By National Refrigeration January 26, 2021
As temperatures become cooler and humidity levels drop, the lack of moisture in the outdoor air can result in dry skin and sinus passages. Winter months tend to bring higher risk of exposure to viruses, such as the common cold and flu, and the cold, dry air weakens the body’s resistance to these maladies.
Dry winter air is not only a problem outside. Our homes can become too dry, contributing to low respiratory and immunity performance. The drier the air is, the longer bacteria and viruses can linger. While humidity cultivates the growth of bacteria, a lack of humidity allows germ particles to separate into smaller pieces and linger in the air longer. The drier our sinuses are, the more susceptible we are to becoming sick. Some moisture is important for blocking viruses and bacteria from entering through our nasal pathways.
Dry air is hungry for moisture and wood attracts moisture. If you notice your floors, doorways or windows creaking more often during the winter months, the air in your home is likely too dry.
Static electricity builds in dry air and can become more recognizable during winter months. You might notice that your bedding shocks you when you touch it, or metal objects, such as the light switches in your home, give off electricity when you touch them. Moisture controls the build up of static electricity. If you experience static, the air is likely too dry.
If your throat or nose feel dry or scratchy after waking up, or spending extended time in your home, the air is likely too dry.
Humidifiers effectively regulate the humidity level of your home, making sure the air is neither too humid nor too dry.
After taking a hot shower, you’ve likely noticed the steam build up in your bathroom. Opening the door while you take a shower will help spread moisture into all of the rooms of your home combating dry and staticy air.
Similar to the way a hot shower produces steam, allowing moisture to spread throughout a home, a bath can also moisten dry air. Essentially, a bath is like a DIY humidifier.
As a reminder, the Mayo Clinic concludes that the ideal humidity level in homes should be between 30% and 50%. Taking steps to attain this measure should greatly increase your comfort levels and hopefully help you ward off those seasonal colds and flu.
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