s Humidity Levels in the Wintertime

As the winter months arrive, many homeowners face the discomfort of dry indoor air. Low humidity levels not only lead to physical discomfort, but they can also cause a variety of health issues and damage to your home and belongings. Finding ways to increase your home’s humidity during the winter can greatly improve your living environment. In this blog post, we will explore seven effective methods to combat dry air and create a more comfortable and healthy atmosphere indoors.

Use a Humidifier

One of the most straightforward solutions to combating low humidity in your home is to use a humidifier. Humidifiers come in various sizes and types, from small portable units to whole-house systems that integrate with your HVAC system. They work by releasing water vapor into the air, instantly raising humidity levels. Be sure to monitor and maintain humidity levels using a hygrometer to prevent over-humidification, which can lead to issues like mold growth.

Strategic Houseplant Placement

Houseplants are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they also serve as natural humidifiers. As plants undergo transpiration, they release moisture into the air, thereby increasing humidity levels. Group several plants together or place them in areas where you spend the most time, such as the living room or bedroom. Just be sure to provide them with adequate care to avoid any potential negative effects, like mold exposure.

Open Water Containers

Strategically placing open containers of water around your home can help increase humidity levels. As the water undergoes evaporation, it emits moisture into the surrounding air. You can place bowls of water near heat sources, like radiators or heating vents, to expedite the evaporation process. Adding a few drops of essential oils can even infuse a pleasant fragrance into the air.

Cook on the Stovetop

Cooking on the stovetop generates steam, which contributes to raising indoor humidity levels. Utilize this natural source of moisture by leaving the lids off pots and pans while cooking. The steam will escape and disperse throughout your home, providing both humidity and a delicious aroma.

Hang Laundry to Dry Indoors

Rather than relying solely on your dryer during the winter, consider hanging your laundry to dry indoors. The moisture from the clothes will be released into the air, boosting humidity levels in the process. This method not only adds humidity but also reduces energy consumption, as your dryer won’t be in constant use.

Seal Drafts and Leaks

Cold air infiltrating your home through leaks and drafts can make it even more challenging to maintain adequate humidity levels. Properly sealing windows, doors, and any other potential gaps can help keep the cold air out and the humidity in. Additionally, by preventing cold drafts, you’ll reduce your reliance on heating systems, which can dry out the air even further.

Use a Water Fountain or Aquarium

Water features like tabletop fountains or small aquariums can serve as both decorative elements and humidity boosters. As water evaporates from these features, it adds moisture to the air. This approach combines aesthetics with functionality, creating a visually pleasing way to combat dry indoor air.

Bonus Tips for Optimal Winter Humidity

In addition to the main strategies discussed above, there are a few more bonus tips that can help you maintain optimal humidity levels and make your winter experience even more comfortable.

Regular Maintenance of Humidifiers

If you’re using a humidifier, it’s crucial to clean and maintain it regularly. Neglecting humidifier maintenance can lead to mold and bacteria growth, which can then be released into the air you breathe. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning and changing filters to ensure the device operates effectively and safely.

Hydrate Yourself and Your Pets

While you focus on increasing the humidity levels in your home, don’t forget to stay hydrated yourself. Drinking plenty of water helps keep your body comfortable and your skin moisturized. The same goes for your pets; make sure they have access to fresh water to avoid the effects of dry indoor air on their health.

Monitor Indoor Plants

While houseplants can contribute to higher humidity levels, they also need proper care during the winter months. Assess how dry/moist the dirt is and water accordingly. Overwatering can lead to its own set of issues, so strike a balance that keeps your plants healthy while maintaining the desired humidity.

Use Natural Ventilation Wisely

While it’s essential to seal drafts and leaks, occasionally allowing a controlled amount of fresh outdoor air into your home can be beneficial. Opening windows for a short time on milder winter days can help refresh the indoor air and prevent stale, overly dry conditions.

Invest in a Dehumidifier

In some cases, your home might have excess humidity due to poor ventilation, which can lead to issues like condensation and mold growth. If this is the case, a dehumidifier can help regulate indoor moisture levels, creating a healthier and more comfortable living environment.

