A wood burning stove is very effective at warming up your home, but you'll have to trade off some humidity to enjoy the warmth. Wood burning stoves tend to dry out the air in your home, which can cause dry sinuses, bloody noses, cracked lips and more, according to the Mayo Clinic website. But there are several things you can do to add moisture to the air.
One way to add moisture to the air in your home while using a wood burning stove is to turn on a humidifier, which is a device that puts water vapor or steam into the air to increase humidity. Humidifiers come in a variety of styles. Some use an ultrasonic vibration to create a mist, some spread cool mist with a rotating disk and some use evaporation by blowing air through a wet filter. Many vaporizers are steam vaporizers. These types of machines use electricity to heat the water and then cool the steam before it leaves the vent. Humidifiers are effective, but you must keep them clean to avoid the spread of mold and bacteria.
One simple way to add moisture to the air is to place a pan of water on top of the wood burning stove. The heat will assist the water in the pan with evaporation, which will add steam to the air. You may wish to add cinnamon sticks or potpourri to the water to make the room smell good while the water works its magic. Water in a pan on top of the kitchen stove will work equally well. Even cooking liquid foods on the stovetop as often as possible helps to restore some of your home's humidity. Cooking soups, chili and other such dishes adds coziness as well as moisture to the air.
A hot shower will steam up the room and add moisture to the air, but a bath full of hot water will actually add more moisture. When hot water comes from the showerhead, it quickly goes down the drain and its steam potential is lost. A bath full of hot water adds moisture to the air until it gets cold and then some. So choose to take long baths instead of showers when you are using your wood burning stove to help prevent dry air.
Lee Morgan is a fiction writer and journalist. His writing has appeared for more than 15 years in many news publications including the "Tennesseean," the "Tampa Tribune," "West Hawaii Today," the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" and the "Dickson Herald," where he was sports editor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Middle Tennessee State University.