How High Heating Negatively Impacts Your Health

18 January, 2020
While it's true that high heating helps you keep the cold out during the fall and winter months, it's also true that it can be harmful to your health. In today's article, we'll tell you about the negative impact it could have on the human body.
 

High heating means different things to different people, so it’s hard to define it. This is because those sensations associated with temperature vary from person to person. The kind of cold that a person from a tropical area experiences isn’t the same as the type of cold a person from a tundra feels, for example.

In spite of the variability of the human being, most people would assume that anything below 68°F is cold temperature. Of course, the lower it gets, the colder we perceive it to be.

However, our perception of temperature also depends on other factors such as humidity and ambient air pressure. Thus, our perception of 50°F in high humidity isn’t the same as our perception of the same temperature in dry areas. Also, the feeling isn’t the same, regardless of the outside temperature, if we’re active or inactive. You probably feel much colder when you’re not moving because your metabolism is inactive and its cells don’t generate heat.

Overall, humans resort to artificial heating to stay warm. But just like any artificial method used in excess, very high heating can alter your body and lead to some health risks.

Adequate heating should keep your environment between 68 and 77 ° C and the humidity around 50%. Anything above 77°F is too high.

The risks of high heating depend on the type

There are two methods of heating that are commonly overused and have notorious detrimental effects:

  • Firewood
  • Reversible air conditioning

Very high heating with firewood can generate toxic gases. When the wood of trees burns, it releases its stored carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a waste gas in humans. That is the body expels carbon dioxide and retains oxygen. Thus, heating wood can lead to poisoning, especially if there’s poor ventilation.

 

The smoke from the very high heating that comes from wood also contains heavy gases. Then, these gases are toxic when inhaled so they cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, and even irritation in the respiratory tract.

So, you must properly install a wood-heating system together with its smoke ejection mechanism. However, wood can transport and release specific substances of nature associated with allergies and asthma, such as pollen even under the best installation conditions.

On the other hand, reversible air conditioning is the other method we mentioned above as dangerous when heated very high. These devices can dry the ambient air by removing moisture under continuous and intensive use.

Both skin and mucous membranes, especially the respiratory mucosa, suffer without sufficient moisture. Similarly, the air stream this device generates mobilizes particles that are capable of triggering symptoms in asthmatic or allergic people.

A person sneezing.

Continue reading An Air Purifier Can Help Combat Pollen and Allergies

The negative impact of high heating

High heating, regardless of its origin, can cause many problems. For example:

 
  • A dry atmosphere and therefore a dry upper respiratory tract are both an incentive for bacteria and viruses. Usually, children are the most affected by this situation. One possibility to reverse the risk is the use of ambient humidifiers and microorganism filters.
  • The elevated temperature during the night makes resting difficult. Anything above 68°F doesn’t provide the best conditions to relax your muscles and reach a pleasant state of sleep. Likewise, when humidity is very low, it also alters your respiratory rate and affects your quality of rest.
  • Very high heating dries your skin and increases your symptoms of dermatitis. In addition, the movement of air through the heat-generating source drags allergens such as dust, pollen, and mites.
  • Headaches due to high heating are quite common. When the temperature is very high for long periods of time, you may feel a dullness due to vasodilation. Excessive heat lowers your blood pressure and so less blood can reach your brain and cause annoying symptoms.
  • Sleeping with a very high temperature is a factor in weight gain. This happens because the body doesn’t burn its stored fat at high temperatures. On the contrary, it retains it. The mechanism of fatty acid catabolism activates at night, but it won’t if it’s too hot.
A woman who can't sleep at night.
 

Check out Seasonal Allergies: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

The problem of toxic substances

Finally, toxic substances are one of the biggest health risks of life under very high heating. These substances are released from the heating mechanisms and pose a significant danger.

Carbon monoxide is one of these substances and it has no smell so it’s difficult to detect when generated by bad combustion. Slowly, it displaces oxygen from the environment and blood, thus leading to intoxication. A person poisoned by carbon monoxide may experience dizziness, fainting, nausea, and headache. Their breathing increases dramatically as a defense method to replace oxygen. Thus, it can be lethal if it doesn’t resolve quickly.

Nitrogen dioxide is another dangerous gas. It results from bad combustion in heating appliances and it’s also odorless. However, it’s still extremely irritating and alters the breathing mechanism.

It is very important to keep these things in mind when deciding how to heat your house in the healthiest way.

 
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