Monitor Hygrometer Readings

To maintain optimal humidity, it’s essential to monitor humidity levels using a hygrometer. This device gives you accurate readings of the moisture content in the air, allowing you to make necessary adjustments to your strategies.

Protecting Your Home and Health: The Importance of Winter Humidity

Understanding the impact of winter humidity on both your home and your health is crucial to appreciating the significance of maintaining optimal moisture levels indoors. Let’s delve into why striking the right balance is more than just a comfort issue.

Preserving Your Home’s Structure

Dry air can wreak havoc on your home’s structural integrity. Wood, in particular, is highly susceptible to drying out in low-humidity conditions, which can lead to warping, cracking, and even splitting. This is especially concerning for wooden furniture, flooring, and musical instruments. By keeping the humidity levels in check, you’re protecting your investments and ensuring the longevity of your cherished possessions.

Health and Comfort

Dry indoor air can cause a range of health problems. Skin irritation, dry eyes, and respiratory issues are common complaints in homes with low humidity levels. Additionally, dry nasal passages can make you more susceptible to infections, as they act as a natural barrier against pathogens. Increasing humidity can help alleviate these discomforts, making your home a more pleasant and healthier environment.

Energy Efficiency

Did you know that maintaining proper humidity levels can impact your heating costs? Moist air feels warmer than dry air at the same temperature. By increasing the humidity, you might find yourself feeling comfortable at a slightly lower thermostat setting. This not only enhances your comfort but also helps conserve energy and reduces your heating bill.

Less Static Electricity

One of the annoying side effects of dry air is the prevalence of static electricity shocks. Low humidity levels create an environment where static charges can build up easily. By introducing more moisture into the air, you’ll experience fewer unexpected shocks when touching metal objects or other people.

Mitigating Allergies

Dust mites and certain allergens thrive in dry environments. By maintaining proper humidity, you can make your home less hospitable to these microscopic creatures, reducing the risk of allergy flare-ups and respiratory discomfort.

Explore Your Options Today

Maintaining the right humidity levels in your Sacramento home during the winter months is essential for your comfort, health, and the preservation of your belongings. Dry indoor air can lead to respiratory problems, dry skin, increased susceptibility to infections, and even damage to wooden furniture and musical instruments. Consult with Crystal Blue Plumbing Heating & Air today to learn more about how you can improve your indoor humidity levels throughout the year with the use of a humidifier. We also offer installation, maintenance, and repair of furnace and air conditioning equipment, indoor air quality assessments, and heat pump installation.

How to Protect Your Plumbing Over the Winter in California

How to Protect Your Plumbing Over the Winter in California

Winter in California can come with freezing temperatures and high water levels. Your plumbing can be affected if you don’t take the proper steps to prepare it for the coming season. Here is a look at some of the winterization tasks that you can do to prepare.

Insulate Your Pipes

Insulation reduces the heat gain and loss of your pipes, which protects them from extreme weather. The hot water that travels through your pipes stays hotter as well. You’ll save energy by insulating your pipes, and you won’t have to wait as long for hot water. That extra minute while you’re running the faucet and waiting on hot water, makes a difference in both your finances and your time.

If your pipes get cold enough to freeze, the water inside them will expand, often beyond the diameter of your plumbing system. Frozen pipes can cause costly damage if they result in bursting. They also prevent you from having running water in your home. The most likely place that pipes freeze is in locations where they are exposed to open air. This may be outdoor pipes and faucets or stretches that travel through uninsulated attics, garages or crawl spaces.

Know How to Thaw Correctly

Never use a flame torch or any form of open flame to thaw pipes. Sudden changes in temperature can cause explosions. You might also accidentally start a fire. The correct way to thaw pipes is to apply heat tape, use a hair dryer or use a space heater. Begin by applying heat near the faucet, and gradually work your way down. Open the cabinets in your home to assist in thawing the pipes faster.

Know Where All of Your Water Shut-Off Valves Are

For emergency situations, you should know where the water shut-off valves are. There is a main water shut-off valve that will stop the flow of water to everything in your home. Some plumbing installations in your home, like sinks and toilets, have their own shut-off valves too. This is convenient for situations in which you have a problem just from that application.

