Parched skin isn't the only victim of dry winter air due to low humidity. The prized stamp collection you inherited from your uncle could be in danger too. Interior humidity can dip as low as Sahara Desert levels of 10-percent. Moisture-deprived air can harm wood furniture, musical instruments, and more. Dr. Ted Myatt, ScD, senior scientist with Environmental Health & Engineering and the University of Rhode Island, recommends keeping your home's humidity levels between 40 and 60-percent. "A lot of the info about furniture, artwork, and stamp collections is based on guidance geared toward museums," he says. "But that doesn't mean the antique furniture I have in my home isn't just as valuable to me as what might be in a museum."
The fix? Invest in a humidity monitor (about $20; Honeywell
) and prevent damage by placing humidifiers strategically throughout your home near the following items.