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Dry Air – Home Air Quality During Winter

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What causes dry air in a house? 

One of the most common causes of dry air in a home is air infiltration, air coming in through leaky air vents, ductwork, worn door and window seals.

How dry should the air be in my home?

As the cold season starts, steam room humidifiers start showing up in stores, but why is humidity important, and why is it related to healthy air?

According to recent studies, the optimum healthy zone regarding humidity is between 35% to 55%. During Fall/Winter, humidity below 30% enables bacteria, viruses, and respiratory infection propagation. Dry air can also trigger more frequent asthma attacks.

Why does this happen in winter?

According to the following example from Innovatek1, imagine that take a 1×1 air sample of outside air at 30 degrees with a relative humidity of 75%, meaning that 75% of that 1×1 air sample is saturated with moisture in a vapor state. As that outside cold air enters your home, it warms up and expands.

So let’s say that the temperature in your home is 70 degrees and that 1×1 air sample now expanded to 3×3, the moisture molecules remain the same. Now, concerning the air sample, there is only enough moisture to fill that 3×3 sample to 35% of its capacity. The relative humidity in your home is now 35%.

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What are some dry air symptoms?

  • Dry nose
  • Nosebleeds
  • Respiratory issues
  • Eye irritation
  • High static electricity 

 

So what is our recommendation?

  • Check and replace worn seals
  • Have your air ducts and vents inspected and sealed
  • Have your heating system inspected for proper performance
  • Consider adding a whole-house humidifier 

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