You should turn off the water valve and turn on the faucets when your pipes freeze to protect your home. The pipes bursting can flood your property. Once you have thawed them, the water will likely drain out without causing a rupture. Pressure between the frozen pipes and closed faucet is what typically causes the burst. You’ll usually find the main water valve by the water meter, which is probably around the sub-area of your house. If it’s not by the crawl space outside your house, then check the basement and garage.

Some valves are wheels, but others are handles. Before winter begins, you should add a few drops of household oil to the shut-off valve’s handle threads to ensure it will turn smoothly and to prevent corrosion.

Plumbing fixtures that may have their own water shut-off valves include dishwashers, toilets, sinks and hot water heaters. If you have a plumbing problem with just one fixture, you can cut off water to it rather than shutting off all water for the house.

Some old homes don’t have a main water shut-off valve. If your home is missing this critical emergency feature, then you should have a main valve installed in preparation for winter.

Clean the Gutters, Downspouts and Storm Drain

Leaves, twigs, seeds and other debris in your roof’s gutters, downspouts and storm drain can lead to water damage to your home in the winter. Clogged storm drains put more pressure on your plumbing system, which makes damage more likely to occur. The end of fall is a prime time for cleaning these areas of your home’s exterior to ensure a smooth flow during the rainy season.

Seal Your Home’s Air Leaks

Keeping it warmer in your home eases the strain on your plumbing system because it doesn’t have to work as hard to provide hot water. The attic, basement and crawl spaces are especially important to seal and insulate.

Schedule a Water Heater Tune-Up

Winter is the worst time to have a problem with your hot water heater. You don’t want to take cold showers when it’s already cold outside. Hot water heaters also work harder in the winter because they’re subject to cold temperatures. Scheduling a tune-up for the end of fall allows you to prepare your water heater for winter. It gives you more peace of mind that your hot water heater can get through the cold season without breaking. Annual water heater maintenance extends the fixture’s lifespan and improves its energy efficiency as well.

Leave the Heat On

Don’t turn off the heat when you leave the house. The risk of frozen pipes isn’t worth saving on your energy bill. Your winter heating bills shouldn’t be too expensive. If you’re having a problem with high energy bills, then your heating system probably needs a repair or maintenance. All heating systems need annual tune-ups, including HVAC systems and heat pumps. These two types of systems also need air conditioning maintenance on an annual basis because they serve both functions of heating and cooling.

The lowest you can set your thermostat in the winter to prevent frozen pipes is 55 degrees. To be on the safe side, you’ll want to set the temperature a bit higher than that. Your pipes should have good insulation if you don’t have the heat high on the property.

If you’re leaving the house for an extended period of time, you should turn off the main water valve and drain the water out of all of the lines. This adds another layer of protection to your property.

Disconnect Your Water Hoses

If you don’t need to use your water hose during the winter, then disconnect it. This helps prevent it from freezing, which can cause damage to the house, faucets or other areas of your plumbing.

Check External Faucets

It’s easy to forget about outside faucets because you don’t use them as much as indoor faucets. Before winter arrives, you should check the outside faucets for leaks. You’ll want to repair any leaks before the cold weather rolls in. Damaged pipes are more likely to break in the winter. If your exterior faucets have water shut-off valves, you should turn off the water to them for winter. Remember to drain the water from the lines too. For another layer of protection, cover your outdoor faucets with insulation kits that are designed for this purpose.

Inspect and Clean Your Sump Pump and Pit

Sump pumps, a plumbing fixture that’s also easy to forget you have, are also susceptible to freezing during the winter. Schedule an inspection and cleaning of your sump pump to prepare for winter. Debris in the pit can cause clogs and flooding. Have an extra discharge hose to attach to the sump pump if its discharge hose freezes or breaks.

Crystal Blue Plumbing provides plumbing and HVAC services in California. We can thoroughly inspect your home’s plumbing system to ensure it’s ready for winter. Specials are available throughout the year to help you save money on maintaining your home. Crystal Blue Plumbing opened its doors in 1976 and has expanded the business to serve more areas over the decades. We have won awards, including the Best of the Best nine times and the Rocklin Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award.

Contact Crystal Blue Plumbing to schedule a plumbing inspection and maintenance.

Should I Have High-Pressure Water Jetting Done to My Plumbing System?

