Complaints about poor humidity soar during the winter months. It’s simple physics — cold air doesn’t retain as much moisture as warmer air. It’s estimated that 40-50% is a comfortable level of indoor humidity. However, the low winter temperatures may get your home’s humidity to drop as low as 15%.
The results are never pleasant. Dry lips, cracked skin, headaches and even breathing issues are all associated with low humidity. What’s even worse is that low humidity impairs the body’s natural defense mechanisms against allergies and illnesses. We all need air moisture to maintain the protective layer of mucus in our nose and throat; otherwise, they dry out. This makes our bodies much more susceptible to viruses and bacteria so we can get sick more easily. On top of that, it makes us more prone to infections.
Is Your Home Too Dry?
The easiest and most effective way to determine the levels of moisture in your home is to purchase a basic hygrometer. This compact device is an easy way to monitor the moisture levels of your home throughout the day, as well as to observe how they change throughout the year.
If these devices aren’t accessible to you at the moment, you can still deduce whether the air is dry by observation. You might even notice that you’ve been dealing with symptoms of low humidity for a while without even realizing it.
What Are the Signs of Low Humidity?
For instance, dry skin is one of the classic telltale signs of low humidity. It’s simple, your skin consists of 64% water and needs constant interaction with humid air to keep it moisturized. Low humidity draws out moisture from the top layers of the skin. You can observe the consequences immediately — your skin will feel tighter and appear dull and flaky. On top of that, some new dermatological conditions may develop and pre-existing ones may worsen. Eczema and psoriasis, for instance, are most commonly associated with dry air. If these issues sound familiar, and especially if they persist even after you use moisturizing cosmetics, we advise you to consider adding a humidifier to your home.
Similarly, low humidity affects the skin on your nose. Dry nasal passages and especially dry sinuses may cause you to struggle with a stuffy nose for seemingly no reason. That’s because your body starts producing thick mucus to compensate for losing moisture. Over time, this can cause you to develop a sinus infection, so it’s important to act on the issue as quickly as possible. Dry skin also makes it easier to damage one of the small capillaries in your nose. For this reason, frequent nosebleeds are also a very strong sign of poor humidity.
A lesser known sign of low humidity around the house is an increase in static electricity. The reason is simple — proper humidification in your home naturally dissipates static electricity. However, when humidity falls below the appropriate levels, you may notice that blankets and clothes stick together or that you even experience a painful electric shock when you touch a metal item. So, if you find yourself dreading touching the doorknobs in fear of an electric shock, it’s time to invest in a dehumidifying system and save yourself the discomfort.
Low Humidity Can Cause Damage to Your Home
Besides all the uncomfortable issues you may personally experience, dry air can, unfortunately, cause some pretty expensive damage to your home. That’s particularly true for wood items that naturally absorb moisture from the air.
Too little humidity will dry out your hardwood floors, for example, and cause them to shrink, crack or lose their finish. As the wood shrinks, you may notice larger and unsightly gaps in the floor pattern, as notice an increase in unpleasant creaking sounds. Of course, wooden furniture isn’t exempt from these issues either. Desks and tables may bend to the side and become unusable, chairs may crack, and musical instruments may warp and get out of tune.
Even photos and paintings may crinkle and crack.
What’s even more concerning is that low humidity can have an adverse effect on the structural integrity of your home. With time, the wooden frame of your home may begin to shift and door frames may get slanted. Your window frames could develop small gaps that damage their insulation properties and let even more dry, cold air into your home. Just like that, you can find yourself in a vicious circle of low humidity and property damage. The only way to break out of it is to ensure that you maintain the appropriate levels of humidity throughout your home.
Why Get a Whole-Home Humidifying System?
We specialize in whole-home installations — and it’s for a good reason. They empower you to control the humidity percentage to their exact comfort level and ensure consistent levels of air moisture throughout the property. Whole-home humidifying systems are unobtrusive and exceedingly easy to use — all you have to do is turn the humidity level up and down depending whenever you please. When the colder months are over, all you need to do is drain the system and turn it off until you need it again. That’s it!
Just as importantly, a properly installed humidification system can dramatically lower your energy bills. How does that happen? It’s simple — the moisture in the air affects our perception of temperature. Have you ever noticed how humid the weather in the summer can feel almost unbearably hot, even when the temperatures aren’t even that high? That’s because moisture in the air traps heat, so the more humidity there is in the air, the warmer you will feel.
With that in mind, you can apply the same principle to your home. A room that’s properly humidified is just going to feel warmer, so you’ll be able to turn down the heating without experiencing any discomfort. The opposite is also true, of course — dry air can make you shiver even in a very well-heated home. You might be shocked to realize that you may have spent a small fortune overheating your home while all you actually needed was a proper humidifying system.
Finally, although they’re often compared to single-room portable humidifiers, whole-home systems have multiple advantages. Unlike portable humidifiers that need a daily water change to avoid molding and bacterial growth, whole-home systems are connected to the water supply and require minimal maintenance over the year. They’re connected to the duct system, so they can supply the entire home with moisturized air, making them a one-and-done kind of system. Most importantly, over the course of a year, the entire home system uses up less energy than just one single-room device. It’s clear why whole-home humidifiers are considered the optimal solution for the majority of homes.
Get Your New Humidification System Today
Here, at We Care Plumbing, Heating & Air, we have over 20 years of living up to our name while serving the Southern California area. Our customers are our top priority and we always get the job done in a speedy, efficient, and high-quality manner. We’re available 24/7 to assist you with both urgent and non-urgent matters. We pride ourselves on always going the extra mile for our customers and making sure they always receive the highest quality of service. Don’t just take our word for it — we’ve received numerous industry awards, including the prestigious Dave Lennox Award and the ACCA Contractors of the Year.