When it comes to home comfort levels during winter, we typically give most of our attention to temperature levels. But the truth is that the humidity levels in our homes can also play a huge role, and if they get too low they can lead to some undesirable consequences. So how do you know if low humidity is causing problems in your home? Today we’re going to talk about the symptoms of low humidity in your home and what you can do to counteract them!

What is low humidity?

Whereas temperature levels describe how hot or cold the air in our homes is, humidity levels describe the amount of moisture in the air. During winter when the air is cold, there is not a lot of moisture in our homes’ air and humidity levels can be very low.

What are the symptoms of low humidity in your home?

  1. Static electricity. You know that painful shock you get sometimes during winter when you touch a door handle or a light switch? That is due to static electricity, and it is very prevalent in conditions of low humidity.
  2. Dry skin, hair and body. When there is not a lot of moisture in the air, your skin, hair, lips, nose, throat, and other body parts will dry out quickly. This can cause painful cracks and irritations that make your body – and your home – feel very uncomfortable.
  3. Home feels cold even at comfortable temperatures. If you visited two homes with the same temperature level, but each home had a different humidity level, the home with the lower humidity level would feel colder than the home with a higher humidity level. That’s because we tend to feel colder in the presence of low humidity. So if your home is at a temperature level that should be comfortable but your body still feels cold, it’s likely due to low humidity levels.
  4. Worsened symptoms of asthma, allergies, and illnesses. Because low humidity has such a negative effect on our bodies, it tends to worsen symptoms of asthma, allergies, colds, flu, and other respiratory illnesses. If illnesses are spreading quickly in your home or are more severe than normal, that’s a likely symptom of low humidity in your home.
  5. Damage to your home.Our bodies aren’t the only thing that dries out in low humidity – our homes do as well. This is especially true for anything that’s made of wood because the lack of moisture will dry out the wood and cause it to warp and crack. Damage like this caused by low humidity can be seen in floors, walls, ceilings, and furniture.

What should you do if you’re experiencing the symptoms of low humidity in your home?

If you are experiencing one or more of the symptoms of low humidity that we listed above, the best solution is to install a whole-house humidifier in your home. A whole-house humidifier is installed in your ductwork near your furnace, and it adds moisture to all of the air that your heating system produces. Because your furnace delivers warm air to every room in your home, installing a whole-house humidifier will raise the humidity levels of your entire house using a single unit.

If you have any questions about these low humidity symptoms, or if you’d like a heating system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning, your St. Louis furnace installation and repair contractor. We service the St. Louis area, including towns like St. Paul, St. Peters, and Town and Country, MO.

photo credit: Sally E J Hunter via photopin cc

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