Jan 04

How To Combat Dry Air Symptoms In Winter

image of woman feeling itchy due to dry indoor air

Winter is a time of wonder and wondrous things, but it also brings a few inconveniences. In addition to extremely low temperatures and several inches of snow, we also have to deal with increasingly dry indoor air. Even though dry indoor air doesn’t seem like a major issue, it’s hardly harmless. A lot of people overlook the importance of indoor air quality and don’t realize how critical it is to both their comfort and their health until they’re dealing with the dry air symptoms. Find out more about dry indoor air, how it affects the quality of air, and what you can do about it.

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What Causes Dry Indoor Air In Winter?

Dry air refers to an environment in which there are very low levels of water vapor or none at all. Water vapor naturally exists within the air. This, however, is determined by the temperature of the environment in question. Compared to warmer air, cold air is virtually incapable of retaining moisture. This is why dry indoor air tends to be more of a problem in winter.

The concentration of moisture or water vapor in the air is known as humidity. The indoor humidity levels in your home ultimately determine how comfortable the living environment is. Among some of the more common causes of dry indoor air are:

Insufficient Insulation Or Insulation Problems

image of insultation for a home

An acceptable quality of indoor air is maintained when the air has a good balance of moisture. If humidity is too low in your home, this may be because the building lacks adequate insulation. Indoor humidity levels will be depleted by your central heating system. However, so long as there’s sufficient moisture in the air, the balance will be preserved.

If there are gaps, holes, or cracks in your home, dry outdoor air can be pulled in. This further reduces indoor humidity levels and all allows dry air to diminish overall comfort.

Lost Moisture Isn’t Being Replaced

Whenever a heating system is in use, humidity levels drop. This is also true with home cooling equipment like the air conditioner. If lost moisture isn’t being replaced, the air will become dry and remain that way.

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Consequences Of Excessively Dry Indoor Air

Prolonged exposure to excessively dry indoor air can create health problems and problems with your home. Among some of the more common effects of low indoor humidity levels are:

Respiratory Ailments

image of a woman with resipratory issues due to dry air in winter

The body’s airways can constrict when dry air is a problem, which will make it harder to breathe properly. This can be very problematic for those with asthma and other respiratory ailments. Some of the more common symptoms that might present are tightening of the chest, coughing, and shortness of breath.

Dry Skin And Other Issues

Problems with itching, flaking skin, and dry skin can occur. When indoor humidity levels become very low, even hair can become brittle and dry. Those who are already dealing with illnesses such as the flu can experience heightened symptoms that include itchy, dry eyes, and chills.

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Damaged Wood Features And Structures

If you have wooden or hardwood floors in your home, wooden window frames, or wooden furnishings, dry air can result in warping and deformity. Wood components will eventually start drying out and cracking, and deformities can make doors, windows, closets, and cabinets throughout your home hard to open and close.


Steps Homeowners Can Take To Improve Dry Air Conditions

Problems with dry air can be resolved as there are a number of steps you can take to maintain balanced humidity levels throughout the building.

Repair All Air Drafts

image of homeowner sealing air drafts

Locate any areas that are allowing dry outdoor in and repair them. Gaps, cracks, and holes can be taken care of with fillers, foam sealant, and putty. Use weather-stripping at all windows and doors to prevent air leaks. You should also check the insulation in your home and add more as needed.

Start Using A Humidifier

Humidifiers are great for resolving problems with dry air as they add much-need moisture to the living environment. There are a number of small-sized spot humidifiers that are perfect for smaller living spaces. For assured improvements in your living conditions, you may want to consider having a whole-house humidifier installed. The comfort provided by a whole-house humidifier is more cost-efficient and effective.

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Schedule An HVAC System Inspection

The best way to ensure that your heating system stays working as it should is by performing routine HVAC maintenance. Ideally, this equipment should be checked yearly and preferably right before the start of winter. Your HVAC technician can diagnose and address problems early-on to minimize both inconvenience and discomfort. Making sure that your HVAC equipment is in excellent shape will additionally prevent problems with air pollution and keep everyone in the home safe.



Low indoor air quality is not something that you and your family have to live with, especially during the colder months of the year. If you’re dealing with dry air issues, the right approach can help you improve your home comfort and living conditions, and help you get the entire building winter-ready. Winter is the time to enjoy being inside and the best way to do this is by making sure that your living environment is safe and comfortable.

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image of skylands energy service logoYou can get first-rate home heating and cooling services by working with Skylands Energy Service. We only hire technicians who are professionally certified and capable of offering our clients HVAC installation, tune-up, repair, and replacement services that are truly excellent. These professionals are all sufficiently knowledgeable and seasoned and can service your home HVAC equipment properly and efficiently.

If your HVAC equipment has to be replaced or repaired, you can get lasting peace of mind with Skylands Energy Service. Our HVAC service prices are incredibly competitive, and our work is always backed by our guarantee. Among our top service priorities are comfort, indoor air quality, and efficiency. Contact us now to get a free, in-person estimate or to schedule an appointment for service.

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