In winter, the air in many houses and flats is too dry. This is bad for your well-being and health. That is why you should ventilate briefly and intensively in the morning and evening. In addition, you can improve the indoor climate with indoor plants that humidify the air in winter. A relative humidity of 40 to 60 percent would be ideal. If the air is too dry despite intensive ventilation and plants, you should consider a humidifier. Especially in the flu season and in corona times.
In Central Europe, the relative humidity in nature is between 40 and 60 percent. In winter, when cold air absorbs little moisture, the humidity in heated rooms drops to 20 percent or even lower. We do not perceive whether the humidity in living spaces is optimal as directly as, for example, heat or cold. But we feel its effects all the more strongly. For example, contact lens wearers, when their eyes are too dry.
We are listless and suffer from dry eyes or nosebleeds. And we are more susceptible to allergies or infections because bacteria, germs and viruses love dry air and multiply. The consequences are flu and respiratory diseases such as coughs, colds, bronchitis or sinusitis. In energy-efficient buildings, which are more or less airtight, the danger is even greater. Moreover, too dry air favours contagions and pandemics. Every time we speak, cough or sneeze, we release aerosols into the air. These suspended particles contain pathogenic germs such as viruses and bacteria that survive longer in dry air.
Viruses like Covid-19 thrive when the air is dry. That is why doctors from all over the world have submitted a petition to the World Health Organisation. They are calling on the WHO to recommend a binding minimum value of 40 percent for relative humidity in public buildings. On the one hand, this value is ideal for the immune system and the respiratory tract. On the other hand, appropriately regulated humidity in rooms reduces the half-life of aerogenic viruses.
Below 40 percent humidity, water evaporates faster and the aerosols crystallise. This preserves aerogenic viruses and makes them floatable and infectious for longer. Above 60 percent humidity, the salt concentration in the aerosols decreases, which prolongs the life of the viruses. Although forced ventilation helps, it is impossible or insufficient in many buildings. That is why more and more people are thinking about humidifiers. Oliver Zimmermann recently confirmed this in a newspaper article: "Since the outbreak of the Corona crisis, clicks on our website have increased by 60 percent". Zimmermann is CEO of the Condair Group in Pfäffikon/Freienbach SZ. The world market leader in humidifiers for industrial, commercial and office buildings now also manufactures solutions for single and multi-family homes.
If you often have a cold in winter, suffer from dry eyes, dry skin or regular nosebleeds, sleep poorly or have trouble concentrating, a professional humidification solution is worth considering. If you want to protect yourself and your family from flu and cold viruses, as well as the Corona virus, a humidification system makes sense. The healthiest indoor relative humidity is between 40 and 60 percent at a room temperature of 20 to 24 degrees. Cooler in the bedroom, warmer in the living area and bathroom. Monitor these values with a hygrometer and thermometer and adjust the humidifier and heating regularly.