In the winter, you might notice an increase in the amount of static electricity in your home, especially if you have carpets and radiator heat. Here are a few simple solutions to reduce this harmless (but annoying) problem.
What causes static electricity?
Static electricity is produced as your body picks up free electrons as you walk on rugs. When you have those extra electrons on your person and you touch a metal conductor, like a door handle, those electrons flow into the object and you receive a small shock.
Why is static electricity more of a problem in the winter?
In the summer, humidity in the air helps allow the electrons to flow off of your body. This means that you’re not building up as much of a static charge. In the winter, the air becomes much drier which allows a larger charge to build.
- Install a whole-house humidifier
- Treat your rugs with an anti-static chemical. A carpet retailer will usually carry such treatments or you can search for “anti-static carpet treatment” online to find an effective product. (Note that many carpets sold nowadays already have some sort of anti-static treatment applied to them)
- Wear anti-static shoes – there are special shoes that help dispel static charge. They have conductive strands in the soles which discharge static electricity build up as you walk. Such shoes are available at select shoe stores and online and are priced about as much as an average pair of shoes. Many retail outlets that carry anti-shoes also carry anti-static booties to put over your regular footwear.