3 Ways Low Humidity Affects Your Health

3 Ways Low Humidity Affects Your HealthWinter doesn’t have to be a season of discomfort inside your home because of low humidity. Air naturally dries out as temperatures plummet and your furnace dries it out even more over the winter. That prolonged exposure to overly dry air takes a toll on your health by causing:

  • Skin problems. The first and most obvious symptom of air that’s too dry indoors is itching skin or electric shocks. While neither causes physical problems, ignoring the cause can lead to skin cracks and rashes. Both have the potential to become infected.
  • Respiratory distress. As the air dries out, respiratory passages dry out. Sore throats and nasal passages, along with sinus and lung congestion aren’t uncommon reactions to reduced indoor humidity. Like your skin, the tissues throughout the upper and lower respiratory system become more vulnerable to infections when they lack lubrication. They can develop fissures that allow the entrance of bacteria and viruses.
  • Faster disease transmission. Low humidity allows the moist coating around bacteria and viruses to evaporate quickly, which makes them more virulent when they enter your body. They also survive longer in dry air.

Managing Humidity in the Winter

The ideal year-round humidity levels range between 30 and 50 percent. An inexpensive hygrometer will help you monitor them, and increase it when it’s too low by:

  • Forgoing the exhaust fans when cooking and bathing.
  • Adding portable humidifiers throughout your home.
  • Installing a whole-house humidifier that works with your HVAC system.

Of them, a whole-house system is the most energy efficient and easy to maintain. Unlike portable units, it seldom needs cleaning and never needs filling. You can set the level you like using a humidistat that acts just like a thermostat. They work quietly and distribute water vapor evenly to every room in your home.

The problems caused by low humidity are easy to solve and doing so improves your health and comfort. For more information about selecting and installing a whole-house humidifier, contact C.R. Wolfe Heating & Air Conditioning. We provided trusted HVAC services for Middletown homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Middletown, New York about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about home comfort and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 845-367-4482. 

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