How Does Your HVAC Affect Your Skin?

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Your HVAC system is a lifesaver when it comes to regulating your home’s temperature and humidity level. Without it, your home would be too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter, and uncomfortably humid.

However, your heating and cooling equipment may not always be gentle on your skin. This is especially if you have a central, forced-air heating system. Below, we’ll discuss how using your HVAC system could affect the health, appearance, and overall integrity of your skin.

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HVAC and Skin Issues: What You Should Know

Let’s explore some of the top HVAC and skin issues that homeowners experience.

Excessive Drying

image of excessively dry skin due to poor air quality from hvac system

During the winter, you may notice that your skin has become excessively dry. This is usually as a result of the cold, dry outdoor conditions. However, your heating system may also be drying out your skin. If your heater causes nosebleeds or dry mouth while sleeping, it’s probably wreaking havoc on your skin too. Unlike radiant heat from in-floor heating systems and radiators, furnaces produce warm air that can dry out indoor moisture.

Unfortunately, furnaces don’t have functions to add moisture back into buildings when too much is lost. If you’re experiencing dry, cracked hands, recurring eczema, or chapped lips, insufficient indoor humidity is the likely culprit. To tackle this issue, consider talking to your HVAC contractor about a whole-house humidifier.

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Temperature Changes & Red, Ruddy Complexions

image of eczema and hvac indoor air quality

Most people spend a considerable amount of time indoors, where the temperature is kept relatively constant. However, sudden exposure to extreme temperatures, such as stepping outside in freezing or sweltering weather, can be a shock to your body. Even small fluctuations in temperature can have a significant impact on your skin.

When you go from a hot or cold environment to a moderate indoor climate, you can end up with redness and a ruddy complexion. While some mild flushing can be appealing, it may also indicate an issue with fast-dilating blood vessels and could be a precursor to skin conditions like eczema or rosacea. To protect your skin from this, build your tolerance to temperatures that are slightly different from the norm. By doing this, you can gradually adjust your body to changing temperatures and maintain a more moderate indoor climate that isn’t too different from the temperature outside.

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Excess Moisture & Skin Problems Caused by HVAC Systems

Your HVAC system can have a significant impact on the moisture levels in your home, and this can lead to various skin issues. Excessively dry air is a common problem during the winter months. However, too much moisture is also a concern, especially during the hot and humid summer season. When the air conditioner is not correctly sized for the service area or is poorly maintained, it may leave you with too much moisture indoors. The result would be a muggy or clammy environment that can lead to skin rashes, acne breakouts, and clogged pores.

One simple solution to this problem is to change your HVAC air filter regularly. However, if you have a large household or frequently engage in steamy activities like hot showers and cooking, your AC system might not be capable of efficiently regulating humidity levels. In such cases, a whole-house dehumidifier could be the best solution. Consult an HVAC contractor to determine the most effective solution for your particular situation.


Decreases in the Natural Production of Oil

Excessively dry indoor air is not only problematic, but it can also decrease your skin’s natural oil production. When your living environment is too dry, your skin produces less oil, which can lead to premature aging. This is because natural oils are essential for lubricating and protecting your skin, retaining its moisture, and helping it to look and feel youthful.

To combat this issue, maintain the proper humidity levels in your home by investing in a whole-house humidifier, especially during the dry winter months. Additionally, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and to use gentle, fragrance-free moisturizers to keep your skin supple and healthy.

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How to Stop Your HVAC System From Negatively Affecting Your Skin

During the winter season, the indoor heat can wreak havoc on your skin, causing dryness, itching, and flaking. One of the best ways to protect your skin from the adverse effects of high indoor heat is by staying hydrated. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day and limiting your intake of caffeine is vital to maintaining healthy and hydrated skin. Additionally, consuming water-dense, vitamin-rich foods like fresh fruits and vegetables can help to bolster your skin’s health with powerful antioxidants and phytonutrients.

As the winter months bring in cold, dry air, use heavier skin creams. When looking for skin creams, go for those with natural moisturizing agents like aloe vera. Applying a generous amount of skin cream before bedtime can help to nourish and hydrate your skin while you sleep.

  • Balanced Indoor Humidity: Mitigate the HVAC-related concerns that directly impact your skin. Regardless of the temperature of the air outside, balanced indoor humidity is necessary. Too much moisture in the air can cause skin rashes, acne breakouts, and clogged pores. On the other hand, excessively dry indoor air can affect how your skin cares for itself, leading to premature skin aging by expediting the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Streamlining Your Home’s Envelope: Humidity issues may not always be related to your HVAC equipment, but rather the tightness of your home’s envelope. The envelope refers to how airtight the building is. If there isn’t sufficient natural airflow or mechanical ventilation, your home could be too moist or too dry. To combat this, streamline your home’s envelope by ensuring proper attic ventilation. Also, address any other factors that could be contributing to humidity imbalances in your home.
  • Changing Your HVAC Air Filter: One of the most important maintenance tasks for your HVAC system is replacing the air filter. Neglecting this vital component can cause your unit to struggle and perform poorly, especially in regulating humidity levels. To ensure optimal performance, the air filter should be replaced at least once every one to three months. However, the replacement need may vary depending on your home’s specific needs. Make it a habit to check your air filter monthly and replace it when necessary.
  • Lower Your Thermostat: While it’s tempting to crank up the heat during winter, doing so can create an uncomfortable and unhealthy environment. Overheating your home can dry out your skin and sinuses, leaving you with a red and flushed look. Instead, aim for a moderate thermostat setting that is comfortable and healthy for both you and your HVAC system. This will not only help keep your skin healthy but also save you money on energy bills.
  • Consider Installing Integrated HVAC System Accessories: Installing whole-house humidification or dehumidification equipment is an effective way of maintaining optimal indoor air quality and healthy skin. These accessories can seamlessly integrate with your existing HVAC system and help balance the humidity level in your home. Maintaining proper indoor humidity levels can prevent mold growth and improve indoor air quality, creating a comfortable living environment for you and your family.
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Taking care of your skin doesn’t have to be a difficult task, especially when it comes to your home’s HVAC system. By following a few simple steps, you can keep your skin healthy, hydrated, and looking its best all year round. However, failure to perform basic system maintenance, setting the thermostat too high, and having too little or too much humidity can lead to skin problems such as eczema, rosacea, acne, and premature aging.

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Contact Lawes Company For All Your HVAC Needs

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If you’re looking for reliable and affordable heating and cooling services in Monmouth and Ocean County, NJ, Lawes Company is your go-to provider. Our certified technicians are highly trained and equipped to perform HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. We take pride in offering the best quality services in the area. Our maintenance services can enhance your home’s comfort, increase energy efficiency, and reduce heating and cooling costs.

Should you need HVAC repair or a replacement system, our technicians will help you find the best option for your home. Give Lawes Company a call today to schedule a service appointment. Let us help you keep your skin and your home healthy and comfortable all year long.

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