It’s that time of the year again. Winter winds are rolling in, the temperature drops and everyone starts to bundle up to stay warm. Along with the cold you feel your hands begin to dry. Breathing isn’t as easy out in the cold as it was in the summer. One might think that the cold weather is to blame and if it was warmer these things wouldn’t be an issue. In reality this all has to do with the moisture in the air drying out.
Humidity and Its Effects
Most people like to think that humidity and the temperature of the area go hand-and-hand. This however is not the case. If you think about it, a rainforest is hot and very humid. A desert on the other hand is hot and very dry. Humidity has to do with how much moisture is in the air versus the temperature which is based on how hot or cold the area is.
Humidity can affect a variety of things. Low humidity for example can cause your skin to dry out, make it hard to breath, dry your eyes out, and cause your furniture to shrink and cause cracks. High humidity will have moisture accumulate on your windows and cause water damage. On wooden furniture that is where wood can warp.
For those here in the northern parts of the country, the biggest culprit is low humidity. Typically in most summer months you do not need to worry about high humidity. For the better part the humidity range is pretty temperate. We like to say unless there is an unusually rainy summer you are for the better part safe.
When the winter months roll around that is when trouble can occur. During the winter months the air starts to dry out. The dryness causes wood to shrink, and if it gets bad enough, the wood shrinks to the point of cracking. One thing to think about is where furniture is placed as well. During the winter months you end up running the furnace to keep your home warm. If you have wooden pieces placed close to, underneath, or on top of your registers you end up blowing warm air directly on them. This causes those wooden pieces to dry out very fast due to the warm air directly on hitting it and the air being dry on top of it.
Humidity related problems are the only thing standing in your way of having your furniture truly last a lifetime. Staying on top of it during certain times of the year is the best way to ensure your furniture will last a lifetime. Humidity related problems do not happen overnight either. Typically it takes a few weeks to a month to truly cause anything to happen. Depending on where the piece is located at and the environment it is in that can change. Buying a hydrometer to monitor the humidity in your room(s) is a great way to stay on top of the humidity. Running a humidifier when your low and a dehumidifier when you’re too high is always recommended as well.
Keeping Indoor Humidity Levels Between 40-50% Benefits
The ideal range for most homes is 40-50 percent. This is not always the easiest to maintain so an acceptable range is 30-60 percent. You do not want to get your home at 30% or 60% for an extended period of time. This can either cause pieces to slowly dry out or slowly warp.
Helps temporarily relieve congestion and cough
Helps reduce static electricity
Helps keep throat and nasal passages hydrated
Adds essential moisture to dry, indoor air
Helps keep indoor plants healthier
Helps protect wooden furniture
Have any questions regarding humidity and solid wood furniture? Feel free to leave a comment below for us to answer!