Should I Have High-Pressure Water Jetting Done to My Plumbing System?

High-pressure water jetting is a remarkable technique that has revolutionized the world of plumbing. With its powerful streams of water, this method has become a go-to solution for clearing stubborn blockages, maintaining optimal water flow, and ensuring the smooth operation of plumbing systems. This innovative approach offers numerous benefits, including efficient and long-lasting results, versatility across different plumbing systems, and the ability to prevent future issues.

What Is High-Pressure Water Jetting?

High-pressure water jetting is a powerful plumbing technique that utilizes a forceful stream of water to clear stubborn blockages from pipes and drains. The equipment used in this method delivers a robust water stream that can dislodge and remove debris, grease, and scale. This technique is widely applicable in various settings, making it a versatile solution for restoring optimal functionality to plumbing systems.

One of the key advantages of high-pressure water jetting is its non-invasive nature. Unlike traditional methods that often involve extensive digging or pipe replacement, high-pressure water jetting minimizes disruptions and saves time and money. It provides a swift and efficient solution for clearing blockages, allowing for quick repairs and a prompt return to normal operation.

Another notable benefit of high-pressure water jetting is its plumbing- and eco-friendliness. By relying solely on the force of water, this technique eliminates the need for abrasive tools that could damage plumbing or harsh chemicals that could harm the environment. It offers a sustainable approach to plumbing maintenance by utilizing water’s power to clear blockages effectively and preserve the integrity of the pipes.

The effectiveness of high-pressure water jetting lies in its ability to break apart and flush away various types of obstructions. Whether it’s stubborn debris, grease, or scale, the forceful water stream can dislodge and remove these materials, restoring the proper flow of water. Thorough cleaning of pipes and drains ensures that they are free from any buildup, minimizing the risk of future clogs and maintaining the overall efficiency of the plumbing system.

It is important to note that trained professionals who have experience handling the equipment should perform high-pressure water jetting. They have the expertise to assess the situation accurately, determine the appropriate water pressure and technique, and safely execute the process to achieve the best possible results. Entrusting the task to professionals ensures the optimal use of high-pressure water jetting for effective blockage removal and plumbing system maintenance.

What Are the Benefits of High-Pressure Water Jetting?


High-pressure water jetting is a cost-effective solution for plumbing maintenance and repair. By efficiently clearing clogs and preventing future blockages, it reduces the need for frequent service calls and costly repairs. The long-lasting results of high-pressure water jetting can save you money in the long run.

Versatile Applications

People use high-pressure water jetting for a wide range of plumbing applications. Whether it’s residential, commercial, or industrial plumbing systems, this technique can effectively address clogs and restore optimal water flow. It is suitable for various pipe materials, including PVC, copper, cast iron, and more.

Removes Bacterial Contamination

In addition to clearing clogs, high-pressure water jetting can help eliminate bacterial contamination in plumbing systems. The powerful water stream can dislodge and flush away harmful bacteria, ensuring cleaner and safer water for your household or business.

Maintains Hygiene

High-pressure water jetting not only clears clogs but also helps maintain proper hygiene in your plumbing system. Removing debris, grease, and other substances prevents foul odors, bacteria growth, and potential health hazards associated with poor plumbing conditions.

Efficient for Complex Blockages

High-pressure water jetting is highly effective in tackling complex blockages that may be difficult to remove with traditional methods. Whether it’s tree roots infiltrating sewer lines or hardened scale deposits in industrial pipes, the forceful water stream can break apart and flush away even the toughest obstructions.

Improves Water Pressure

If you’re experiencing low water pressure in your plumbing system, high-pressure water jetting can help. By clearing out debris and buildup that restricts water flow, it improves water pressure throughout your property, ensuring adequate flow for all your daily activities.

What Indicates You Have High-Pressure Water Jetting Done?

Frequent Drain Clogs

If you find yourself dealing with frequent drain clogs or slow drainage, it’s a clear indication that there’s a buildup of debris or grease in your pipes. These blockages can occur due to various factors such as food particles, soap scum, hair, and other substances that accumulate over time. Traditional methods like plunging or using chemical cleaners may provide temporary relief, but they often fail to address the underlying cause of the clogs. In such cases, high-pressure water jetting can effectively clear the blockage and restore the smooth flow of water. By directing a forceful stream of water into the pipes, high-pressure water jetting dislodges and removes the debris, ensuring thorough cleaning and preventing recurring clogs. It is a proactive approach that promotes optimal drainage and reduces the likelihood of future plumbing issues.

