Canadian Government Sets NEW Indoor Humidity Guidelines for Long-term Care Facilities and Homes

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-Common viruses, such as influenza, can’t transmit as well in moist air. Keeping a humidity level above 40%RH will significantly reduce your risk of getting infected. Your immune system is weakened in a dry environment. Therefore, introducing a humidifier in your home could mean the difference between catching a cold this winter and remaining healthy.

Skin & hair- Dryness, itchiness and dullness are common hair and skin symptoms in a dry air environment. Installing a humidifier in your home can significantly help prevent these damaging effects, and let you maintain a healthy, vibrant look.

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

Dust-Dry air allows dust and airborne pollutants to build up. Maintaining the right level of humidity in your house will bind the dust and cause it to precipitate.

Pets- Dogs and cats will suffer from dry air in the same ways as humans but pets from tropical climates, such 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

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