EXPERTS SAY: Lack of indoor humidity can lead to issues with your health and home

Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 5:05 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - It’s that time of year again when humidity is nowhere to be found, both outside and inside your home.

Experts say that could harm wooden surfaces inside your home and your personal health.

“Wood might start to crack or buckle,” Trevor O’Bryan with Larson Heating Air and Plumbing explained how wooden surfaces respond to changes in humidity throughout the year, “wood is constantly expanding and contracting, and with that, it’s sucking in moisture. When there’s no moisture in the air, it’s going to dry out -it’s kind of like a sponge, they will start to shrink up, and that’s when you’ll notice it buckling or you might notice it warping or cracking.”

He recommends installing a humidifier into your HVAC system and keeping the humidity at a steady 40-50% through the cold, dry months.

This will help not only your home but your body as well.

“If your nose is cold, dry then those white blood cells can’t get in there as well, they can’t provide protection as well, so it does make your body work harder to kill the bacteria that may wind up in your nose, or viruses, either one,” said Dr. Ron Evans of Citizens Memorial Hospital.

Nose bleeds, cracked, dry skin, and a diminished immune system are especially present this time of year. Dry air is the main culprit of these symptoms.

“Especially for people with some underlying medical conditions such as asthma or allergies, and that can really flare up. I think for those people especially, it’s helpful to make sure you’re using a humidifier in your home, and if you’re using a humidifier, make sure you clean it on a regular basis,” explained Dr. Evans.

Whether it’s a plug-in humidifier or one installed in your HVAC system, cleaning them regularly is essential to avoid mold or bacteria growth.

If you decide to have someone install a house humidifier, O’Bryan said it only takes a few hours to install. He explained if you’ve invested in hardwood floors, not keeping up with the changing humidity can cost a lot more in the long run.

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