One of the most common questions we get asked is about humidifiers. People often wonder why, if humidifiers are such a good thing, are we all constantly complaining about the high humidity levels outside.
This interesting irony is one thing we’d like to tackle today. We’ll also discuss how humidity affects your living circumstances, for better or for worse (when we recommend dehumidifiers).
How Does Humidity Affect Your Health?
Having either too much or too little humidity in your home can be dangerous to your health. Homes with too dry air often cause evaporation of the skin’s natural moisture, as well as the normal moisture that should be present in the respiratory system.
Symptoms of people living in homes with dry air include dry skin, irritated eyes, throat or airway dryness, frequent cough, allergy flare-ups, bloody noses, sinus headaches, and cracked lips.
On the opposite side, homes with air that’s too moist can also cause health issues. Many of those are related to potential mold infestations and other allergens. Symptoms of these types of homes include sweating, increased respiratory rate, and repetitive cold and flu issues.
A normal, recommended humidity level in your home should be between 30 and 50%, and it is best to test the humidity daily. Check with our office to learn how to accurately test the level and what to do if it is outside of the recommended range.
Pros of Humidifiers
In addition to helping with many of the symptoms of dry air listed above, humidifiers have many other pros. Some recent studies have shown that humidifier usage may actually help protect people from the influenza virus.
They also can help coughs become more productive, reduce snoring and asthma symptoms, and even help hardwood flooring last longer.
Additional humidity in the air can also help homes feel warmer in the winter, which can help you save money on electricity and heating bills during the colder months of the year. Humidifiers are the most effective during the winter months but can be used all year round.
Pros of Dehumidifiers
Dehumidifiers can really make a big difference in people who have allergy and asthma issues. Many of the triggers that sufferers of either of those conditions have been related to the number of dust mites in the home.
Dehumidifiers greatly reduce those mites, which can reduce symptoms as well. They also can reduce the smell of mildew in your home, allowing your clothes to dry faster, help your food stay fresh longer, and help your air conditioner run more efficiently (which can lower your electric bill).
Homes that have visible water staining on the walls and/or frequent condensation on the windows will also benefit from getting a unit. Dehumidifiers are best used during the summer months, but can also be used anytime.
So now that you know more about the effects of humidity on both you and your home, give us a call at (608) 837-9367 if you have any additional questions or would like to discuss what units would be best for your home. We’re happy to help!