Breakdown: Why there’s so much static in the winter

Updated: Dec. 19, 2018 at 10:05 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -One of the most annoying things about the winter is static electricity. It can really hurt when you go to touch something and you get shocked. It can also ruin a good hair day. In this breakdown we will explain why its more prevalent in the winter.

In the winter, static electricity is higher because of the drier air. In the summer, hot air can hold more water and it helps to diminish the electrons that we pick as we move. When the air is drier, the electric charges, will build up and stick to us, the drier air makes it harder for the electrons to move around and makes getting shocked easier. The freer electrons are able to move about the less likely they will collect in one spot. Air is an insulator, which means that electrons don’t pass through air easily. If the air has more moisture than the electrons are able to move about more freely.

These electric charges are caused by materials that rub against each other or objects that are moving apart. Another way that static electricity is caused is when a charged material is brought near a neutral material.

You can create static by rubbing your feet on a rug and then touching a person or metal. You can eliminate shock by touching a non conductor for example wood.

When you heat your home and warm up cold air, it doesn’t make the air more humid. Heating up the cold air in your home will make the air drier. This makes it hard for electrons to move about and makes getting shocked easier.

Some tips to help reduce static are

Use a humidifier, increasing the humidity in your home, adding the humidity to the air will help to break up the static charge

Plants can also help bring more moisture to your home

Moisturize your skin

Wear 100% cotton

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