How Does Low Humidity Affect Air Quality
Dry air. Dry air can be the itch that won’t go away, the relative humidity that just won’t let you stop coughing, with thin, poor air quality. While low humidity may be something to look for in wet, warmer climates, there are times when we may be wishing for high humidity, or at least the benefits it may offer for indoor air quality and water vapor levels!
There are times when you may need to run a dehumidifier to control the humidity levels in your home. You may also run air pollution systems to improve indoor air quality and remove allergens, pollutants and mitigate mold growth to avoid human health problems and the health effects of poor ventilation systems and how they relate to VOCS (volatile organic compounds) and your health. Whether from smoke, soot, spores, aerosol, pollen and other allergens and pollutants, your mucous membranes have never needed you more than now!
What Does “Dry Air” Really Mean?
First, let’s talk about what it means when we say “dry air.” What we’re really talking about is air with low humidity. Humidity is the representation of how much moisture is in the air, and it can be conveniently scaled from 0% to 100%.
Humidity that falls below 30% is too dry, but the humidity that goes above 60% is too humid. The best balance of humidity falls between 45% and 55%.
While we can’t control the outdoor air, and the humidity levels, air pollutants and other particulate matter, we CAN control our indoor air quality (IAQ) and relative humidity levels in our homes via air conditioning when there’s warm air outside and furnace or heating systems and there’s cold air outside. Through the use of air purifiers, air temperature control and humidifiers/dehumidifiers, we can help your control your indoor humidity year round.
Symptoms of Dry Air
When there’s not enough humidity in the air, the low relative humidity air will become dry, and when emissions and evaporation have caused a low amount of water vapor in the air, dry air can start to cause human health problems. These conditions are the building materials for a range of negative effects, such as:
- Weakened immune system: In order to properly fight illness, your sinuses need the right level of moisture. If the humidity is too low, it can dry them out and make you susceptible to colds and respiratory illnesses.
- Discomfort: Dry air can cause dry and cracked dry skin, itchy eyes, and may also irritate your nasal passage. Bloody noses and itchy throats aren’t uncommon when the air is too dry, not to mention issues with static electricity
- Furniture: Low humidity can sap enough moisture out of the air that even your wooden furniture and floors can crack or split.
Dry air is not the only thing to be concerned about. High humidity levels can cause dust mites and mold growth in our homes, having possible adverse health effects and health problems like respiratory infections and more.
How to Fix Dry Air
An excellent way to battle dry air is with a whole-house humidifier installation. These devices will push your humidity level up to an acceptable range between 45% and 55%. However, I really want to stress the “whole-house” portion of that.
Portable Humidifiers Just Don’t Cut It
You’ve most likely seen portable humidifiers in stores and may have even used one yourself. If you have, then you understand exactly the kind of relief they can provide for your dry air issues. At the same time, you also experienced some of the downsides:
- Only being able to use it in one room at a time.
- Constantly having to refill the water tank (not to mention having to make sure you’re only using the right kind of water, as many of them won’t operate with non-purified, bottled water).
- No control panel, so you never know when the room is humid enough.
“Whole-House” Makes All the Difference
A whole-house humidifier, on the other hand, fixes all these issues for you.
- Installed in your HVAC system, designed to treat the entire home.
- Directly connected to your water lines. You never have to worry about refilling it.
- Integrated with your thermostat so that it can operate automatically and according to the overall humidity levels in your home.
If your air is a bit too dry, let us help! We can assess your humidity levels and determine if you need a humidifier. Contact Climate Control Heating & Cooling today. Comfort & Care from the Team with the Bear.