How to Reduce Static Electricity at Home
You walk around the house and touch the metal sink handle—shock—you grab the backyard door handle—shock—you pull down the dishwasher handle—shock! Some days it can seem like every metal item in your home gives off an electrical shock. Have you ever had this "shocking" experience? You’re not alone. Increase static electricity is common, especially in the winter. During the cold, dry winter months, static electricity can build up in the home. If this is your current situation, you could be looking for ways to reduce or remove it from your space. From which fabrics to wear to how to de-static your carpets, we’ve got the solutions you need. Grab your dryer sheets and leather-soled shoes, and you’ll soon be going about your winter without the discomfort of too much static electricity build-up in the home.
How to Beat Static Electricity: Home Tricks
Learn all about static electricity by watching this Ted-Ed video:
1. Buy a humidifier
Here’s why humidity matters. In the summertime, there is enough humidity in the air to help electrons flow off of your body. This prevents you from building up a charge. In dry winters with less humidity in the air, your body will inevitably build up a larger charge. Humid air is a better conductor of electricity than dry air. During a charge imbalance, when one body is more positively or negatively charged than another body, the electrons leap at the chance to restore the "neutral charge equilibrium." This is why when you touch metal it seems like your skin is electrically charged — because it is! The electrons are flowing from you into the object you’re touching, thus producing the shock. They're no longer static — they jumped! A whole-home humidification system or the purchase of a stand-alone humidifier to target a specific room will help to reduce static electricity in the air. You’ll want to keep your space above 30%-50% relative humidity for the best anti-static results.
A humidifier may be enough to fix your situation all together. If not, there are plenty more solutions to follow.
2. Treat your carpets
Use an anti-static treatment on your carpets and rugs. Spraying an anti-static chemical will reduce static shocks around your home. A charge will not build up between your feet and the carpet, thus reducing your likelihood of being shocked.
3. Rub dryer sheets over your upholstery
Grab dryer sheets, not for your laundry, but for your upholstery. Rubbing your furniture and even the seats in your car with dryer sheets will reduce the static buildup on those surfaces. Dryer sheets act as neutralizers for electrical charge (and odor). Keep some in your pocket. These applications will help reduce static electricity in your home. For more comprehensive steps, there are ways to remove static electricity from your body. Combined, you should be able to beat the winter shocks.
Stop Being Zapped: Skin Tips
1. Stay moisturized
Keeping your skin hydrated is one way to reduce the effects of static shock. Using lotions and moisturizers before getting dressed and throughout the day will help keep static electricity from accumulating on your body. As we learned before, the drier the air or your skin, the higher the potential of being zapped.
2. Wear low-static fabrics & shoes
Rubber-soled shoes are insulators and build up static on your body. Couple that with a wool sweater or wool socks and you’ll be wearing the ideal gear for getting zapped. All synthetic fibers, including polyester and nylon are culprits of static build up. Instead, wear leather-soled shoes and natural fibers, such as cotton socks and clothing. So, Rubber — no. Leather — yes. Wool — no. Cotton — yes.
3. Add baking soda to your laundry
Did you know that baking soda acts as a barrier between positive and negative charges from creating static build up? It also acts as a water and fabric softener. Along with wearing low-static materials such as leather and cotton, wash your clothing with this anti-static treatment. Add ¼ cup baking soda to your regular laundry cycle to help prevent static electricity in your laundry. You may need to adjust the amount of baking soda between a couple tablespoons for a small load to ½ cup for larger loads. ¼ cup is the average measurement suggested.
As the winter months push ahead, there are ways to combat the cold as well as the static electricity in your home. With furnace care and whole-home humidifiers, ask how Hiller can assist you this winter and the new year ahead. Happy 2017 from Hiller! Related Information:
- Heating FAQ
- Furnace Troubleshooting
- HVAC Glossary
- Winterization Guide
- DIY Home Maintenance Checklist
- 15 Energy-Saving Tips
- Air Filtration Options | Love and Pollutants Are in the Air
Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, & Electrical provides residential and commercial service and repair throughout Tennessee, Southern Kentucky, and Northern Alabama. We can repair, maintain, and install any heating system, including heat pumps and ductless units. Contact Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, & Electrical for professional HVAC maintenance, repairs, and replacements. Keep up with all of our news and tips by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. We are available 24/7 to help with any plumbing, heating, or electricalproblems you may have (holidays included).