How Low Humidity Affects Indoor Air Quality
Comfort Bear here, checking in for the week. Lately, I’ve begun my posts by talking about how I really have no need for furnaces or heaters thanks to my fur. Sorry, but I just can’t sympathize with you humans on that front!
But there’s one thing I can totally relate with you guys on: dry air.
The air in the Arctic was always dry (especially in winter, but it was pretty bad all year-round). I don’t miss the feeling of dry air, so today, I’m going to talk about one of my favorite human inventions: the humidifier.
What Does “Dry Air” Really Mean?
First, let’s talk about what I mean when I say “dry air.” What I’m 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%.
Symptoms of Dry Air
When there’s not enough humidity in the air, the air will become dry. That can cause a range of problems for our comfort, as well as for our homes.
- 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 skin, itchy eyes, and may also irritate your nasal passage. Bloody noses and itchy throats aren’t uncommon when the air is too dry.
- Furniture: Low humidity can sap enough moisture out of the air that even your wooden furniture and floors can crack or split.
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.