Coping with Colorado’s low humidity

Joan Shaffer October 10, 2017 Denver Real Estate Market Energy Savings Home Improvement Homeowners

With the arrival of October comes weather that is chilly enough to have the heat running in our homes. Unfortunately, our furnaces take a bad situation and make it worse by creating an even drier environment.

The recommended level of humidity within a home is 35%-45%. But here in Colorado, when air is circulated through a home’s heating system, the humidity levels within the home can plummet into single digits. When the humidity levels within a home are that low, the environment becomes dangerous to our house, our pets and our health. Be sure to check out this amazing article on what dry air can destroy:

https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/9-things-your-homes-low-humidity-ruining

Wood problems:

When the air inside gets too dry, any wood in the home, such as floors, furniture or cabinets, can split and crack.

Static electricity problems:

When low humidity creates a static shock from touching metal, there is a risk of damaging computers and other electronic equipment.

Health problems:

The upper part of the respiratory system, including the throat and nose, is lined with moist membranes. These membranes serve to capture dirt, dust, viruses and bacteria before they reach the lungs. When these membranes lose too much moisture to dry air, their ability to capture particles becomes compromised. Consequently, long-term exposure to low humidity can dry out and inflame the mucous membrane lining the respiratory tract, increasing the risk of colds, the flu, and other infections. Once you have a problem, viruses survive longer, and spread more easily, when humidity levels are low.

If you struggle with dry, irritated eyes, low humidity could be a factor since it is known to increase the evaporation of tears.

Reduced humidity, combined with colder temperatures, tends to wreak havoc on skin as well. Many suffer with dry, scaly, itchy skin during winter months.

Pet Problems:

Even your pet’s fur can lose its luster during the dry winter months. And like humans, pets can also experience dry, flaky skin, causing them to incessantly scratch.

Energy Costs:

Low humidity feels colder, so most people have a tendency to turn up the thermostat which increases the heating bills.

A few good options to consider:

Start with the purchase of an inexpensive hygrometer, which can be found at most hardware stores. This little device measures the amount of moisture in your home’s air so you’ll know if the humidity within your home is too low or not.

For Colorado homeowners, finding ways to add humidity back into our homes is a good investment in our health and home. Fortunately, when it comes to adding humidity to our homes, there are a number of options and some of them are free, like leaving the bathroom door open when taking a shower. But since dry air is pretty much a constant problem in Colorado, a whole-home humidifier or even a room humidifier unit is often the best option to consider. Here’s an outstanding resource to help you determine the best type of humidifier for your home:

https://www.trustedchoice.com/choice-blog/health/how-to-choose-a-humidifier/

 

For answers to your real estate questions . . . call me!

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