How your home’s humidity levels can affect your family’s health

baby with static hair

As 2017 rings in everyone is looking for ways to be healthier. Most are setting resolutions to go to the gym, eat better etc… the important thing to note here, is everyone wants to be healthier! What if I told you that without spending any extra time a very little effort you could improve you and your family’s health just by being in your home! Well you can. Just by improving the humidity levels in your home you can experience some serious health benefits!  Today’s article will discuss LOW humidity levels in your home.

First off, what is Humidity?

Humidity is the amount of water vapor found in the air.

Why should you care?

Our bodies are comprised of 70% water and according to Web Md. the average person loses two liters of it per day – that’s equivalent to 1/2 a milk jug of water.  I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this… being dry is bad! How bad you ask?

Here some of the risks to having being too dry as it relates to humidity:

1.) Anyone wear contacts? if so, this may be of interest. Low humidity will cause dry, irritated eyes. Dry air evaporates tears stored in your tear ducts, interrupting the natural balance of moisture in the eyes.

2.)  I’m sure we all know this…skin is largely affected. Cold temperatures dry out oils in the skin, sometimes leaving behind itchy, cracked, scaled remains of what was once fresh and hydrated before Old Man Winter showed his face. There’s even a term for the way low humidity levels affect the body. Each year, the change of the season means the onset of “winter itch” for a countless amount of people. If the skin hasn’t cracked on its own due to lack of humidity, excessive scratching in response to the winter itch may be just enough to damage the skin’s surface and welcome infectious agents.

3.) Dry cracked skin is more than a cosmetic concern, without a firm layer of skin protecting the body’s internal system, you run greater risk of getting sick and transmitting the illness to others. You’ll notice greater evidence of this concern in the midst of winter or in environments where the humidity typically rests below 10 percent.

4.)  Another pathway for illness is through the nasal passage.   As the nasal passages dry out from low humidity, the body’s ability to trap and filter out viruses and microbes that cause illness dips. When the sticky membranes lose their ability to filter, more microbes can pass through. Even worse, as the mucus membranes dry and crack, they provide a direct path to the bloodstream for pathogens. This is often why the flu is so prevalent during the fall and winter.

5.)  Some major comfort issues that may occur are:

  • Static shock
  • Dry throat
  • Sore Throat
  • Bloody noses

These are the health concerns with dry air in your home, but there are other things to think about as well. Having low humidity may increase your electric bills! 

Dry air robs the moisture from your skin, making you feel colder at normal temperatures. So what do you do? Turn up the heat, which causes higher energy bills.

“You can save up to 4% on your heating bill for every degree you lower your thermostat!”
-U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Also, you may experience home damage like cracked walls, art and wood floors. You may experience electronic failure due to electric shock!

To answer the question I know you all are asking, How much humidity do I need in my home? Click this link to find our more about relative humidity and information on what is healthy recommended humidity level based on outdoor temp from AprilAire. 

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