When you think about humidity, your first thought is probably being muggy and sticky in the summer, and that’s never something you want. In the winter, though, when it gets cold outside, there is a lack of humidity in the air. This can lead to many different health issues and can make your home less comfortable than it ought to be. Here are some of the wintertime issues that arise when there isn’t enough humidity in the air.
Dry skin, lips, and eyes
When the humidity drops, the air is drier and can cause your skin to be very dry as well. Dry skin is uncomfortable, often itchy, and in severe cases can lead to cracking, especially on more exposed parts of your body like your hands and lips. There are lotions, moisturizers, ChapStick, and other remedies that can help alleviate your dry skin and add moisture to these parts of your body.
Your eyes can also feel the adverse effects of drier air too. They may feel itchy or gritty. Eye drops offer temporary relief, but adding moisture to the air inside your home is a better overall solution, and will prevent this from becoming a big problem. The added moisture helps keep the air from pulling moisture from your skin and will prevent most of the cracking, chapping, and itching from ever happening in the first place.
Sinus problems, colds, and flu
Dry air is rough on your nose and respiratory system in general. Breathing cold, dry air every day can irritate your nasal passages. Breathing in dry air feels colder as well. When your sinuses are irritated, it can be difficult and uncomfortable to breathe, and this can also lead to nosebleeds due to aggravated membranes.
Dry air in your home also allows viruses and bacteria to live longer. They survive and travel through the drier air much easier than through humid air, leading to an increased chance of catching a cold, or even worse, the flu. When the humidity in your home is well-regulated, these viruses are less likely to persist in the moist air, reducing the risk of illness.
Damage to your furniture
When there are large fluctuations in the humidity and temperature, it can affect the furniture in your home, especially pieces made of wood. A lack of airborne moisture, or too much of it, can warp the wood, causing the furniture to lose its form, deteriorate more quickly, and possibly even split. High humidity levels in your home can also promote the formation of mold and mildew, leading to respiratory and other health issues. It’s also bad for your wallpaper and paint, and other things in your home like musical instruments and books. Keeping your humidity at the right level helps preserve your home and your health.
Solving the humidity problem
The ideal humidity level that researchers agree will allow your home to be healthy and comfortable is between 40% and 60%, and you have several options to achieve this. A humidity monitor for your home allows you to keep track of the moisture levels in your home, and you can add an integrated humidifier to your heating and cooling system to help keep your home’s humidity level in the ideal range.
Another great tool is a thermostat capable of measuring humidity. Some of these can even work with your system’s humidifier to automatically set the humidity, so you never have to worry about it. It will not only keep you comfortable, but will also lower your heating bill, because properly humidified air easier to heat than dry air.
Don’t let uncontrolled humidity in your home make your family uncomfortable, or worse, sick. Make sure your home is in the ideal humidity range to keep your family happy and healthy!