Humidity is an important health variable that is easy to overlook. Ideal humidity is around 35 to 55 percent according to experts. When humidity is higher than that, it can contribute to the growth of mold, dust mites, and fungus, making it particularly dangerous for people with asthma and allergies. Low humidity is equally dangerous, however, and may even lead to serious complications to your health. It can also have a negative effect on your house!
The Effect of Low Humidity on Your Health!
Humidity is the amount of water vapour in the air. Dry air can lead to dry skin, irritated sinuses and throat, and itchy eyes. Over time, exposure to low humidity can dry out and inflame the mucous membrane lining in your respiratory tract. When this natural barrier is no longer working properly, it increases your risk of colds, the flu, and other infections. Further, in low humidity certain viruses may be able to survive longer, increasing your risk of contracting an infection. Also, if you struggle with dry, irritated eyes, low humidity could be a factor since it is known to increase the evaporation of tears. This may disrupt the moisture balance necessary for a healthy, comfortable eye surface. It can also wreak havoc on your skin. Dry air will draw moisture out of your skin, making small cracks on your skin’s surface far more likely.
The Effect of Low Humidity on Your House!
Low humidity is not only bad for your health, but it can also damage your house. Dry air damages wood. Your floors, furniture, or anything else made of wood needs moisture to maintain its integrity. The problem is that when the air is dry, it pulls moisture from the environment, including the wood in your house. This causes the wood to crack, splinter, and shrink. The damage is irreversible and can be quite expensive to fix or replace. Dry air can even lead to chipping or peeling paint and wallpaper. Finally, it can also create a static environment. You’ll find yourself getting little jolts when you touch things around your house, which is not really dangerous, but can be really annoying!
Fixing Low Humidity in Your House!
There are a few things you can do to increase the levels of humidity in your home. Leaving the door to the bathroom open when your shower (if you can) is a good way to let the steam and humidity out of to the rest of your house. Getting some houseplants will also increase your home’s humidity levels. Plants release moisture from their leaves and stems, as long as you water them properly and keep them in good health. If you don’t have much of a green thumb, just pick something on the tougher side – you can ask the salesperson at the greenhouse where you’ll go buy your plants. Finally, turn down the heat by just a few degrees; you’ll see a difference in both the humidity levels and your heating bill.
Now that you understand the bad effect low humidity can have both on your health and your house, you can better try to keep healthy levels of humidity. Investing in a hygrometer, an instrument used to measure the amount of humidity and water in the air, will help you regulate the humidity levels and keep them within a healthy range.