How Does Your HVAC System Affect Your Skin?

image of homeowner scratching skin and hvac and skin issues

HVAC systems regulate the temperature in your home and keep indoor humidity balanced. Most homes will be too cold in winter, too hot in the summer, and very muggy without this heating and cooling equipment. Your HVAC system may keep your home in comfortable and habitable conditions. However, you can’t always trust your air conditioner or heater, especially central, forced-air heating units, to be gentle on your skin. Keep reading to learn more about how your HVAC system can impact your skin’s health, look, and all-around integrity.

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HVAC and Skin Issues: What You Should Know

Here are several of the common issues homeowners may experience:

Excessive Drying

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

Having excessively dry skin in the winter can likely be attributed to the cold, dry weather outdoors. However, the heating system that is drying your nose and mouth and causing your sinuses to be blocked may also be drying out your skin. If your heater is causing periodic nighttime nosebleeds, it can also damage your skin.

The warm air from the furnace dries out the indoor moisture, like an open stove, hair dryer, or clothes dryer does. This is unlike the radiant heat radiators and in-floor heating systems produce. The bad news is that furnaces cannot add moisture back into your home when it has lost too much. Not enough indoor humidity is the likely reason you have dry, cracked lips and hands and recurring eczema problems. Consult your trusted HVAC technician about installing a whole-house humidifier.

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Dramatic Temperature Changes & Red, Ruddy Complexions

image of rosacea caused by poor indoor air quality

Humans nowadays are conditioned to stay in reasonably static spaces. You are probably in an environment that’s 70 degrees Fahrenheit, whether you’re at home or work. Going outside into extremely hot or cold temperatures can be a shock. It’s nearly impossible to sit inside a freezing car before the heater springs into action or to wait for the AC to turn on when your seats, seat belts, and steering wheel are scorching to the touch. An internal thermostat that isn’t acclimated to change means that small temperature increases or decreases can feel like a big deal.

This and other reasons can cause your face to look red and ruddy when you move from scorching or frigid environments to a more moderate climate inside. A slight flush can be aesthetically appealing in some cases, but this points to fast-dilating blood vessels which may be a precursor to rosacea or eczema. You can protect your skin by building tolerance to temperatures a little warmer or cooler than normal. This lets you maintain home temperatures that aren’t shockingly different from the outdoor temperature.

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Excess Moisture & Skin Rashes

Apart from creating very dry indoor air, your HVAC system can cause other skin problems. Your air conditioner may be incorrectly sized or poorly maintained, leaving your home with too much moisture. This is likely the case if your home still feels muggy or clammy, even if your air conditioner is on and your home is cool.

An abundance of moisture in the air can result in clogged pores, acne breakouts, skin rashes, and more. This can have an easy solution as replacing the air filter. However, if you have a large family and frequent showers and steamy cooking occur, your air conditioner may be unable to regulate humidity. Discuss this with your HVAC technician because they can recommend the most suitable solution for your unique situation. Some techs may recommend that you install a whole-house dehumidifier.\

Related Article: Ductwork Makes Banging Noise: Causes & Solutions

Decreases in the Natural Production of Oil

Excessively dry indoor air can impact your skin’s way of taking care of itself. Living in a too-dry environment may mean your skin produces much less oil. As a result, your skin may prematurely age by hastening fine lines and wrinkles formation.


How to Stop Your HVAC System From Negatively Affecting Your Skin

image of homeowner drinking water to avoid dehydration in winter

Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to protect your skin from damage high indoor heat can bring during the winter. This means drinking a lot of water throughout the day and limiting your caffeine intake. You should also eat vegetables, fruits, and other water-dense, vitamin-rich foods. The powerful antioxidants and phytonutrients give your skin’s health a boost.
Change out the lightweight, water-based moisturizers you apply in the summer for heavier skin creams. Use products that contain coconut oil, shea butter, aloe vera, cocoa butter, and other natural moisturizing agents. Ensure that you apply a liberal amount of skin cream before bedtime.

You must also lessen the HVAC-associated concerns directly affecting your skin. No matter how cold or hot it is outside and how hard your HVAC unit operates, your indoor humidity should always be balanced.

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Streamlining Your Home’s Envelope

Humidity problems may be linked to how tight your home’s envelope is instead of your HVAC unit. The envelope of your home is how airtight it is. If you aren’t getting sufficient mechanical ventilation or natural airflow because of factors like inadequate attic ventilation, you may have a home that’s too dry or too moist.

Related Article: How A Modulating Air Conditioner Controls Temperature & Humidity More Effectively

Changing Your HVAC Air Filter

HVAC air filter replacement

Your HVAC system may struggle to work if you fail to change its HVAC air filter. The first feature that tends to fail is its humidity regulation. Ensure that your system gets regular filter replacements. This means changing it every one to three months. Your home’s unique situation will dictate how often you need to change the HVAC filter. You should check every month and replace the filters when necessary.

Lower Your Thermostat

Set a moderate thermostat setting during the winter and stick to it. Increasing the temperature of your unit to as high as possible will only crank up your energy bills, result in dry, unhealthy-looking skin, and stress your sinuses and nasal passages. Setting your thermostat at a lower and more reasonable level will also ensure you don’t get a bright red, flushed look when going in and out of your home to the outside heat or cold.

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Consider Installing Integrated HVAC System Accessories

As previously mentioned, consider installing a whole-house humidification or dehumidification machine. Your skin isn’t the only factor that benefits when establishing and maintaining the right indoor moisture level. It also bolsters your indoor air quality, ensures your living space is more comfortable overall, and lessens the chances of developing mold issues. Whole-house humidifying and dehumidifying equipment can be seamlessly installed alongside the HVAC system you already have.

Related Article: Reasons To Avoid Closing Your Registers For Temperature Control



Your HVAC system shouldn’t be taking a severe toll on your skin. However, setting your thermostat too high, failing to conduct basic system upkeep, or having too much or too little humidity can cause your skin to be drier than usual. It also causes your skin to experience accelerated aging and become more prone to acne, rosacea, eczema, and other skin problems.

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When you need exceptional heating and cooling services in the Poconos and the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, call R.F. Ohl. We hire the best professionally certified technicians who can conduct high-quality HVAC services, including boiler tune-ups, furnace replacements, and A/C repairs. Each of our techs is experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable to always perform correct and prompt HVAC services.

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