You may know that the right humidity in your home is key to your health and comfort. But did you know that high and low humidity are both associated with health problems and can leave you feeling miserable or sick? Learn how humidity levels make your family uncomfortable and what you can do to optimize your indoor air quality and balance the moisture in your home.
Low Humidity Dries Your Skin and Eyes
Have you noticed that your skin gets drier in the winter? And did you know that’s actually a problem with low humidity? Colder temperatures decrease the humidity levels in your home, decreasing the moisture inside and drying out your skin. This is aggravated by the fact that you’re likely running the heaters during the winter months, further drying out the air.
In addition to dealing with cracked hands, chapped lips, and dry skin in the winter, you may notice that your eyes are comfortable. The low humidity that’s common during this season robs your eyes of the moisture they need. Your vision may be blurred or you may have itchy or burning eyes. You may also experience excess watering, which is the eyes’ way of compensating for the dry environment.
Low Humidity Causes Nose Bleeds and Other Health Problems
A lack of moisture in the air, which is synonymous with low humidity, will lead to more serious complications than dry skin. Low humidity dries and inflames the mucous membranes, which can cause nosebleeds. However, issues with your mucous membrane and respiratory tract can lead to even greater health concerns. You’re more susceptible to colds and the flu not necessarily because of the cold weather but because of low humidity. Viruses also thrive in this environment.
Watch for these three signs that your humidity is too low: You or someone in your family has a persistent cough, you experience frequent static shocks, or your nose bleeds often. You can avoid problems with dry air and correct these health and comfort issues with a humidifier.
High Humidity Cause Sweating and Discomfort
Have you ever experienced moist heat? The most humid places in the United States are along the Gulf of Mexico: Louisiana, Florida, and Texas. This is because heat holds more water than cool air. Regardless of your geographic location, however, temperature increases in the summer can lead to high humidity and moist air indoors if you don’t manage it correctly. A dehumidifier can help with this.
Though you won’t feel itchy like you do in the winter, you certainly won’t be comfortable. High humidity makes some people sweat profusely. It can also lead to overheating, which is associated with serious problems. If you overheat or become dehydrated, you may suffer heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Neither high nor low humidity is desirable. In addition to the issues mentioned above, both low and high humidity are asthma and allergy triggers. Invest in a good humidifier or dehumidifier (depending on your location) to keep everyone in your family comfortable indoors and to safeguard their health, or look for a combo unit to balance your indoor humidity year-round.