September 9, 2019
Effect of lack of humidity
How much impact can a lower humidity level have?
As we saw in a previous article how important is the size of the water droplet for each application, the right humidity level is also important. Each industry has an optimal level of relative humidity to reach in order to run their operation smoothly.
Here, we will explain the problems and influences of lack of humidity, and the appropriate humidity.
When the air gets dry due to the lack of humidity, not only does it affect human health and comfort, but it also has various adverse effects such as a decrease in production efficiency and deterioration of the quality of goods.
Let’s look at the impact on people and the impact on industries such as animals and goods.
Impact on people
- Cold or flue
When the air gets dry, the respiratory membranes of the mouth and nose dry up, and the protection function against infections such as cold decreases.
Therefore, viruses such as cold and flu can easily enter the body. One of the major causes of colds and flu in winter is not only the increase in pathogens, but also the loss of human defenses due to air dryness.
In addition, because the amount of water that evaporates from the body increases as the air dries, the sensational temperature decreases even if heating is applied. That is why it is difficult to feel the warmth even if the heating temperature is set high.
- Beauty side
Insufficient humidity affects not only health but also beauty such as hair and skin.
The moisture content of healthy hair is approximately 11-13%. Hair has high moisture absorption and release, and when it is dry it will spread more easily.
In addition, with regard to the skin, as it is often said that “moisturizing is important”, when the water content is less than 10%, it becomes a state called dry skin, causing rough skin and itching.
Impact on industry
- Fruits and vegetables, paintings, antiques
Vegetables contain about 90% of water, and if they loose 5% of water, their freshness and quality will deteriorate and their commercial value will be lost.
Paintings and antiques cause cracks, distortion and deterioration of works due to lack of humidity.
- Factory and computer room
When the air is dry, the surface of the object is dry and electricity is less likely to flow.
Insufficient humidity causes static electricity to build up, causing unpleasant shocks.
The generated static electricity can cause dust adhesion, paper jams in printing machines and photocopiers, fiber entrapment, malfunction of computers, and machine failure.
Humidification is needed to maintain product quality and production operation. The appropriate humidity depends according to the purpose, but in most cases it is said to be 40 to 60% RH. This is describe as the comfort zone.
If the humidity is insufficient, below the comfort zone, various problems will occur as described above.
For example, influenza virus depends on the temperature in the room. However, if the humidity is 50% or more, it can drastically reduced the proliferation of viruses. Therefore, adjusting the humidity between 40 and 60% will prevent infection.
Also, if the humidity gets too high, it will cause mold and ticks which will develop food decay, break up pillars and building materials.
You can easily adjust the humidity by installing a humidifier adapted for your environment. The introduction of a humidifier is effective for maintaining the proper humidity and creating a comfortable air environment.
Next week we will discover the optimal level of humidity per industry. Stay tuned!
Nina MONCEAUX – IKEUCHI EUROPE B.V.