MACON, Ga. — In Central Georgia, we all know about humidity.
In the summertime, high humidity levels make our heat feel even worse. Come wintertime, we probably don't spend much time thinking about it.
However, as the temperatures drop outside, the amount of moisture in the air falls as well.
Wintertime air contains less moisture than summertime air. By default, air inside your home is drier during the wintertime.
Running the heat makes the air appear drier. When we run the heat and increase the temperature in a room, we also increase the air's capacity to hold moisture. Since we don't add any moisture, the relative humidity falls.
It sounds complicated, but know that in most instances, when the air temperature rises, the relative humidity falls.
Low relative humidity inside your home leads to chapped lips, dry skin, runny noses, scratchy throats, and more.
Aside from those annoyances, dry air dries out your body's mucus membranes. Mucus membranes are one of our immune system's lines of defense.
With those drier and less effective in low humidity, our bodies become more susceptible to airborne germs, such as cold and flu viruses. With humidity being too low in your home, you may be spending more on cold and flu remedies and trips to the doctor.
While we know that low humidity in a home may be an issue, but it's not something most people check on a daily basis.
Some people have in-home sensors that show the relative humidity, but this doesn't apply to all of us.
All you need to check the relative humidity in your home is your favorite cold beverage. Take a cold drink and set it out for a few minutes. Does condensation form on the side? If not, then your air is too dry!
Increasing the humidity in your home is simple, and very cheap. You can easily raise the humidity in your home by boiling water, leaving warm water by air vents, placing water over a secured floor heater, or just by running a humidifier in a room or two.
We're in a global pandemic, and if we can raise the humidity in our homes a little bit, we may save some change on medicine and trips to the doctor this winter season. Plus, you may improve your immune defenses.