Woman at home on a winter day

How to Reduce Winter Static

Frigid, blustery weather and fewer hours of sunlight aren’t the only annoyances people encounter during winter. One common question this season is, “Why is my house so staticky?”

It’s common to experience more static in the winter. You’ve probably experienced that zapping sensation when flipping a light switch, grabbing a broom, or even touching the microwave button. Static electricity may even cause the hair on your arms or head to rise. So, why is there more static in the winter? The guide below provides the answer to this question, plus tips on reducing static around your house.

Why Does My House Have So Much Static Electricity?

First, it’s important to understand what static electricity is. To put it simply, an object gets a positive electrical charge when it gives up electrons and a negative electrical charge when it gains electrons. Because opposites attract, an object with a positive charge will be drawn to an object with a negative charge. 

There is a direct link between humidity and static electricity. During the spring and summer seasons, warm air holds moisture. Water vapor conducts electricity, so electrons can freely filter into the air in humid conditions. 

Cold air has a higher pressure than warm air, so it holds less moisture. That is why the air feels much drier during winter—and turning up the heat further depletes the air of moisture. Because electrons can’t move freely in dry conditions, they build up in one place, such as your body, clothing, furniture, and rugs. That electricity is released as the accumulated electrons discharge from one object to another, resulting in a static shock.

How to Get Rid of Static in Your House During Winter

Balance Indoor Humidity

Parent and child using room humidifierAdjusting the indoor humidity level is one of the most effective ways to reduce static around the house, especially when cold, dry weather is in the forecast. Find out your home’s humidity level and use a humidifier to release more moisture into the air. This way, electrons can freely move instead of collecting in one spot.

Treat Fabrics and Soft Surfaces

Dryer sheets combat static as well, so put them in the dryer with your clothes and rub them on upholstered furniture. The fabric softener in dryer sheets contains positively charged ions that balance out the loose electrons on these materials. To reduce the static charge in carpeting, spray the fibers with a mixture of fabric softener and water. 

Update Your Grooming and Wardrobe Choices

Whether you’re getting ready for a day out or working from home, small adjustments to your routine can help prevent static shocks. Keeping your skin well-moisturized throughout the day helps reduce static electricity buildup in your body and combats the drying effects of winter weather on your skin. You can do this by putting on lotion, drinking plenty of water, and running a humidifier.

Avoid wearing shoes with rubber soles as well. Rubber acts as an insulator, which means more static electricity will remain in your body. Wearing leather-soled shoes or slippers helps prevent you from generating an electrostatic charge when you walk on carpeting. 

As static drops when humidity rises, turn to Canopy for high-quality humidifiers to keep the air in your home hydrated. Our original humidifier is perfect for small spaces, like bedrooms and home offices, while our new Humidifier Plus keeps spaces up to 1,000 square feet feeling hydrated and comfortable.