Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Dangers of Too-Dry Air

In the summer, humidity is one of our biggest complaints. It's hot, it's sticky, it makes the temperature feel 10+ degrees warmer than it actually is. Then come winter, we have the absolute opposite problem: the air is dry as can be. It makes it colder, our skin flaky and unprotected, and when it's cold enough, it downright hurts to breathe. Of course, on either end there is an easy fix for the inside of your home. And in winter that means running a humidifier or boiling a pot of water on the stove – keep one simmering slowly all day long for maximum effects. (That is, when you're close enough to keep an eye out.)

But is adding humidity really necessary? What exactly are the dangers of a house that's too dry? And why do we need a humidifier – homemade or otherwise – anyway?

When Your Home is Too Dry:

There's an abundance of static electricity. This makes sweaters and long hair annoying, whether on a human or your fur-baby rolling on the carpet. However, it can also mean giving out shocks every time you touch a light switch or anything metal. Small ones won't do much harm, but the bigger the shock, the harsher it's felt. (And more dangerous they can become.) 

Other symptoms play their toll directly on the body, like dry and itchy skin, watery or burning eyes, sinuses and throats that are irritated or in pain, which in turn, can make you more susceptible to germs and colds. Flu viruses can also live longer in low humidity, increasing your chance at being exposed. Finally, the nose can feel congested simply from being too dry. All of these symptoms can make you achy and feeling sick all on their own, whether or not you're actually sick. 

To avoid some serious health side effects, consider running your humidifier all winter long, or whenever moisture levels are low. It's an easy, affordable, and natural way to help feel your best, even through the height of cold season.