If you live in Bath, Pennsylvania, you know that humidity levels can exceed 90 percent on a regular basis. High humidity can prove uncomfortable, especially if you’re engaged in an activity, such as cleaning or exercise. However, humidity can also impact your body in positive and negative ways.
High Humidity: Frizzy Hair
If you notice that you have more bad hair days than good ones, you could blame the humidity. High levels of moisture in the air can cause your hair to curl and appear frizzy. That’s why supermarket aisles are lined with products designed to “control the frizz.”
You can use a straightener and hair products to fix this problem. However, in extreme humidity, even those tools might not prove effective enough to make your hair completely sleek and straight.
Low Humidity: Dry Skin
Although Pennsylvania doesn’t have an official dry season, cold weather means dry air which can leave your skin itchy and flaky. Your skin needs moisture to maintain its softness, and you might experience cracking and bleeding as well as roughness.
To control humidity in your house and avoid perpetually dry skin, consider investing in a humidifier. It senses your home’s humidity levels and releases moisture into the air when necessary. On many models, you can set the humidity threshold that you want to maintain, such as 50 percent, so you don’t inadvertently increase the humidity too much.
High Humidity: Increased Sweating
You might notice that you sweat more when humidity levels soar. Since high humidity makes the temperature feel hotter than it actually is, your body responds as though the temperature increased. Even worse, excess humidity hampers sweat evaporation, so the moisture remains on your skin and you feel even warmer.
A whole-home dehumidifier can help you combat this problem. It helps reduce moisture levels in the air so you feel more comfortable in your home. Since it’s wired into your HVAC system, you don’t have to turn it on and off. Instead, it automatically senses the indoor humidity levels and adjusts accordingly.
You can also run your air conditioner to reduce humidity levels. As long as it’s sized appropriately, the AC’s evaporator coils condense water vapor and drain the moisture out of your home so you don’t have to deal with it. However, sometimes you need a dehumidifier as well, especially during the hot summer months.
Low and High Humidity: Asthma and Allergy Symptoms
As the humidity levels drop, your nasal passages get increasingly drier, which can make allergy symptoms worse. You might even experience nose bleeds, which can lead to sinus infections if they’re not carefully monitored. If you have a humidifier in your home, use it to increase indoor humidity levels for greater comfort. Just don’t go overboard because high humidity can provide the perfect breeding ground for allergens like dust mites, mold, and mildew.
Asthma, on the other hand, often becomes worse in high humidity. As the air gets heavier with moisture, it becomes more difficult to breathe, so asthmatics have a higher chance of experiencing an asthma attack. Additionally, increased humidity can foster the growth of mold spores and other triggers that asthmatics face.
High Humidity: Overheating
Humidity doesn’t actually increase the indoor or outdoor temperature, but it fools the body. As described above, you might sweat more and become less comfortable as humidity levels rise, but you can also suffer serious health consequences, from heat exhaustion to heat stroke.
During the summer, don’t exercise too heavily outdoors. You could overheat your body, which can cause exhaustion, headaches, fever, chills, and even disorientation. Heat stroke — the most serious case of overheating — can even lead to death. Stay indoors during the hottest days of the year and use your home’s dehumidifier and air conditioner to keep you comfortable. Consider adopting an indoor exercise regimen, such as yoga or running on a treadmill.
Humidity can affect your body in myriad ways, but you can also control indoor humidity levels. If you’re experiencing humidity extremes, call Sullivan Oil & Propane at 610-813-6555. We can help you find HVAC solutions that will make you more comfortable.
Image provided by Shutterstock