It’s hard to imagine life in the summer without the air conditioner, but for all the comfort it creates, your skin may experience some of the less comfortable A/C effects. As air conditioners run, they take moisture out of the air and while it cools the air, it will dry out skin as the humidity drops.
Skin Conditions and Humidity
Ideally, humidity indoors should range from 30 to 50 percent throughout the year. When it falls below 30 percent, equilibrium takes over and the air starts looking for more. It will come from the nearest available source, which might be your skin, your furniture, or any indoor plants. As your skin dries out, it will start to itch. If the dry conditions continue, it may start to chap and then crack.
Dry skin can be harmful since tiny fissures form that let in bacteria. It’s not uncommon for skin infections to occur. Over time, continuously dry skin can age prematurely. The shock of leaving an air-conditioned space and going into the hot outdoors stresses the skin as well and it doesn’t regenerate as quickly. Wrinkles form and skin may sag.
Preventing Skin Problems
Turning off the air conditioner isn’t an option in South Texas, which is why it’s important to have a hygrometer in your home. These inexpensive devices measure the amount of humidity in the air. Whenever it falls below 30 percent, it’s time to supplement the water vapor in your indoor air to prevent A/C effects on the skin. You’ll find them online and at hardware and home improvement centers.
Fortunately, that’s easy to do by:
- Avoiding the use of the kitchen and bathroom fans until the indoor humidity levels rise.
- Taking cooler and shorter showers. Long hot showers stress the skin.
- Using gentle soaps that don’t have artificial perfumes, which are drying to the skin.
- Use rubber or latex gloves for cleaning.
- Staying hydrated.
If you’ve experienced the A/C effects on your skin and want to solve the dry air problem, contact CCAC, providing HVAC services for Coastal Bend homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about your HVAC system, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.