Let’s face it, baby, it’s cold outside. Don’t worry, we’re not going to waste precious blog space weighing in on the holiday song controversy — that’s so last year. However, we are going to say that dry skin is no fun and if you’re anything like us, you’ve been hitting the lip balm a little too hard.
Regardless of your Burt’s Bees vs. ChapStick preferences, there’s a good chance that your indoor humidity (and, therefore, your indoor air quality) has taken a dive, making you feel cold, dry, and chapped.
We’ve got the fix for that.
Why Is My House So Dry in the Winter? More Importantly, Why Am I So Dry?
Well, for starters, like a New Year’s Resolution, the air outside has finally dried out. (Cool air carries much less humidity than warm air.) And although your furnace warms things up inside your house, it’s not adding any moisture to the equation. So it stands to reason that as the drier air inside your home warms, the relative humidity drops.
Because wintertime humidity is so low, what little moisture exists is quickly sucked up into the air. Moisture even evaporates from your body, leaving your skin, nose, eyes, and throat parched.
On a fascinating side note, courtesy of the US Geological Survey, “Different people have different percentages of their bodies made up of water. Babies have the most, being born at about 78%. By one year of age, that amount drops to about 65%. In adult men, about 60% of their bodies are water. However, fat tissue does not have as much water as lean tissue. In adult women, fat makes up more of the body than men, so they have about 55% of their bodies made of water.”
Is Dry Air Bad for Me?
Not to pull out the scare tactics, but yeah. Not only is dry air uncomfortable, but because it’s pulling moisture from your nose and mouth, you’re more likely to find yourself prone to nosebleeds and with a persistent scratch at the back of your throat. Plus, if you have pets and your home is too dry, they’ll likely give you a nasty static shock when you pet them. No fun for anyone, especially if claws are involved.
Leave it to WebMD to take things a step further and two steps grosser: “Because your nose needs gooey mucus to trap viruses and other icky invaders before they can get you sick, dry nostrils can also make you more vulnerable to colds, sinus infections, and the flu. That’s especially a problem in winter, when bacteria and viruses can tend to linger longer in the dry air after someone coughs or sneezes…Cold, dry air plus those allergens can also irritate your airways. For some people with asthma, cold and dry air can lead to a narrowing of breathing passages and trigger an attack.”
The Benefits of Whole-House Electrode Humidifiers
Clearly, staying hydrated is important but even that may not entirely do the trick. That’s where Cumberland Cooling comes in.
Ideally, you want to keep your indoor humidity levels somewhere between 30-50%. While inexpensive tabletop models can be effective in battling dry air in small areas — and we’ve certainly recommended them — they require a steady stream of distilled water, daily cleaning, and frequent filter changes. In other words, they’re seriously high maintenance.
If you or your family members suffer from mold allergies (or you just can’t be bothered with the daily demands of a bacteria-prone cool mist humidifier), you may want to consider a whole-house electrode humidifier.
The safest, most energy efficient, and easiest to maintain humidifier is a whole-home electrode humidifier. We’ve installed the Honeywell Advanced Electrode Humidifier in our own homes and throughout East Nashville.
Benefits of the Honeywell Electrode Humidifier
Efficient, on-demand humidification
Lower heating bills (a properly humidified home feels warmer, so you can lower your thermostat)