Winter is a strange season. When it’s wet, slushy, and just plain damp outside, you can almost count on your home feeling bone dry. However, alleviating that discomfort is just one reason you should take steps to ensure your dwelling maintains a proper level of humidity in winter (40-60% is ideal).
Here are some of the things that suffer when your home’s air is too dry.
We could write an entire article about how low humidity levels in winter are bad for your health. Here are just a few:
- Higher rate of bacteria survival
- Dry and/or inflamed mucus membranes, leading to greater chance of cold or flu
- Dry skin
- Increased chance of allergy symptoms
- Irritated throat and sinus
Lack of humidity can cause wood to both shrink and swell. That leaves it more likely to sustain cracks and other damage. Low humidity can also cause wooden floors to warp and separate.
Too much humidity is bad for wallpaper and so is too little. Insufficient moisture in winter can cause the paste holding the paper to dry out and weaken, leading to peeling.
Many people worry about how summer humidity can wreck their TV or computer, but lack of moisture is no good for them either. Dry air is more likely to conduct static electricity and that can lead to costly damage. And who likes getting a static shock?
Do you like to display art in your home? Dry air can wreak havoc on even the finest oil paintings by leaving the paint in a state that is brittle and prone to cracks.
Books and Photos
Dry air can also cause these keepsakes to weaken and damage. Paper shouldn’t shrink and expand, as that leaves it brittle.
Low humidity is not as damaging to photos as the opposite end of the scale, but it can still be quite bad. The gelatin emulsion in the image will gradually separate from its support, which keeps the picture stiff. That causes the photo to bend and curl. Although they do not have the same composition, a digital photo printed using a pigment-based ink jet device could still suffer from fading and colour bleeding in low humidity.
If you are a wine connoisseur, you know the importance of cork integrity. Dry air causes cork breakdown, which creates shrinking and cracking that lets in air and causes wine to spoil. This is particularly disastrous for those who consider their wine collection an investment.
Whether you play piano, violin, or guitar, the wood contraction resulting from dry air can throw things out of tune. It can also wreak havoc on any parts of the instrument held together with glue.
Doors and Windows
Here are some more things in your home that you don’t want to warp. When a wooden door or window changes shape due to low humidity, it will no longer fit properly. That makes them tougher to open and close.
Noticing cracks and separation in your drywall? Insufficient humidity could well be the culprit.
A humidifier suitable for your living space can make all these issues go away. Talk to one of our home comfort professionals today to learn how AtlasCare can help you have a comfortable and healthy home over the winter months.