Electric fireplaces tend to dry out the air when being used. This is the reason some people may prefer using infrared fireplaces. Drying out the air can affect those with respiratory problems. Others who have too dry skin get uncomfortable. The effects of too dry air can also be seen on the hair and moisture-absorbing materials in the house.
Is My Electric Fireplace Making Me Sick?
When winter arrives, you switch on your electric heaters and sit on the couch. The air becomes warm as you get comfortable. What you do not want is to start sneezing and coughing. Unfortunately, some of these symptoms are common when you start your electric fireplace. Why is this so?
The body feeling sick is a reaction to allergens and hot dry conditions in the house. Low humidity during winter plus the heat from electric fireplaces can cause dryness in the air inside the house. Dirty and dusty vents, filters, and ducts can contribute to feelings of illnesses. Here are a few of the symptoms and their causes;
- Coughing and sore throat; dry air and bacteria in the vents can cause problems to your throat and nasal passages.
- Sneezing and itchy noses; You could breathe in pollen and other allergens stuck in the duct during summer.
- Headaches; they are mainly caused by breathing in mold, fungi, and dust.
- Watery and itchy eyes; these are allergic reactions from dust and dry air
- General discomfort; the dryness can make you feel dehydrated. The alternate warm and cool conditions in the house are also uncomfortable.
What are the Other Causes of Dry Air During Winter?
Dry air in houses is mainly caused by too much air getting into the house from the outside. Running a dehumidifier also causes dry air in the house. If there was no dry cold air coming from outside, the humidity levels inside the house would never change.
Turning on the electric fireplace contributes to more air loss. The heat causes the air to rise and leave through the cracks at the top of the building shell. This allows room for the dry cold air to enter from the outside. Here are other causes;
- Air leaks from windows, doors, basements, and attics. The air gets drier and colder too as it comes from the outside. This forces you to keep your electric fireplace on more often.
- Over ventilation leads to infiltration of dry air from outside. Try to keep your house sealed during winter.
- Leaky air ducts common in unconditioned areas like the garage and attics are also great contributors to dry air in buildings. They contribute to negative air pressure leading to air leaks and energy loss.
How to Solve Issues of Dry Air in Your Home
If the air is dry, do not think that the electric fireplace will solve your problem. Yes, it may heat up the room but makes the air drier than before. So, you have to look for remedies to such a problem. First, you will have to use a hygrometer to measure the temperature and humidity levels in the house.
The solutions include;
- Using an air humidifier to restore better humidity levels. You can buy one online or from the next store near you. It is used to make humidity levels comfortable and avoid instances of chapped lips and coughing. Make sure the humidity levels are maintained between 30 and 50 percent. Too much humidity can make you develop complications.
- Decorate the house with bowls of water. Small fountains, hydroponic plants, and other water-based decorations can help solve the issue of dry air in your house. It is because they supply a constant stream of air.
- Sealing up your home to save energy costs. If windows and doors are not sealed properly, they give a chance for cold dry air to enter. Walk around the house and find the air leaks on walls, windows, doors, and vents and seal them.
- You can also let clothes dry inside the house sometimes
- Leaving the door open while taking a hot shower can also help
- You can let dishes air dry
- Boiling water in open pans can also help
- Hydrating often help keep the lips and throat moisturized
Yes, electric fireplaces can cause the air inside the house to dry. This is especially true during the winter season. You can use the remedies given above to control dry air in your house. If you start experiencing the symptoms, visit a medic as soon as possible. Also, use a humidifier that is recommended by an HVAC professional.