Combat the Harmful Effects of Dry Winter Air

Winter can be a magical time of the year, glistening snowfalls, hot chocolates by the fire and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.  But alongside winter’s cold weather temperatures, also come the less than desirable effects of dry air.  Few aspects of winter can be as annoying as battling cold and flu season or scaly skin and nasal congestion. Dry air can wreak havoc not only on your health and appearance but on your home as well.

Ideal relative humidity for comfort and health ranges between 40-50%.  However, it is not uncommon for the dry winter air to cause your indoor humidity levels to plummet to 20% or less.  Low humidity levels can cause a number of problems including:

Dry Skin & Cracked Lips
Dry skin and cracked lips are especially common in the winter months.  When there isn’t enough humidity in the air, the moisture in your skin evaporates more quickly.  By using a daily moisturizer after bathing, you can lock in moisture and your skin can retain its soft appearance.
 
Static Shock
Spending a winter season in Northeast Ohio, makes you accustomed to the jolts of static electricity that happen when you touch a door knob, flip a light switch or open your car door.  When air has the proper level of water vapor / humidity, electrons are free to travel and less likely to collect.  Drier, less humid air doesn’t allow electrons to pass through it as easily – causing them to build-up and collect on surfaces.  When you come in contact with those surfaces and are wearing something that is carrying the opposite charge – ZAP!
Dried Out Sinuses
Ever wonder why you are more prone to headaches, sinus pressure, nasal congestion, sore throat and nosebleeds during the winter?  It’s because dry air pulls moisture from your mouth and nose causing them to become dried out and highly irritable.
 
Increased Risk of Sickness
As gross as it may sound, the mucus membranes in your nose help to trap foreign bacteria as well as viral invaders. When your nose dries out, the mucus membranes aren’t as effective at capturing harmful contaminants, making you more susceptible to catching the common colds, flu, infections and more.
 
Damage to Home & Furnishings
When air doesn’t have enough humidity, it pulls moisture from anything and everything it can. Suddenly your home structure, furniture, wood flooring and musical instruments all become at risk for serious damage.  Dry air can cause furnishings to crack, window and door frames to shrink and gap, and wood floor panels to shift and creak.

You may think that dry air is just an aspect of winter to suffer through and get used to.  But balancing humidity levels year-round is easier than you think. A whole-home humidifier works in conjunction with your home’s HVAC system to circulate air that has the right amount of moisture to maintain maximum comfort and optimal health.

Contact our indoor air specialists for more information about our whole-home bypass and steam humidifiers and find out which one is right for your home.

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