Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air, and in a case where the level falls dangerously low, it is known as low humidity. Though it might not appear to be much of a problem, but moisture is an essential factor, which contributes to healthy living, and too little or too much can result in serious health consequences. In our case today, we would be considering the impact of the “too little.” i.e., what causes low humidity in a house
Mostly seen during winter, humidity level falls drastically, which is the air losing moisture and become very dry. The result is numerous and tentatively depends on each individual’s present health condition, though there are still some general effects that it shared universally. Some of this includes irritated eyes, dry and itchy skin, drying of the mucous membrane lining in the respiratory tract. This body condition makes one more at risk of numerous infections.
From experience, it is evident that when outdoors weather condition is low in humidity, it only becomes a matter of time before that humid condition replicates itself inside the home. This trick behind this is not as vague as it might appear to be, and along with other things about low humidity (health implication, environmental impact, and fix), it would be discussed in this article.
Low humidity definition: What is low humidity in a home
Humidity in a home is an atmospheric condition whereby there exists very little water vapor in the air. This condition is more accurately characterized by the term low relative humidity.
Relative humidity refers to the amount of water in the air compared to the total amount it could contain at a specific temperature.
For example, having a 90% relative humidity during the summer period could leave you sweaty and your home moisty, while experiencing the exact same condition of 90% relative humidity during winter would feel far less comfortable. The air would be much dryer than it should be.
What causes low indoor humidity-Changing the temperature also changes the size of the air and changes the Relative humidity.
Factors responsible for low humidity indoors is anything you do at all, which takes moisture out of the air. Primarily, low indoor humidity is created when cold air, which carries a far lesser amount of moisture than warm air, enters the home and is heated, therefore lowering the atmosphere’s overall relative humidity.
Considering what causes low humidity in a house. It can also occur as a result of excess air conditioning, or overuse of a dehumidifier. The air conditioning works like a heat exchanger, drying air in the home during the process of cooling, while dehumidifiers pose a risk of removing too much moisture from the air when running for a very long period of time.
What is a good humidity level indoors
The good humidity level most suitable for indoors is the range of relative humidity, which is the most health for humans to live in. It is portrayed as a range because mentioning a specific number would surely be a wrong move due to the differences in other factors like temperature, season, climate zone, and more.
According to the environmental protection agency (EPA), it is best that indoor relative humidity is kept below 60% at all times. Though 60% is the threshold, the actual range spans around 40% to 50%, with an allowance for a little higher or lower, i.e., 30% and below 60%. This variation is also temperature sensitive too.
What happens when humidity is low: Low humidity in the house symptoms
Now that we have known What causes low humidity in a house, what are the consequences. Exposure to very low humidity levels can be a major causative factor of poor health conditions. Poor sinus health is one of the major symptoms experienced by people living in low humidity, which leaves the sinus very dry due to lack of moisture in the air, making it more susceptible to diseases and allergens.
There is also an issue of severe respiratory problems, which is due to the low moisture that, over time, can inflame the mucous membrane that lines your respiratory tract. This is a very sensitive membrane; therefore, inflammation could cause more problems, significantly increasing the risk of infection like a cold or flu. The flu virus survives longer, and also spread faster in decreased humidity. Other symptoms include dry and itchy skin, red, sore, and itchy eyes too.
Low humidity headache: A major Discussion
According to the world health organization (WHO), headaches are the single most common nervous system disorder, with statistics which shows about 1 in 2 adults experience this at least once in a year. There are several potential factors which could be responsible for the nervous disorder that causes headaches in the body, with stress precisely topping the chart. However, there is a chance that the headache you feel is as a result of low humidity.
Low humidity is able to cause nervous disruption, resulting in headaches after prolonged exposure. It starts with nasal dryness, whereby the mucus membrane will dry out, and starts to develop cracks, till a point where they become irritated and eventually inflamed. The resulting swellings make it difficult for blood to flow at the normal rate as it would through the sinus cavities, causing a pounding headache in the process.
Low humidity could also be responsible for causing headaches by becoming an avenue for repulsive chemicals to exist in the atmosphere. Most common household items like furniture, new materials, paints, and others, actually contain toxic residues of chemicals used during the manufacturing process. The molecules of these chemicals are trapped on the surfaces, and sometimes can be smelt. Very dry air causes the dangerous chemicals to evaporate into gas form, making them available for pickup by the simple act of breathing in. This gas inhaled in large quantities may trigger headaches and other health problems.
How to fix low indoor humidity Upon Identifying What causes low humidity in house
The best way to solve the indoor humidity problem is through the use of a humidifier. Humidifiers operate by breaking down water into tiny droplets, precisely called mist. This process can be carried out by directly evaporating the water into mist, breaking it down through the use of wick filters blown by a fan, or ultrasonic vibrations.
Humidifiers come in different kinds, types, capacities, and sizes. Therefore for it to be effective against low humidity, it is necessary that you purchase the best for your specific needs and home condition. Factors like room size, mist output capacity, tank size, and so on, would need to be taken into consideration before a purchase is made.
Conclusion- low humidity range
Low humidity could be what is responsible for major discomforts or poor health conditions of individuals in the home and should be therefore attended to with urgent priority.
The healthy range for humidity is around 40% to 50%, with a little tolerance for going higher or lower; however, humidity should never be allowed to fall below 30%. Humidity level lower than 30% is what is characterized by very dry air, as well as other symptoms synonymous with the atmospheric condition.