Study Finds Dry Air Isn’t Just Uncomfortable – It’s Unhealthy
Comfort and health both suffer in the winter and dry air is a major cause. When cold air from outside is heated in the home the relative humidity (RH) drops significantly.
As the air dries out it becomes damaging to both a home and its residents. Dry indoor air causes a myriad of problems, including:
- Increased likelihood of colds, flu and upper respiratory ailments. Viruses that cause colds and flu thrive in low humidity, so dry indoor air can spread airborne viruses more easily than air that is properly humidified. According to The American Society of Otolaryngology, dry air can make people more susceptible to infection. Dry air also aggravates allergy and asthma symptoms.
- Damage to home furnishings. Dry air causes walls, woodwork and hardwood floors to crack, which can lead to costly repairs or replacement.
- Higher energy costs. Air that is not properly humidified causes people to feel colder at higher temperatures. This leads homeowners to turn up the thermostat, increasing energy bills.
Control Dry Air
Dry air is also responsible for a number of the comfort issues that people experience in the winter. Air in the house that is below 35 percent RH can cause nosebleeds, sore throats and dry, itchy skin. To reduce damage to the home and improve health and comfort, homeowners must improve the RH of their indoor air. In fact, it can even increase the chance of getting sick. Research published on PLOS ONE, a scientific journal, found that aerosol transmission of influenza decreases when indoor relative humidity is kept above 40 percent.
The best way to control the humidity levels in your home is with a whole-home humidifier.
Set It and Forget It
A whole-home humidifier installed as part of a heating and cooling system is designed to deliver the perfect amount of moisture to a home without constant adjustments. Unlike portable humidifiers, whole-home humidifiers are uniquely efficient and effective. With a whole-home system there is no need to refill the unit with water. Furthermore, it will accurately measure the outdoor temperature and indoor humidity levels to automatically provide the ideal amount of indoor relative humidity. Humidity is dispersed throughout the house, instead of in just one room.
For more information on whole-home humidification and total control of your indoor air quality, call Quality West Heating & Cooling at (303)522-9597 or visit www.aprilaire.com.