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Cooper Mechanical Blog

Dry Air and Cracked Skin: Indoor Humidity and Comfort

Posted by: Cooper MechanicalWednesday, February 22, 2017

Indoor Humidifier

photo: Flickr user kathryn_rotondo

Humidifiers Add Moisture to the Air

HVAC and indoor comfort is more than just heating and air conditioning. Humidity--the amount of moisture in the air--is important for comfort, health and the condition of hardwood in your home or business.

Although Myrtle Beach has had a relatively mild winter thus far, dry air has been present for much of it. The National Weather Service noted that the dry weather and steady winds were the primary cause of the multiple brush fires that spread across parts of the Grand Strand last week.

Since warmer temperatures are able to hold more moisture, winter usually brings drier air. Running your heat during the cold months will also contribute the the dry air you feel in your home. Installing a humidifier can help relieve the negative effects of dry air.

Dry Air Affects Your Health

Cracked skin, dry sinuses and bloody noses. Installing a humidifier in your bedroom or primary live/work spaces can ease the physical problems associated with dry air.

According to the Mayo Clinic, humidifiers can also ease symptoms of a cold or respiratory issues. Increasing indoor humidity also helps keep nasal passages moist, allowing you to sleep more restfully.

If you suffer from allergies, the dry air certainly isn't helping. Adding moisture to the air can soothe your body's air passages, helping to relieve the pain from coughing, scratching and sneezing.

Dry Air Is Bad for Hard Wood

Did you know that humidity is also important for the health of your hardwood floor, cabinets and other wood products? Without enough water vapor in the air, wood responds by drying, shrinking and cracking. Maybe you've noticed a wooden door frame change with the humidity, or have noticed a crack on the classical guitar where two pieces of wood meet. To protect the life of wood products, make sure your indoor air is the right humidity. 

So this begs the question: what is the right humidity for my home?

Ideal Humidity Levels

Too little humidity and you get the symptoms above. Too much humidity is also a bad thing. It can lead to mold and bacteria and make you feel sticky and gross. 

Most people find that 30-50% humidity is ideal. Central humidifiers work with your HVAC system to deliver moisture throughout your home or workplace. They come equip with humidistats which allow you to set the humidity level, much like a thermostat allows you to set the temperature.

There are also smaller, portable units that plug-in and add moisture to a single room. Some of the models are come equipped with a humidistat to monitor the humidity of the room.

Too Dry? Call Cooper

Cooper Mechanical Services are your local experts for HVAC and indoor air quality. Don't let the dry air plaguing South Carolina affect your health or comfort. Call Cooper!