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Weather changes bring new challenges.

     One of the biggest causes of SBS 'Sick Building Syndrome'We must also face the onslaught of respiratory attacks brought on by the ever changing weather.  Sometimes the slightest change can make a big difference, whether it's a change in temperature, humidity, wind conditions, or even barometric pressure.  Cold weather climates are often faced with low humidity indoors from furnaces and wood burners that dry out the sinuses.   Some of the warmer climates with higher humidity can be equally devastating, promoting the growth of molds and fungi, as well as providing an environment in which dust mites will thrive.  Not to mention temperature swings barraging us with ever changing irritants, wreaking havoc on our health.

     Today's article will primarily address the effects of humidity on indoor air.  Whereas we can't always maintain a perfect level of humidity, we can improve it.  One of the biggest mistakes people in cold weather climates make is to increase the humidity to higher levels than are necessary.  But then more is always better, right?  Not so with humidity.  Too much humidity is one of the main causes of indoor mold growth and increased dust mite populations.

     We're all basically aware of the effects of humidity and dampness on the growth of mold spores. Few people are actually aware of the extreme impact moisture and humidity has on the growth of dust mites.  Dust mites LOVE, LOVE, LOVE humidity and moisture.  Just like any other living creature, food and water are essential to their survival.  Therefore, maintaining lower levels of humidity increases the odds in your favor in the battle against mite infestations.

     If the air seems too dry in the winter, you may have no other choice than to use a humidifier. Just beware that humidity levels should be remain at 50% or less.  This is easily attained using one of the many inexpensive humidity meters available online.  This allows you to control the air so that it is comfortable for breathing and sinuses, as well as starving the dust mites of their much needed humidity. 

     In the warmer months of the year, air conditioning is very beneficial in reducing humidity while providing quality air control.  Some studies have found up to ten times fewer dust mites in air conditioned homes.  Be sure to check the Quick Reminder Chart at the top of the page for helpful hints.

Happy Breathing!!!

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