Unfortunately, when we’re outdoors, all we want to do is get back inside, but when we’re inside this discomfort of dry heat is enough to make us want to get back out there all over again. Recently I started feeling a ticklish sensation in my throat and it is safe to say that I went into cold & flu remedy overdrive. Immune booster shots? Check. Salt water gargling? Another check. However, what I came to find was less than pleasing. My space heater might be to blame.
Side effects of Electric Heaters
If you live in New York – in an older building – heating is not up to you, and more often than not all you have is a radiator or two to keep you toasty throughout the colder months. For those of us who like to keep it extra toasty, an electric space heater often becomes a magical must-have household item. While they help in some degree – at least when it comes to braving winter weather – the heat they emanate is admittedly dry and abrasive on the moisture-rich body.
Why is your heater making you sick?
Think about it this way: You are ventilating hot, dry air through your tightly sealed apartment in fears of letting the warm air out. However, this means you are simply recycling bacteria in your home and keeping them there. This can make you sick and while our next piece of advice might have you scratching your head, it’s probably the most reasonable suggestion, because it’s either that or not turning you heater on at all. Yikes!
One simple thing to help if you heater is making you sick
Ready for the advice? Open some windows during the day. This will help circulate the air. Doctor Shawn Evans, chief of staff and emergency physician at Scrippes Memorial Hospital La Jolla says:
“…BASICALLY A TUBE COLLECTS PARTICLE, DEBRIS, CIRCULATED AIR, ELEMENTS, SO IT’S A GREAT LITTLE CULTURE THAT YOU’RE FLUSHING OUT INTO THE ENTIRE ENVIRONMENT…KEEP WINDOWS OPEN, CLOSE IT AT NIGHT THEN USE THE AIR PURIFIER. THIS HELPS TO KEEP GOOD CIRCULATED AIR IN THERE.”
On top of this, make sure that you clean out filters if you’re using a space heater. Particles, dust, and bacteria definitely collect in there, and it’s best to get that gunk out at the beginning of the season.
As for the physical effects of having your heater on full blast, it’s worth noting that this will cause dryness in your skin which is typically followed by flaking or even itchiness that may lead to more serious skin conditions. Ildi Pekar, skin guru to the stars, states that by even just turning down your heater you may be doing yourself a huge favor. For an extra moisture boost – in the air and on your skin – invest in a humidifier. It doesn’t hurt that they are commonly found and totally affordable.