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What to Know About the Relationship Between Home Humidifiers and Health

For many parts of the U.S., including the mid-Atlantic region, dry air is an unavoidable part of wintertime. As temperatures outside drop and moisture in the air becomes sparse, the impact can be felt in your home, belongings, and health.

Do you ever notice that you experience certain health-related symptoms during the wintertime, like a sore throat or skin irritation? That’s likely a result of dry air.

Our bodies need moisture to lubricate our airways and without the right amount of humidity in our home’s air, we experience unwanted symptoms and can even get sick with viruses like influenza, studies show. Inadequate humidity has the ability to worsen a wide range of health issues, from respiratory conditions and skin problems to nosebleeds, dry eyes, sore throats, and more.

Not only is dry air a nuisance that can persistently dry your airways and cause unwanted health symptoms, but it can also have harmful effects on your home. Dry air causes wallpaper to peel away and can shrink wood furniture and building materials which can lead to warping or cracking.

Newer homes are being built tighter than ever in order to make them energy efficient, however, they also require extra help to prevent seasonal dryness.

To maintain a healthy home environment, the EPA recommends that you keep indoor humidity at about 50 percent.

Signs Your Home Is Too Dry

If you notice static shock, cracks in the floorboards, creaky furniture, chipped paint or dry skin and sinuses during the late fall and winter months, your home may be too dry.

(Alternatively, your home may be too humid in the summertime if you notice a lingering musty smell and condensation on windows or mirrors. You may also notice the wood in your home is swelling — think of doors that are hard to open and close.)

The good news is that advances in home humidification technology is helping homeowners maintain and manage healthy humidity levels no matter the season.

3 Benefits of a Whole-Home Humidifier

  1. Maintains Wellness: Healthy humidity reduces the incidence of respiratory infections and symptoms related to allergies and asthma by minimizing the formation of bacteria and viruses, fungi and dust mites.
  2. Saves Energy: Balanced humidity prevents your furnace from working overtime, saving you money in the long run.
  3. Protects Your Home: Dry air leads to cracked wood, while overly damp air contributes to harmful mold growth. A humidifier maintains proper humidity levels to help preserve the natural beauty of wood floors, cabinetry, furnishings, and anything else in your home susceptible to warping, cracking, or damage due to dry air.

Avoid Humidifiers That Can Spread Germs

Be careful to avoid humidifiers that can do more harm than good.

Studies conducted by the EPA and Consumer Product Safety Commission have shown that some humidifiers can actually disperse materials, such as unwanted microorganisms and minerals, from their water tanks into indoor air.

Known as “humidifier fever”, tiny bacteria, fungi, and amebas that develop in the moist environment of a humidifier can cause a sudden onset of fever, muscle aches, pains and shortness of breath.

A whole-home humidification solution is built to remedy your entire home’s dry air needs by adding just the right amount of moisture — without risk of spreading contaminants or over-humidifying.

It’s installed directly in your heating system’s ductwork and humidifies while your furnace is cycling and heating the air in your home. This means that every room in your home can enjoy humidified air by using a single unit.

Plus, you can conveniently set the correct relative humidity for your home and enjoy consistent, comfortable air.

Maintain Proper Humidity for Healthy Air

Now is the perfect time to review the air quality in your home — particularly if you’re concerned about the comfort of your family and the structural integrity of your house.

Simply schedule an appointment with one of Sila’s home comfort experts. We can talk you through all of your options to see if a whole-home humidification solution is right for you.

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