Humidity: Sometimes it’s our friend, sometimes it’s not. In the summer, humidity makes the air uncomfortable sticky and we run our air conditioners to keep it at bay in our homes. But winter air is much drier than summer air and when we run the furnace the air gets even drier, which causes all kinds of health problems.
High humidity indoors can make your home feel stuffy and make it difficult to breathe. It can cause allergy and asthma flare-ups and contributes to bacteria, mold, and dust mite growth. On the other hand, low humidity is rough on your skin, eyes, and respiratory system and there are other viruses that thrive in dry air. Optimal humidity inside your home is between 30 and 50 percent; it’s likely that your home is significantly below that number in the winter if you don’t have a humidifier.
A humidifier may seem like something that isn’t a necessity, but there are a number of health advantages to having one, and some of them are pretty convincing.
1. Keep your respiratory system moist. This includes nasal passages, throat, mouth, and lungs. What this means to you:
a. Reduce or stop snoring. Dry throat and nose make snoring more common and louder.
b. Prevent nosebleeds. Nosebleeds can occur because of dryness and irritation in your nose. When the air passing through your nose is moist, they’re much less likely.
c. You should recover faster if you do get a cold or the flu
d. Eliminate stuffy nose and sore throat caused by dry air
e. Help the tiny hairs in your nose to block out dust and bacteria that can make you sick.
2. Reduce the viruses that cause flu and cold symptoms. These viruses make themselves right at home and breed in dry air. Air with the correct humidity helps keep them at bay, and keep you
3. Make your skin look better. Dry, cracked skin only looks good on lizards. Skin that lives in an environment with optimal humidity is soft and supple. This includes lips that can get chapped
so easily in the winter.
4. Helps relieve skin ailments. Eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions are worsened by low humidity.
5. Eliminate static electricity. Dry air conducts electricity. Moist air eliminates frizzy hair and those zaps from touching doorknobs or other surfaces.
In addition to the health benefits, having humidified air in the winter keeps any wood in your home from drying out, including wood flooring and furniture. This helps extend the life and prevent cracking.