Older Plumbing Systems

Over time, older plumbing systems can accumulate years of sediment, scale, and other deposits that impede water flow. These deposits can restrict the diameter of the pipes, leading to reduced water pressure and increased vulnerability to clogs. If you have an older plumbing system that hasn’t received proper maintenance in a while, high-pressure water jetting can work wonders. By thoroughly cleaning the pipes, it removes the accumulated buildup and enhances their efficiency. High-pressure water jetting removes the stubborn deposits and restores the pipes to their original diameter, allowing for improved water flow and reducing the chances of future clogs. It is a proactive measure that helps extend the lifespan of the plumbing system and prevents costly repairs or replacements.

You’re Renovating or Remodeling

When you’re renovating or remodeling a property, it’s an ideal time to consider high-pressure water jetting as part of your plumbing maintenance plan. During construction or renovation projects, various materials such as dust, debris, cement, and other residues can find their way into the plumbing system. These materials can lead to blockages and affect the overall functionality of the pipes and drains. High-pressure water jetting allows for the removal of any existing blockages or residue before making changes to the plumbing system. By thoroughly cleaning the pipes, it ensures that the renovated or remodeled area has a clean and fully functional plumbing infrastructure. It is a proactive step that promotes optimal performance and minimizes the chances of plumbing issues arising after the renovation or remodeling project.

Persistent Foul Odors

If you’re experiencing persistent foul odors emanating from your drains, it could be an indication of organic material buildup or bacteria growth. These odors can be unpleasant and indicate a potential plumbing issue. High-pressure water jetting can effectively eliminate these odors by removing the underlying causes and restoring proper drainage. The forceful water stream dislodges and flushes away the organic material buildup and bacteria, providing a fresh and odor-free environment. High-pressure water jetting is a proactive solution that helps maintain cleanliness and hygiene in your plumbing system.

Contact Us Today!

At Crystal Blue Plumbing Heating & Air in Loomis, California, we provide drain cleaning, pipe lining, and camera inspections for your home. Our friendly team also provides heating, air conditioning, and duct repairs for homes in the area. Contact Crystal Blue Plumbing Heating & Air for more information today!

Introduction to High Flow Hose Bibs

Introduction to High Flow Hose Bibs

In the world of outdoor watering and cleaning, having a reliable and efficient hose bib is essential to performing your landscaping tasks. A hose bib, also known as an outdoor faucet or spigot, provides a convenient water source for tasks such as watering plants, washing cars, or cleaning outdoor spaces. While traditional hose bibs serve their purpose adequately, there is a specialized type that takes functionality to the next level: high-flow hose bibs.

Understanding Hose Bib Basics

Before delving into the world of high-flow hose bibs, it is important to grasp the fundamentals of hose bibs themselves. A typical hose bib consists of a valve and a spout, allowing for the attachment of a hose or other watering accessories.

When you open the valve, water flows through the spout, enabling the user to direct the water wherever needed. Hose bibs are commonly found on the exterior of homes, usually near outdoor living spaces or gardens, providing a convenient outdoor water source.

What Is a High Flow Hose Bib?

A high-flow hose bib is specifically designed to optimize water flow rate, offering greater efficiency and convenience. Unlike standard hose bibs that may have limitations in terms of water flow, high-flow hose bibs are engineered to provide a greater water volume per minute, ensuring a powerful and consistent water stream. This enhanced flow rate can significantly impact the speed and effectiveness of outdoor tasks.

The Benefits of High Flow Hose Bibs

The primary advantage of high-flow hose bibs is their ability to deliver a greater volume of water, resulting in an increased flow rate. This translates to faster and more efficient watering of plants, quicker car washing, and more effective cleaning of outdoor surfaces. The enhanced flow rate can save valuable time and effort, making outdoor tasks a breeze.

