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Respiratory Conditions & Poor Indoor Humidity

­In last week’s post (read here), we explained why maintaining ideal indoor humidity levels is critical to the health of you and your home. This week we’d like to dig a little deeper and discuss how low humidity levels increase the chances of aggravating existing respiratory conditions and inviting new ones.

Take a look at the chart to the right marked “A” (or below if you are on a mobile device). You will notice that respiratory illness is most significant when relative humidity is low. For example, February has an average relative humidity of 14%, and cases are over 100 per thousand people. As you can see, illnesses from Influenza Rhinovirus (i.e., the common cold, increase in Asthma attacks, bloody noses, etc. significantly increase during low humidity months.

The question is, why?

The answer is twofold. First, excessively dry air produces the ideal climate for viruses such as Influenza and Rhinovirus to reproduce, spread, and survive longer; increasing the likelihood of you coming in contact with them. Second, dry nasal passages have a reduced amount of contaminant-trapping mucous in them. This reduces the ability of your body to trap contaminants before they reach your lungs, increasing your chances of catching an airborne illness or triggering Asthma symptoms. Furthermore, dry nasal passages increase passage irritation, increasing the likelihood of nose bleeds.

Get in the healthy humidity zone

The chart on the right, marked “B” (or below if you are on a mobile device) illustrates the drop of respiratory issues as you approach the healthy humidity zone (marked in green). And thoroughly explains why maintaining healthy humidity inside your home is critical to better health and physical well-being.

If you are unsure about the humidity levels in your home, speak to a knowledgeable Air Conditioning Contractor. They will help provide you make the right decisions.

Learn more about indoor humidity here.

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