Salt Lake City is one of the highest state capitals in the entire country, resting at a whopping 4,265 feet above sea level. Despite this-or because of this-the city maintains a relatively dry atmosphere. Utah is the 4th driest state in America, following New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada.
This means that houses in Salt Lake City are much drier than in neighboring states.
Usually, this is a good thing.
Dry conditions mean you don’t have to worry about rot or mold, and the lack of severe weather conditions in Salt Lake means you also don’t have to worry about extreme heat or cold.
But that doesn’t mean dry weather can’t wreak havoc on both houses and their human occupants.
In some cases, it can be worse.
Here are some of the problems you need to address when you’re buying or constructing a house, whether it’s a modest home or a huge mansion:
Dry Air Can Damage Your Homes
When we think of structural damage to houses, we rightfully think of how moisture can seep into wood or stone materials and rot them from the inside.
However, if the air is too dry, it leads to pretty bad damage as well.
Some materials like wood benefit from a little bit of moisture.
It allows it to be flexible and have better tensile and compressive strength.
Without this moisture, it becomes hard, brittle, and unbending, leading to structural damage like cracks and gaps.
And it doesn’t stop there: dry air can also warp artwork, furniture, and even musical instruments.
All of these might not seem like much at first glance, but live a couple of years without proper maintenance, and you’ll find yourself staring down repair bills in the thousands of dollars range, which increases as time goes on and with every cold winter.
Luckily, proper air conditioning installation can prevent this by requesting for a humidifier in your house.
Check with your local, trusted HVAC provider, and ask them what the right humidity levels should be indoors.
Dry Air Can Damage Your Body
The human body needs moisture. Yes, humid air can cause obvious health issues like mold and mildew, but dry air can affect your body in a lot of subtler ways.
The human respiratory system (which includes your nose and throat) is made up of very moist, sensitive, mucus-lined membranes that need moisture to trap airborne particles like dirt, dust, bacteria, and even viruses before they can reach your lungs.
Because dry air absorbs moisture wherever it can, it can leech the moisture from your respiratory system every time you breathe in, opening you up to infections and other respiratory illnesses.
Dry air also causes dust. And coupled with the fact that your throat and nose no longer have the most efficient defense against, it can lead to problems like asthma or rhinitis.
In some rare cases, dry air can suck out so much moisture from a person’s respiratory tracts that they crack and bleed.
There are many ways to mitigate the damage dry air does to you and your homes, and if you’re planning to own or build a house in Salt Lake City, always consult with your contractor and your HVAC provider about how to keep a relatively healthy amount of moisture in the air.