If you live in a region with rather mild winters -- temperatures usually above freezing, but still maybe subject to the occasional frost advisory, for example -- you might wonder if you can get through the winter without heating to save on bills. Or maybe your heater has broken, and you're not too keen on spending the money to fix it just yet. However, there are health problems that can occur when you spend too much time in cold temperatures, even when those temperatures aren't that low. Here are some of the health issues that you face unless you get your heater fixed and use it.
Hypothermia does not necessarily require very low temperatures to take hold. The National Institute on Aging gives an example of a man developing hypothermia in a 55-degree apartment. That's not usually considered that cold; chilly, yes, but not scarily so. Hypothermia is a drop in the body's normal temperature and can lead to confusion, inability to move quickly, breathing and speech troubles, and possibly excess shivering, though shivering does not always occur.
Chillblains sound like something out of an old-fashioned fairy tale. But they are very real, and instead of dealing with snow queens or frost kings, you end up dealing with red, irritated skin with damaged blood vessels. Unfortunately, once you get chillblains on part of your body, they can come back during future exposure to cold weather. The CDC says chillblains can occur in temperatures as warm as 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Worsening of Asthma, Arthritis, and Dry Skin
Some forms of asthma can be aggravated or triggered by cold temperatures, and arthritis pain and dry skin can become much worse. Combined with low humidity, too, these conditions can become downright painful, especially dry skin, which can crack and bleed.
If your body is exposed to temperatures that are colder than your body likes, it will have to work harder to keep your blood moving and your heart pumping. Your body has a more difficult time keeping your body temperature up, and this can contribute to an increased risk of having a heart attack.
Fixing your heater and keeping it on during cold weather isn't just a matter of modern convenience. You have to have the heat to stay healthy. If your heater is broken, if you need a new one, or if you just want tips on how to run the heat without causing your utility bills to soar, contact a heating installation or repair company.