Humidity is one of those things most of us don’t give much thought to. We may occasionally admit, “Yes, we live in a desert climate,” or “It’s often really humid here.” But despite what conditions are like outside, maintaining optimal humidity inside the home impacts not only how comfortable we feel, but our health, and many of our most prized possessions.
The Dry Air Problem
Dry air can be a problem in almost any home, but especially in climates with cool or cold winters where heating is required. The combination of cool, outdoor air and heated indoor air can cause your home to actually be drier than the Sahara Desert.
And air that’s not properly humidified can have serious health and comfort implications.
Low relative humidity can increase the possibility of contracting colds and flu.* For example, flu viruses have been linked to accelerated progression and transmission in dry air.** Additionally, the respiratory infections caused by cold and flu viruses are a leading trigger of asthma in children.† Plus, cold, dry air on its own can aggravate asthma.
Properly controlling humidity levels can reduce the incidence of respiratory infections and symptoms related to allergies and asthma by minimizing the formation of bacteria and viruses, fungi, and dust mites.
Impacts on Your Home Investment
Improper humidity, particularly low levels of humidity, can have a detrimental effect on
items in your home that are susceptible to warping, cracking, or other permanent damage due to dry air. This includes things such as:
- Wood floors
- Instruments, such as pianos, guitars, and violins
- Paintings and important documents
Controlling your home’s humidity is one of the easiest ways to ensure that your investment in the beauty of your home will last a lifetime.
What To Do? Whole House Humidifying
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, Air-Conditioning Engineers recommends keeping your home’s humidity between 30-60 percent. This range is optimal for guarding your health and for preventing damage to your furnishings and the home’s structure from air that’s too dry or too moist.
Whole house humidifiers are an effective solution to maintaining optimal humidity levels in your home. These devices attach directly to your current forced-air heating/cooling system and provide cost-effective humidity control throughout the home. They constantly monitor humidity levels and compensate for low levels of humidity by adding just the right amount of moisture to the air.
Qualified heating and air conditioning experts can help you install the unit that fits your home’s needs best.
With proper humidity control, you can fight back against the virus, keep more of the investment you’ve made in your home and surroundings, and confidently say, “Yes, I live in a desert climate, but my home is always a healthy, comfortable 40% humidity.”
About Skylake Heating, Air and Geothermal
Skylake is an elite HVAC expert focused on improving the total quality of your life. Beyond standard HVAC, our expertise includes humidifying systems, air purification, energy-saving air exchangers, and high-efficiency systems. We are also the leading geothermal heating and cooling experts in the Intermountain region.
*PLOSone, High Humidity Leads to Loss of Infectious Influenza Virus from Simulated Coughs.
**Department of Microbiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Influenza Virus Transmission Is Dependent on Relative Humidity and Temperature; 2007, New York, New York, USA.
†Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Asthma Overview.