Why Humidity is beneficial in the Winter

kevin@mac-works.comHeating, Indoor Air Quality

Definition of humidity

We seem to have this love/hate relationship with humidity. It’s horrible in the summer, but quite lovely in the winter! When it’s too humid in the summer, the air is sticky and moist, causing an uncomfortable feeling for many. High humidity in the summer can also lead to some things, including muggy conditions, mold growth and sleep discomfort and the only way to alleviate the discomfort is to use your home’s air conditioning to remove the moisture in your home.

But in winter, humidity is welcomed! And that’s because the air in winter feels dry, with little moisture in the air causing it to feel that way. When your home’s moisture is low during winter, it can cause some problems for you and your family like dry and itchy skin, damage to your wood floors and wooden furniture and an increased chance of getting sick with a cold or some infection. The most prominent winter danger when there’s low humidity is a respiratory tract infection because the low humidity dries out and inflames your tract’s mucous membrane linings. This is your body’s natural barrier against infections. Low humidity also allows viruses to live longer, thus increasing your risk of getting an infection, which is why it always seems as if you get sick in the winter!

Low humidity can also damage your eyes and skin since it’s been known to evaporate tears quicker, which will disrupt the moisture balance of your eye’s surface. You’ll also notice that your skin will start to feel scaly, itchy and dry, causing skin problems like eczema to become even worse during these dry months. Dry air tends to draw out moisture in your skin, causing small cracks on the surface, which makes you itchy and scratch all the time.

And you’ll also notice the increase in static electricity everywhere, causing you to shock yourself when you touch certain household items like door handles. Plus, it can chip your home’s paint and damage any electronics you have like phones, computer, tablets and so much more!

Your home’s indoor air will get dry when the air outside is dry, which means there are low humidity levels. And since you usually turn your heaters on in cold weather, you only end up drying the air in your home even more. Your home’s electricity bill also goes up because you run your heater for longer periods of time, but this only causes your sinuses to dry up and your skin to crack because of the low humidity levels.

What can you do to increase humidity in your home during winter?

Easy…use a humidifier! But the thing with small, portable humidifiers is that you can only use them in one small room and not the entire house, leaving you to carry it everywhere you go when the air is dry out. Or you can spend a lot of money getting humidifiers for every room, but then they’ll take up space and won’t fit with your home’s décor. Other quick fixes include a steam bath by taking a hot shower, breathing in the steam from a hot cup of cocoa or tea, or boiling water on your stove and placing them around your home.

The optimum humidity in your home depends on your family’s personal preferences, but it’s suggested to maintain a range of 45% to 55% humidity to reap beneficial health effects. A better way to achieve the most comfortable humidity levels in your home is to add a whole house humidifier from Aprilaire!

Not only will it improve your family’s health and provide comfort in winter, but it also saves energy and protects your home. Dry air will be a thing of the past when you install a whole house humidifier, and with a few to choose from, you’ll be able to have a comfortable winter with no worries of dry skin, increased chances of getting sick and ruining your home’s furniture!

An Aprilaire whole house humidifier will keep sickness at bay and reduce any asthma or eczema symptoms while allowing you to feel comfortable at lower temperatures. And it delivers the perfect amount of humidity for your home so that your wood furniture or floors aren’t damaged by the dry air of the season.

If you’re interested in learning more about Aprilaire’s whole house humidifiers, give Frew Plumbing a call today so that you can improve the air quality and humidity in your home