Go Back

The Cause of a Dry Cough Isn't Always Viral

dry cough Walker Plumbing

Avoid a Dry Cough by Changing the Home’s Temperature

It used to be that the people who were wearing face masks at the grocery store or at the airport were odd. Now, it’s the people that are not wearing masks who receive disapproving stares from strangers. The Covid-19 crisis has much of the population in a wary state.

People are afraid to cough and sneeze in public because they know that as soon as they do, everyone within earshot will turn and stare. While that individual could have the virus, it’s important to remember that there are other bacterial and viral illnesses out there outside of this specific strain of coronavirus. That individual could simply have seasonal allergies or have a cough due to cold or dry air.

Why Do People Cough?

coughingThere are countless reasons that people cough. Ever had water go down the wrong tube when swallowing? Those that have experienced this know that a storm of coughing will start after this happens.

Allergies and chronic respiratory problems can cause coughing. Bacterial and viral illnesses, like Covid-19, can cause a series of symptoms including coughing. Side effects of certain medications can cause coughing.

Or it could be the temperature and humidity of the air that can cause coughing as well. When cold air hits the lungs, they react by contracting and tightening. Cold air also tends to be dry, which can then dry out the airways in the respiratory system. Both of these factors can cause the airways to spasm, leading to a cough or an asthma attack in more severe situations.

Avoiding Home Temperatures That Irritate the Lungs

home temperature

As mentioned, when the air is cold enough, it causes the lungs to tighten and coughing to occur. In the winter, homeowners might try to save on heating bills by keeping the home a bit cooler.

While this might save some cash, it can irritate the lungs by constantly having cold air in and out of the home. In the hot, summer months, many are tempted to crank up the AC.

But these sudden gusts of cold wind from the AC can also cause lung irritation. Finding the right home temperature can help avoid irritation and coughing. Keep the home warm, but not overheated. Most people keep their homes between 68-76°F. Each household is unique because no two people are the same.

Therefore, no two lungs are the same! Some individuals’ respiratory systems are more sensitive to temperature than others, but this range is a good rule of thumb to start. Homeowners will just have to adjust the temperature up or down a few degrees to find the perfect level of comfort for themselves and their families.

Using a Humidifier to Avoid Dry Cough


In addition to cold air, dry air can also cause a dry cough. The best solution for this is to use a humidifier. The purpose of a humidifier is to emit water vapor, or steam, into the air in order to increase the level of moisture in the air.

There are pros and cons for all of these types of humidifiers, so it’s important for homeowners to do their due diligence to determine which option is best for their household.

There are many different types of humidifiers including the following:

  • Central humidifiers are built into the HVAC system to humidify the entire house.
  • Ultrasonic humidifiers use ultrasonic vibration to release a cool mist into the air.
  • Evaporative humidifiers use fans, rather than heating water, to circulate humidity.
  • Warm mist humidifiers heat water to create vapor and then cool the vapor prior to its release.

About Walker Plumbing, Heating & Air

Walker Plumbing, Heating & Air has been committed to providing reliable plumbing, heating and AC services in Washington, UT for over 20 years. Their entire team is committed to ensuring that their customers have the best experience possible - from the moment they call to the time their service is completed.