As the temperature outside drops, you might find yourself cranking up the heat indoors to stay warm. But did you know that this can lead to a problem? Indoor air becomes drier when homes are heated for long periods of time, which can have dangerous consequences for your health. Here’s what you need to know about low humidity in your home this and every winter.
What is Low Humidity?
Humidity refers to the amount of water vapor present in the air. When the air is saturated with moisture, we say it has 100% relative humidity. Less moisture in the air is simply referred to as “low humidity.” The ideal home humidity levels range from 45% to 60%. Anything lower than 40% is considered too dry, and anything higher than 60% is high humidity, bringing its own problems like a higher risk of mold.
So why does indoor humidity matter? The human body is made up of mostly water. We need it to survive. Unfortunately, our bodies are not very good at retaining water. That is why it is essential to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids and eating foods with high water content (like fruits and vegetables). But that’s not all, we also need moisture in the air around us to stay healthy.
Signs Your Home’s Indoor Humidity is Too Low
When the air is too dry, it can cause several problems, including:
- Itchy, dry skin
- Irritated eyes
- Chapped lips
- Scratchy throat
- Damage to wood furniture (like splitting)
- Static electricity
More importantly, dry air can aggravate respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis. Low humidity levels also make it easier for viruses and airborne pathogens to spread, so most people become more likely to get sick during the winter months if their home’s humidity is not sufficient.
Low Humidity = High Risks
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Why is Indoor Humidity Lower in the Winter?
Dry air is a natural result of cold weather because cold air holds less moisture. A large percentage of people use furnaces to heat their homes; these heating systems pull in air from outside, bringing in drier air.
How to Improve Humidity Levels in Your Home in the Winter
Fortunately, there are ways to improve indoor humidity levels during winter. One of the most effective solutions is to install a whole-home humidifier. Unlike portable units, which can be bulky and difficult to maintain, a whole-home humidifier is installed directly into your home’s HVAC and plumbing system. This allows you to control indoor humidity levels more accurately, more hygienically, and with less effort.
Another way to improve low humidity levels in your home during the winter months is by using drought-resistant plants. These plants release moisture into the air as they evaporate water from their leaves, which can help increase the relative humidity in your home naturally. Some good options include Boston ferns, peace lilies, spider plants, and snake plants.
Indoor Air Humidity Solutions
Low humidity levels may not seem like a big deal, but can actually have a significant impact on health – especially during the winter months when homes are heated and the air becomes even drier. If you’re concerned about low indoor humidity levels this winter, contact Hage Energy today to schedule a humidity assessment appointment. We are located in Houston and can help you create a custom plan for keeping your home comfortable all year long. Don’t suffer through another dry winter, scratching your skin, and conditioning wood furniture, call us today for a free consultation!