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Dry Indoor Air: Dangers, Causes, and Solutions

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Your indoor air quality (IAQ) affects your health and comfort. Humidity is one of the factors that affect your IAQ. Both high and low humidity are not good for you. Below are some of the dangers, causes, and solutions for extremely low humidity.

Dangers

Extreme dry air is bad on multiple levels. Below are some of its effects.

Discomfort

You might feel uncomfortable if the air is extremely dry. You might even struggle to breathe as the dry air affects your respiratory tract.

Skin Effects

Extreme dry air can dry out your skin. Dry skin easily flakes and itches.

Health Effects

Dry air can affect your health in multiple ways. For example, the air might:

The effects vary from person to person.

Property Damage

Your household properties can also suffer damage if the air is too dry. For example, dry air can:

Most of these damages occur over the long term.

Causes

Some people think that their heating systems, such as furnaces, cause dry air. However, that is not entirely true. Your heating system might be a contributing factor but not the direct cause of dry air. Below are two main causes of dry indoor air:

Dehumidification

Dehumidification removes moisture from the air to control humidity. However, too much dehumidification can leave the air too dry. That might happen, for example, if someone runs the dehumidifier for a long time, runs it with the wrong setting, or forgets to turn it off.

Infiltration

Infiltration occurs if the outside air finds its way into the house. Infiltration leads to dry indoor air since the outside humidity is typically lower than indoor humidity during the winter season. Several things can cause infiltration, with air leaks and overventilation as the main causes.

Air leaks are gaps in your house that allow outside air to enter the house and inside air to leave. Air leaks typically occur:

Overventilation means your house loses too much indoor air. That might be the case if you have a malfunctioning or improperly designed whole-house ventilation system. In such a case, the pressure imbalance can force outside air to rush into the house in every possible way.

Solutions

You don’t have to live with extremely dry air and its effects. The following measures can help improve your house’s humidity:

Address the Cause

Diagnose and address the root of the problem. For example, seal gaps around windows and doors from which your house is losing air. You may need a professional technician’s help for the diagnosis.

Humidify

Another tip is to increase your home’s humidity. A few tips for doing this include:

Whatever measures you take, do them in moderation to avoid creating the opposite problem of high indoor humidity.

Humidity control requires a multifaceted approach. CABS Heating & Air Conditioning has extensive experience with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. We can help you ensure that your IAQ is comfortable and healthy.

Contact us for quotes on all your HVAC needs.

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