How to Make Your Home Feel Warmer in Winter

Using a humidifier to raise the indoor humidity level in your home to between 30% and 50% can make your house feel warmer inside during cold, winter weather without raising the thermostat or increasing your heating bills.

Use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity level in your home, and don’t overdo it since too much humidity can cause windows to sweat and mold to form.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Danny Lipford: You know when the temperatures fall outside, like they have this winter, it unfortunately means that some things go up—like our monthly utility bill. So it only makes sense to maximize every dollar you spend to heat your home. And one of the best ways to do that is to make it feel warmer inside without actually having to raise the thermostat.

You know you remember back to the warm days of summer when the weatherman said “the temperature today will be 85 degrees but the heat index will make it feel like 90 or 95.” Well, that same principle can work inside your home. By increasing the humidity inside your house with a humidifier you can make it feel warmer than it actually is.

Now, some forced air furnaces have a built-in humidifier; but if yours doesn’t, you can buy a stand-alone unit for the frequently used areas of your home—like the family room. The added moisture that a humidifier provides will increase your indoor heat index so that 68 degrees feels more like 78.

However, this isn’t one of those “more is better” situations because too much humidity can cause problems, like sweating windows and eventually the growth of mold in your home. So, ideally you want to have the relative humidity inside your house at about 30 to 50 percent and a household hygrometer will help you keep track.

That way, the heat index can be a good thing for you, at least until summer rolls back around.


  1. In the very cold weather (0 or below) my windows seat and freeze. I am in a condo sort of townhouse unit, one level on the end. A few years ago my neighbor had the same thing and had the glass replaced. Now, my husband says the humidity should be below 40, I say no as I get nosebleeds if it is. We have removed the window pane inserts and the screens and keep wiping them down, as I am afraid the wood on bottom frame will deteriorate. He’s going around now with my hair blow dryer to try and dry it. The center of window gets wet and it streams down sides and bottom of frame. What should we do? Or better what do we do now and after the weather outside gets warmer? Thank you.

  2. Your articles about sweating windows seem to address sweating “inside” the windows. Please address sweating on the “outside” during the summer. Obviously high humidity outside and no way to control that. Should “thermal” windows solve the outside sweating when the inside is cooled by air conditioning? My thermal windows are about 30 years old and they do not fog between the glass layers. Should I replace the thermal glass patio door that fogs so badly during high humidity North Carolina summers ?


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