Ensure Your Furniture Survives Winter
Oh, the weather outside is frightful!
At some point, you’ve probably heard a weather forecaster talk about “Relative Humidity” (RH). If not, relative humidity is the amount of moisture in the air compared to what the air can "hold" at that temperature. In low temperatures, air requires less water vapor to have a high RH while warm or hot air requires much more water vapor to have a high RH
Now it might be obvious that winter air holds less moisture, but how big is the difference?Well say we take 20° winter air with 80% RH, bring it inside, and warm it up to 70°. The RH will drop down to ~15% – almost as dry as Death Valley during the summer months (10%)!
Dry air can be dangerous for your home because it sucks the moisture out of everything, especially your body and your furniture. So if even humid winter air that sneaks into your home is bone-dry when it warms up, what’re you to do?
Buy a Humidifier
A humidifier will add that must-needed moisture to your home. Besides helping your furniture, a humidifier can be beneficial for your health, home comfort, and even controlling static electricity. Just be sure to clean it regularly and follow usage directions!
Picking a humidifier is different for every person — there is no one-size-fits-all. Your specific needs and budget are important in making a choice. The Sweethome, Consumer Reports, and Pick My Humidifier all have buying guides and recommendations for you to pick the right humidifier.
Though buying and using a humidifier is most important, we advise taking additional steps to protect your furniture pieces.
Wood-based furniture, especially antiques, hold a lot moisture in them. In addition to a humidifier, use a wood oil that cleans and moisturizes the wood (we use Old English). We’ve linked 2 articles that go more in-depth and provide step-by-step instructions (https://goo.gl/0ddm2b & https://goo.gl/h1eGAi).
For leather products like couches, chairs and cowhide rugs, we’ll occasionally use a leather conditioner & restorer that cleans and moisturizes the leather. We’d recommend saving any treatment beyond that for professionals. These 2 articles provide great information on proper leather care (https://goo.gl/Fu9195 & https://goo.gl/DByjsi).
If the information in the linked articles don’t satisfy you, we strongly recommend buying The Furniture Bible book!
*Note: Beware of internet DIY home-formulas. The furniture care products you’ll use are cheap for what they provide, and a crushed vitamin and olive oil paste will ruin your furniture finish and material. Skimping on a few dollars now will end up costing you a LOT down the road