Protecting Your Home Against Modern ConveniencesWritten by Alex under Air Conditioners, Air Purifiers, Dehumidifiers, Desiccant, Evaporative Coolers, General, Humidifiers | No Comments
Life is full of modern conveniences. We all love the comfort and ease of air conditioning and central heating but is it really all that good for us? And what can we do if it’s making us ill?
If you suffer from hay fever you’ll know what a blessing it is to be able to sit indoors in spring and summer with all the windows and doors shut, keeping the airborne pollen out while still being kept cool and comfortable. Then, in winter, you don’t keep the windows open as you have central heating and it would just let the heat out. In fact, you never need have fresh air in your home again!
And that’s where the problems start.
Air con and central heating can really dry out the air in a house and a lack of moisture in the air can lead to dehydration. You might ask “So what? I’ll just have another glass of water and I’m good!”
But it’s not only you who’s affected by dry air. You might also see:
- Wood shrink and warp meaning that varnish or paintwork can crack and chip, joints become loose, doors and windows start to stick or let drafts in
- Plants drying out and looking unhealthy or even dying because they need watering so much more frequently
- House dust becoming an ever more common problem. Dry air lets dust move about in the air more than moist air does. This means that it can get everywhere more easily making cleaning a harder job than it needs be.
Air conditioning units can become very expensive; if they are set too high or there’s a window open elsewhere in the home, an air conditioner will keep on working until the temperature is reached.
If your air conditioner is the wrong size it won’t work properly, insomuch as one that is too small won’t cool the whole home, just a room or at best a floor in a house while too big a unit will be difficult to control adequately, blasting out too much cold air and becoming a nuisance to adjust correctly.
Another problem that people experience is a health one too, the dry air makes eyes, noses and throats dry, even if you do increase the amount of water you drink. Skin can get dry and scaly while your hair becomes dull and brittle. And these symptoms aren’t restricted to humans, pets will suffer in much the same way, tropical birds which evolved in a particularly humid climate will become especially vulnerable to the effects of dry air.
So what’s the solution?
You could go without your air con. But that means overheating in the summer, a return to the stung eyes, streaming nose and coughing fits of a summer suffering from hay fever. Not really much of a health benefit at all.
The other answer is to consider investing in a humidifier. Now, the idea of having one machine to cool and dry the air and another to put the moisture back in might seem a bit like wearing a belt and braces but all things considered it makes sound sense. Dry air is more of a side effect than an intentional product of the air conditioner and so fixing the problem is something that should be considered. Not only does it make the air feel fresher, it prevents all of the problems listed above, although if things like furniture or antiques are warped it can’t fix them although it can prevent them from getting worse.
Of course they’re not without drawbacks of their own, again, the wrong size of humidifier will prove inefficient, too small and it won’t be able to deal with the space it’s supposed to be humidifying, too big and you run the risk of creating a whole different set of problems with damp and condensation.