Air conditioning does a great job of making us all occasionally forget one basic fact – we live in the desert. During the summer months, prevailing winds from the south blowing across the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of California deliver excessive moisture, which causes haboobs and torrential downpours. Summers in the Valley of the Sun are wetter than most people imagine. Humidity is a factor in both cooling and heating your home. As temperatures drop and heaters fire up, humidity, inside Arizona homes, has a tendency to drop significantly. When the indoor humidity is low, it can affect many aspects of your home life. Here are some humidity factors to consider over the winter months:
High Heat, Low Humidity – Not a Great Combo
Depending on how you or your loved ones perceive temperature, your thermostat may get a lot of attention during winter. Humidity helps retain heat, so dryer air usually results in cranking up the heat, especially at night and early mornings. The problem with low humidity and high heat is a number of physical symptoms can occur. Irritated nasal passages, raspy throat, dry skin, chapped lips and more frequent colds and respiratory issues can occur when your house is dry. These annoying symptoms can be aggravated if you sleep under or near a forced air vent.
Ideal Humidity Between 35 and 45 percent
The ideal humidity for a comfortable home is between 35 and 45 percent. To check your home’s indoor humidity, drop by the nearest hardware store and purchase a hygrometer. The instrument will give you a readout of the percentage of humidity. If it’s below 35 percent, you may want to consider a room humidifier. You can also consider a whole house humidifier. If your family is being strongly affected by dry air, you can discuss these issues with your service technician during your winter tune up.
Low Humidity Can Affect More Than Your Health
Dry desert air affects more than your nasal passages. Wood furniture and flooring can be susceptible to dryness, shrinking and cracking. This may sound insignificant. However, we’re aware of customers who have had new wood floors installed and were extremely upset to notice cracks and shrinkage within the first year. Your beautiful wood floors and fine furniture will last longer if the humidity in your home is regulated.
When the Temperature and Humidity Drops – We’re Ready to Stop By
With the holidays approaching, humidity readings are probably the last thing on your mind. However, if you find yourself coughing and suffering from extremely dry heat, give us a call and we’ll review options with you so your home can remain warm and comfortable all winter long.