With their high flow capacity, these hose bibs allow for more efficient watering of gardens and lawns. Increasing the water volume ensures that plants receive adequate hydration without the need for prolonged watering sessions. When it comes to cleaning, high-flow hose bibs provide a stronger stream of water, enabling the effective removal of dirt, grime, and debris from outdoor surfaces, vehicles, and equipment.

Furthermore, high-flow hose bibs accommodate a wide range of watering and cleaning accessories. Whether you need to attach a sprinkler, a pressure washer, or a specialized nozzle, high-flow hose bibs can handle the additional demands. This versatility allows users to customize their outdoor tasks and achieve optimal results with ease.

Different Types of High Flow Hose Bibs

Wall-mounted high-flow hose bibs are the most common type and are typically installed directly on an exterior wall of a building. They are permanently fixed and provide a reliable and sturdy water source. These hose bibs are suitable for gardens, patios, and other outdoor areas where a consistent water supply is useful.

Free-standing high-flow hose bibs, also known as standpipe hose bibs, are a portable alternative. They consist of a standpipe or post with a hose bib attached.

These hose bibs can be moved and placed in different locations according to the user’s needs. They are particularly useful for areas without an existing wall-mounted faucet or for those who prefer the flexibility of a portable water source.

Finally, adjustable high flow hose bibs offer the advantage of controlling the flow rate and water pressure directly from the bib. With an adjustable knob or valve, users can fine-tune the water stream to suit their specific requirements. This feature is beneficial for delicate plants that require a gentler spray or for tasks that demand a more forceful water flow.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a High Flow Hose Bib

Assessing your water pressure and flow rate requirements is crucial. Determine the water supply capacity in your area and choose a high flow hose bib that can handle the available pressure. Additionally, consider the specific tasks you intend to perform and select a hose bib with an appropriate flow rate to meet those needs.

The durability of a high flow hose bib is vital, particularly since it will be exposed to outdoor elements. Look for hose bibs constructed from high-quality materials such as brass or stainless steel, as they are more resistant to corrosion and wear. These materials ensure longevity and reduce the risk of leaks or malfunctions.

Additionally, considering the ease of installation and maintenance when selecting a high flow hose bib will help you make the right choice. Choose a hose bib that is easy to clean and maintain, ensuring its longevity and continued performance.

Maintenance Tips for High Flow Hose Bibs

To maximize the lifespan and performance of your high flow hose bib, regular maintenance is crucial. Periodically inspecting the hose bib for any signs of leaks, drips, or damage will help you keep your water source functioning.

Clean the spout and remove any debris or mineral deposits that may affect water flow. Additionally, check the connections and fittings for tightness and address any issues promptly.

In regions where freezing temperatures occur, it is vital to winterize your high flow hose bib to prevent damage. Disconnect and drain the hose bib before winter sets in to avoid frozen water causing cracks or burst pipes. Consider using insulating covers or frost-proof hose bibs designed to withstand freezing temperatures.

Furthermore, it is essential to check the hose itself regularly for wear and tear. Inspect the entire length of the hose for cracks, kinks, or signs of aging. If you notice any damage, promptly replace the hose to prevent leaks and water wastage.

Consider investing in a hose reel or hanger to properly store the hose when not in use. Leaving the hose lying on the ground can lead to unnecessary wear and make it more susceptible to damage. Proper storage will help extend the life of the hose and maintain its functionality.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting for High Flow Hose Bibs

Despite their efficiency, high flow hose bibs may encounter some common issues. If you notice leaks or drips from the hose bib, check the connections for any loose fittings and tighten them as needed. If the issue persists, inspect the washers or seals within the valve assembly and have them replaced if worn or damaged.

If the handle or valve of the high flow hose bib becomes difficult to operate or gets stuck, it may require lubrication or replacement. Apply a silicone-based lubricant to the moving parts or consult a professional for assistance.

Enhancing Outdoor Watering and Cleaning with High Flow Hose Bibs

High flow hose bibs offer a significant advantage in terms of water flow rate and efficiency when it comes to outdoor watering and your everyday cleaning tasks. To install a high flow hose bib for your convenience, contact Crystal Blue Plumbing. Our reliable and knowledgeable technicians will tend to all your plumbing needs as well as any air conditioning or heating installation and maintenance for your home or professional space.