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How to Prevent Dry Air From Affecting Your Home this Fall and Winter

Prevent Dry Air From Affecting Your Home

With the cold, comes dry air and new skin irritations and illnesses.

We are no strangers to the Western New York colder months. In the late fall and winter, snow and blistering cold temperatures are things we are familiar with. With the cold, comes dry air and new skin irritations and illnesses. Did you know that there are things you can do prevent dry air from affecting your home this fall and winter? We are going to review steps you can take to manage the dry air throughout the chillier months of the year.

Health Effects of Dry Air

Before we review how to prevent dry air from affecting your home, we thought it was important to review the health effects dry air can have on you and your family.

Because the average American is indoors 90 percent of the time, if indoor air is not at optimal moisture levels, this can lead to a number of health issues. Some of those issues include:

Respiratory Issues: Respiratory ailments such as asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, and nosebleeds are common when breathing dry air.
Throat Issues: Dry air can cause issues with to the throat and make it hard to swallow, cause pain, and increase inflammation.  
Skin Irritation: In cold air, humidity is very low, so what little moisture that is around is quickly dissolved into the air, making moisture evaporate more quickly from your body, which dries out your skin.
Increased Stress: In a 2020 study, researchers monitored the heart rates and stress levels of workers in four separate buildings with varying levels of air humidity. The researchers found that those who worked in the buildings with drier air had heart rates that indicated a stress response. The same participants also reported poorer sleep (healthline).
Other Illnesses: Evidence indicates that dry air may increase your risk of getting the flu, a cold, or other respiratory illnesses. Dry air affects your ability to fight off viral infections by weakening and reducing your nasal mucus, part of your body’s natural defense against these illnesses.

How to Prevent Dry Air From Affecting Your Home

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that you keep the humidity in your home or workspace between 30 and 50 percent. There are things that you can do to keep your Western New York home humidity levels in the ideal range, as well as add some moisture back into your body. Let’s review:

Use a Humidifier: Humidifiers can make a considerable difference when it comes to adding some of the seasonal depleted moisture back into your home’s air. A humidifier’s job is literally to add humidity into the air. The added moisture will help to alleviate most of the issues we reviewed that are associated with cold, dry air.

Ensure Your Home is Properly Sealed: The goal of your home is to keep as much cold, dry air outside as possible. Insulate your home so you don’t have to turn up your thermostat, leading to air that is drier. Seal and close any leaks in doors, windows, attics, crawl spaces, and other drafty areas of your home, with caulk, spray foam, or weather stripping.

Hydrate Often: While drinking plenty of water is always important, it can be especially helpful in the colder months of the year. Fluids will help to add moisture back to your skin and body.

Change Your Shower Routine:  Hot, long showers can dry out your skin, so in the colder months you should take cooler and shorter showers. It is recommended to shower for under 15 minutes when the temperatures are brisk outside and humidity levels are low.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize: Using moisturizers and lip balm can help to prevent scaly and cracking skin and lips. As an added tip, add moisturizers to your skin immediately after a shower. This can help to seal in some of the additional moisture provided to your skin during your shower.

While you likely can’t control Mother Nature, you can prevent dry air from affecting your home this fall and winter.

At Duffett Plumbing, Heating, & AC, we are here to help you ensure that your home is at the ideal humidity and comfort level throughout the year.

Duffett Plumbing, Heating & AC is your locally trusted home services team. We’re proud to provide the very best in heating and air conditioning in Hamburg, NY and Erie County. We’re also your full-service plumbing team. We’re available 24/7. Contact us today.