It’s hard to argue with the comfort that your air conditioner provides, but there are some A/C effects that can irritate your skin as the A/C dries out the air. The ideal indoor humidity ranges between 30 and 50 percent. When it’s drier than 30 percent, the air starts to take a toll on your health. Since nature abhors a vacuum, it will start to take moisture from your skin to compensate.
Air conditioners dry out the air by condensing the water vapor in it. Whenever your system runs, cold refrigerant circulates through the evaporator coil inside the air handler. As the warm air from your home hits it, the moisture in the air condenses on the coil. At some point, the humidity may drop below 30 percent, at which time you may start to show the effects of dry indoor air.
Signs of Dry Skin
Itchy, chapped skin, or rashes indicate that the humidity is too low. You may also experience skin cracks on your hands and feet that can be painful and susceptible to infections. Skin moisturizers will help prevent your skin from becoming overly dry as long as you choose a product that doesn’t use perfumes or alcohol as ingredients.
Managing Dry Air
If you’ve experienced dry skin in years’ past when the A/C is running, consider using a hygrometer, which is an inexpensive device that measures humidity levels. When it starts to fall below 30 percent, take one or more of these steps to reduce the A/C effects on your skin.
- Take shorter showers using cooler water. Hot water dries out the skin.
- Use natural soaps that don’t strip the oils from your skin.
- Shower immediately after swimming in a chlorinated pool.
- Wear rubber gloves when cleaning the house or washing dishes.
- Refrain from using the kitchen and bathroom fans to keep more humidity inside.
If you’d like more information about mitigating the A/C effects on your skin this summer, contact Powers Heating & Air, providing HVAC services for Peachtree City homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.