As the temperature drops this winter, so will your humidity. Cold winter air does not hold the same amount of moisture as warm summer air, and this can become a problem if the air becomes too dry. Humidity should normally be around 45% during the winter, but dry winter air can drop to around 15% or even less! If this air makes it into your home, you may begin to experience negative symptoms to your health and the health of your loved ones.
Protect your comfort and health this winter by understanding exactly what dry air does to you. Let’s take a look at why it is so important to treat your indoor air if the humidity drops.
Disease and Dry Air
Your respiratory system requires moisture in order to work properly. Certain membranes in your nose and throat are made to catch viruses, dirt and dust before they can move further down into your body. These membranes become less effective if they lose moisture, which occurs when dry air is around.
If you want to reduce your risk of illness in the winter months, increase the amount of moisture in the air so that your upper respiratory membranes can work in winter as they do in summer!
Dry Air and Your Nose
When your nose becomes dry, irritated and itchy, this is a symptom of a greater problem. A dry nose that comes from a drier atmosphere can cause nosebleeds, but it can also cause much more serious complications in the respiratory system. In worst case scenarios, cold air can cause bronchial and cardiac problems because of germs that are not properly managed through the nasal cavity.
These situations can be easily avoided if you pay attention to the early symptoms – itchiness in the nose, pain when breathing, general discomfort in the nasal passages. In the winter months, many of these symptoms can be linked directly to dry air. Humidify the atmosphere in order to keep your nasal passages healthy along with the rest of your body.
Dry Air and Your Skin
The body is over 70% water, and your skin alone is over 50%. When the air around your skin does not have the proper humidity, then your skin will react negatively. You will begin to see chaps and chafes that may cause general discomfort, itching and flaking. Older people and people with bad immune systems may even begin to experience symptoms of arthritis (it may or may not actually be arthritis, but it will feel the same).
If your skin begins to painfully crack in the winter months, then it is definitely time to seek out some way to humidify the air around you on a consistent basis. If you already have skin issues such as acne or eczema, dry air can cause these conditions to flare up even more. Your skin is also indicative of problems that the rest of your body may take on soon, so look at this as your forewarning to correct your environment.
In our normal lives, static electricity is usually a cheeky little prank that physics pulls on us every once in a while. In winter months with dry air, it can become a real problem and a real pain. Dry air causes static electricity to build up to uncomfortable and even dangerous levels. It can affect you every single time you touch something that is metal in your home – everyday items such as doorknobs, countertops, or even silverware. You may be unable to sleep in your bedding because it sticks to you or shocks you. If you have children in the home, the situation can quickly become untenable.
Air with moisture dissipates static electricity. The shocks will be smaller, and you will not feel most of them. If you have young kids in the house, this is a very important reason to make sure that the air is properly humidified.
Dry Air and Your Home Infrastructure
Dry air takes moisture from other places in your home, including its very infrastructure. If you have a lot of wood around, you may notice that it creaks more often during the winter months. This is because the air is literally drawing moisture from it, weakening it and making your home less safe in the process.
Dry air will also take moisture from your doors and windows, causing the frames to shift. This creates holes in your insulation, which lets in even more cold air from the outside. Your heating and power bills will likely go up, and your home will be less comfortable in general.
Your Furniture is Not Safe
Just as dry air takes moisture from the infrastructure of your home, it can also pull it from your furniture. Even your books are not safe, so if you have a library with older material that you would like to keep, you owe it to posterity to keep the air moisturized in the winter!
Overall, these large items in your home all lose value if you let dry air become a major factor in your real estate. You will pay more for upkeep and repair when you do not have to, so making the investment in good indoor air quality is a cost saving endeavor.
Your Next Move
AQM helps you protect your home and your loved ones by maintaining a healthy indoor air quality for you, especially in the harsher months of the year. Dry air is one of the most important situations to avoid, yet it is one of the problems least recognized. We are here to inform you of just how damaging dry air can be. More than that, we are here to fix the problem.
Give us a call at (610) 363-3940 to schedule a free no-obligation consultation if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above. We will provide you a timely diagnosis and solution that will save you money, improve your comfort, and most importantly, protect your health. We are ready to help you today – one call services all!