The Spring Season and Low Humidity

Most people associate the winter months as being the worst time of year for low humidity. The it’s cold outside, people tend to use heaters to create a more comfortable environment inside their homes and workplaces. But sense warm air is denser than cool air, it’s unable to hold as much moisture; therefore, the humidity drops and the indoor climate remains dry and arid. However, the spring season can prove to be equally as problematic in terms of low humidity.

According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America (AAFA), up to 50 million Americans (1 in 5) suffer from allergies. Allergies are characterized by the immune system’s response to what it believes is a foreign invader. For instance, when you breathe in a particular allergen (dust, mold, bacteria, pet dander, etc.), your immune system may respond by triggering an episode of sneezing itching eyes, runny nose, and similar symptoms. While people may experience allergies throughout the year, they are particularly common in the spring months due to the presence of pollen.

Pollen is an all-too-common allergen that can make otherwise normal tasks like playing in the yard with your children or even walking to check the mail painfully difficult. Ever notice the yellow powder-like residue coating your car during the spring months? This is pollen, and when you breathe it into you lungs, you may experience an allergic reaction. The good news is that pollen-related allergies shouldn’t cause any major health issues, but they can still reduce your quality of life during the spring season.

So, how does low humidity impact pollen-related spring allergies? No matter how hard you try to prevent it, some pollen will inevitably enter your home and workplace. Replacing the air filter once a month will help control it, but it only takes a very small amount to trigger an allergic reaction. Indoor environments with a relative humidity (RH) of 40-50%, however, will naturally control the majority of loose pollen flying around your home or workplace. The moist air literally catches pollen and other airborne-allergens, preventing them from floating in the air where they would otherwise be inhaled.

On the other hand, indoor environments with a low humidity have the opposite effect by allowing pollen and airborne allergens to roam freely and unrestricted. With minimal moisture in the air to weigh it down, pollen will linger in the air; thus, increasing the risk of seasonal allergy attacks.

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