Your Guide to Humidity in Your Home During Colder Months

When cold weather hits Sneads Ferry, North Carolina, it can adversely affect your home comfort. Not only does the temperature in your home drop but the humidity can also fall to unsafe levels. This can cause health problems like a scratchy throat, dry eyes and nosebleeds. However, there are ways to control it. By understanding the importance of humidity, how it affects your health and how to get it at the proper level, you can ensure a comfortable home throughout winter.

The Importance of Home Humidity

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor relative humidity should never rise above 60 percent. Based on outdoor conditions, it should ideally remain between 30 and 50 percent.

To understand why low humidity causes problems, you first need to understand why it happens during winter. Simply put, cold air isn’t good at holding moisture. The colder the air gets, the lower the humidity falls. This air then comes into your home through leaks, cracks, doors and windows. When your furnace or heat pump turns on, it can get even drier.

How Humidity Affects Your Health

When humidity falls below 30 percent, it can cause health problems and other issues. Dry air removes your body’s moisture and dries out your mucous membranes, causing them to become inflamed. When this happens, it increases your risk of illness from bacteria, viruses, cold and flu, as your body’s natural resistance weakens. It can also cause a scratchy throat and respiratory problems.

If you aren’t as susceptible to these types of illnesses, you may still have to worry about your eyes and skin. Dry air tends to draw moisture out of your skin. Although it’s rare for this to cause infections, it still wreaks havoc and causes scaly, itchy skin that’s reminiscent of eczema.

When this happens, you’re constantly grabbing the lotion. This can become a nuisance if you have to apply it often, especially if you’re not used to it.

Your eyes can also dry out with low humidity. This is usually due to an increase in evaporation, which sucks the moisture out of your eyes and causes irritation. If you don’t have eye drops on hand constantly, you’re in for a rough time.

How to Control Humidity in Your Home

Now that you understand what causes low humidity and the effects it has on your health, you know how important it is to keep moisture at the proper level. To decide what that is, you must consider several factors, including your climate, the level of insulation in your home, how much moisture you generate indoors and your level of home ventilation.

Once you’ve determined these factors, you can start your quest for perfect home humidity. If you’re looking for natural ways to increase humidity, you have plenty of options. Boiling pots of water, placing bowls of water around your home and hanging wet clothes inside to dry all help improve humidity.

If you need a drastic improvement to your home humidity, natural methods may not always do the job. That’s when you need to think about indoor air quality products like a whole-home humidifier. This product mounts to your existing HVAC system to treat the air and inject moisture when necessary. However, you should pay attention to this level so it doesn’t rise too high. When it rises above 60 percent, you risk the chance of fostering mold growth and improving the chances of reproduction for dust mites.

To monitor the relative humidity, you should also upgrade to a smart thermostat. These units can measure the relative humidity in your home, so you always have an eye on the situation.

Don’t let low humidity steal your home comfort or health this winter. If you want to install a humidity control product, Gideon Heating & Air Conditioning can help. With more than 50 years in the business, we have the knowledge and experience to get the job done right. Call us today at (910) 447-2905.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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