Are you waking up with all sorts of sinus and breathing problems? How about the back of your throat? Does it feel irritated and raw? Maybe your lips are chapped, or you are desperately thirsty for anything water-based right away after waking up?

These are all classic signs of dehydration, and the most likely culprit tends to be sleeping in an environment that is so dry, it is pulling the moisture right out of your body as you sleep. The condition is more common than people think. Especially during very cold and very hot months, when HVAC systems are running hard and even 24/7, internal air can be exceptionally void of moisture, and our bodies pay for it.

Common Dry Air Symptoms

The human body relies heavily on hydration, so it stands to reason that when dehydration occurs, even in mild cases, the body is going to react. The skin and outer areas exposed, including the eyes and sinuses, will be the first to feel changes. Irritation to the sinuses and eyes happens very quickly, especially when sleeping and then waking up. The skin will lose hydration as well, drying out and flaking as a result. Moisturizers can help with this problem, but where dry air and hard water are combined in a home, it can be exacerbated. Ironically, even taking a shower or splashing water on one’s face at night has the opposite effect, causing the skin to dry out more.

HVAC-Induced Dry Air

Under normal conditions, an HVAC is already generating artificial dry air into a home. If cooling, the AC is removing moisture from the air, reducing humidity. This allows the body to perspire and cool itself easier, which creates a cooling effect. Add in cold new air being pumped into a home thanks to freon exposure, and the combination creates a colder effect versus outside where it is hotter.

If the heater is going, obviously, air heated up through a furnace will be void of moisture as well. This hot air, pushed into a home through vents, adds to ambient dry air, dropping moisture levels even more. Running an HVAC regularly will trigger all sorts of dry air skin conditions, especially with those sensitivity concerns.

Other Signs Of Dry Air

There are other classic effects of dry indoor air to watch out for when dry air becomes excessive in a home. One of the most interesting tends to be the presence of static electricity. This is the crackling sound one hears when pulling dry clothes out of a laundry dryer or feeling a zap touching something metal. Static electricity really ramps up in frequency contact when dry air is excessive as moisture in the air is almost nothing. Normally, with higher humidity, the electricity doesn’t get a chance to build up, being shorted out essentially by the moisture.

Long-term dry air will take a toll on furniture, especially pieces that are made with organic material like wood. Absent care and regular oiling or waxing, remaining moisture in furniture can start to dry out further, resulting in cracking in wood, for example. Book pages become very fragile, and instruments go out of tune.

Returning Humidity

One of the best ways to solve internal dry air involves humidifiers. Hands down, these mechanisms produce more humidity faster for restoring an internal air balance than any other method. However, it can be a little tiring trying to run a noisy small humidifier in every room. Instead, a whole home humidifier makes a lot more sense, especially in areas where dry air is very common and the AC or heater has to be run extensively for overall temperature control.

Working with a professional HVAC team, a whole house humidifier system can be added on, making an internal environment far more livable and enjoyable, especially for those with sensitivities to humidity levels. And regular homeowners will enjoy feeling fresh, less dried out, and a bit more energetic every morning as a result too.