You walk across the carpet and flip a light switch—ZAP! You take off your winter coat and grab a metal hanger—SHOCK! All winter long, you try and dodge the zaps and small shocks that static electricity causes. But in summer, you rarely ever feel static effects.
Though the science behind static can seem complex, the answer to this particular question is quite simple. Moisture…or lack thereof.
Summer days can be humid, and in general there is more moisture in the air during this season. With moisture, there’s less friction therefore there’s less static energy that can build up.
In the wintertime, air is usually very dry inside and outside. The cold air doesn’t hold moisture as well, and because it’s so cold, we turn on the heat inside to keep us warm. Indoor heat, especially, dries out the air even more. And that’s why we experience static electricity so easily after even the slightest friction.
Pull off your hat in the winter and what happens? Your hair often stands on end or seems to want to fly away. But, what happens if your hat was sitting over wet hair and you then pulled the hat off? No static would occur because of the moisture keeping the molecules in the hat from rubbing against the molecules in your hair.
Kind of cool, right?
Solving Static Flyaways and Shocks
A number of solutions exist that can help reduce or eliminate static cling and the zaps you get from static electricity. We’ll give you two here.
1. Use a humidifier.
Dry indoor air is the cause of so much static electricity buildup. One way to add moisture to that environment is to use a humidifier. Choose a room humidifier to use in the rooms you most spend time in. Or install a whole-home humidifier if your house is extra dry. (Not just for static cling—it’s good for your body too.)
2. Use Static Guard.
You can spray the insides of hats, clothing, blankets and more. Be careful with delicate fabrics and follow the directions on the label. One spray lasts all day.