In cold seasons when heating systems dry the internal atmosphere the air can often drop below 40% relative humidity (RH). At this level it will draw moisture from any available source. This includes our bodies, materials such as wood and textiles, our pets and even the fabric of our home itself. This will not just leave us feeling dehydrated but can have serious implications for our health.

Illness - The transmission of airborne viruses, such as influenza, is significantly reduced at a humidity above 40%RH. Also, the mucous in our nose and throat is our body's natural defence against airborne pollutants. When it dries our immune system is weakened.

Skin & hair - A dry atmosphere causes skin to become susceptible to cracking, especially on the hands, and can cause hair to develop split ends and become duller.

Wood - Floors, furniture and any other wooden objects can suffer dimensional changes and eventually crack in a dry atmosphere.

Dust - Humidity binds dust and causes it to precipitate out of the atmosphere so when the air is dry dust and airborne pollutants are more prevalent.

Pets - Dogs and cats will suffer from dry air in the same ways as humans but pets from tropical climates, such a parrots, can become very ill.

Things you should know about humidity in the home

  • Opening windows won't help as cold air holds very little moisture. When it enters a house and is warmed, its relative humidity becomes very low.
  • The ideal humidity for human health and comfort is between 40-60%RH.
  • You can monitor the humidity in a room with a hygrometer. A humidistat controls a humidifier or dehumidifier in the same way a thermostat controls a heater or air conditioner.
  • Breathing in dry air makes the uptake of oxygen and its subsequent transfer to the blood stream more difficult. Fatigue, tiredness and reduced concentration are symptoms of a reduced oxygen supply.
  • A humidity of above 40%RH naturally dissipates electrostatic build-up.

You need a humidifier if you are suffering from:

  • Flaky, rough or cracked skin
  • Electrostatic shocks
  • Premature contact lens discomfort
  • High levels of airborne dust
  • Split ends and dull, unmanageable hair
  • Regular sore throats, headaches and tired eyes
  • Cracks in wooden furniture and flooring
Condair CP3 Mini steam humidifier.

Condair CP3 Mini steam humidifier

Ideal for home humidification. Releases up to 4kg of steam per hour and has concealed connections for water and power.

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