Ways You Can Combat Dry Indoor Air This Winter

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Ways You Can Combat Dry Indoor Air This Winter

As the outside temperature drops so does the humidity, both outside and inside your home. As you turn on your heat, excessively dry air causes a myriad of issues for you and your family. Dry winter air leeches moisture, leaving your skin dry and your sinuses parched. The dry air also contributes to static shock and affects household items. But there is a solution! Here are the effects and the ways you can combat dry indoor air this winter season.

Effects of Dry Air Around the House

When your house is too dry, there are many items around the house that will be affected. An overly arid environment can cause wood window frames to shrink, which allows cold air to seep into your home, and let warm air escape. Over time the expansion and contraction may cause cracks and other damage. Other issues include:

  • Wood furnishings lose moisture, therefore, cracking and splintering.
  • Indoor plants wither
  • Wallpaper may peel away
  • Musical instruments lose tune
  • Static electricity, which may affect electronics

Effects of Dry Air on Your Health

Cold, dry air will pull moisture from your mouth and nose. Resulting in your nasal passages dried out and your throat dry. Your upper respiratory system is lined with moist mucous membranes. These membranes capture dirt, viruses, allergens, and bacteria before they enter your body and eventually your lungs. When these membranes are overly dry their ability to protect you diminishes. So, keeping your home humidity levels even may actually reduce your risk of becoming sick this winter. Another trick? Make sure you replace your filters at the beginning of the season and throughout the winter.

Effects of Winter Air on Your Skin

Cold, dry air literally sucks the moisture out of your skin. Taking a long hot shower worsens the condition because it removes the natural layer of oil that serves to protect your skin. Additionally, you may become dry and cracked. You may even notice that your hair and scalp are not as healthy.

How to Combat Dry Winter Air

The best way to combat dry air is using a humidifier. Adding moisture to the atmosphere keeps your skin, mouth, and nose lubricated. You should aim to keep humidity levels between 30-50 percent. Please note, though, that you should not crank up the humidifier. Running it too high may develop other problems like mold, fungi, and dust mites. Plus, make sure to clean your humidifier periodically. There are a few types of humidifiers.

  • Portable Humidifiers
    These types stand alone in a designated space, working best for an individual room. Some models self-regulate, sensing humidity levels, while others require manual control. Manufacturers recommend that you clean and sanitize all portable humidifiers often to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Whole Home Humidifiers
    Installed into your central air or heating system, a whole home humidifiers self-regulate humidity levels. As part of a regular HVAC maintenance contract, your technician will make sure to clean it regularly.
  • Bypass Humidifiers
    This is a type of whole-home humidifier, but with a damper system. Meaning that bypass humidifiers allow you to pre-set seasonal settings. This feature is a plus so that you won’t forget to change it every season.

Be Prepared this Winter

Regularly scheduled HVAC maintenance is your best defense. It ensures that your heating and air conditioning will be in peak condition for the worst weather. Contact MBS Mechanical for service today as a sure fire way to combat dry indoor winter air all season!

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