Dry Air

Today’s weather advisory for Tokyo told me that there was going to be “Dry Air”.  I could guess at what this was but why would it be considered a problem?  I looked it up and it appears that breathing dry air can cause problems with asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis nosebleeds, and skin irritation.

It can also make the air feel cooler and make it harder to heat a room. The solution is to buy a humidifier.  I refuse to buy something to add water to the air in my apartment when I spend most of the year trying to get away from the overly wet air in Japan.

2 Responses to “Dry Air”

  1. Jessica Marie Says:

    I read today on another blog that most homes are not heated in Japan. It doesn’t seem like it’s true for your apartment – what’s the standard?

  2. karen Says:

    In Tokyo, because it’s nowhere near as cold as the frozen North, lots of homes don’t really have heating. Our last apartment had one air conditioner / heater in the living room. There was no heating of any kind in the bedrooms, kitchen or bathroom. The “heater” in the living room was really weak and much too small for the size of room.

    To keep warm we used hot water bottles in the beds. Blankets in the living room and a heated rug. The Japanese have heated rugs – a bit like electric blankets – that you put on the living room floor. At night I would have plugged in the rug, sat on a chair with no legs (to put me close to the floor) and wrapped myself up in a blanket. It was really toasty. I have to admit that the freezing cold bathroom was rather annoying and we did tend to dash between rooms as the hall was colder than the outside.

    Some people buy stand alone room heaters – and we got a couple of these last winter when it snowed as our house guests were freezing. And I know that some of my friends to the west of here use old fashioned gas heaters to keep warm in the winter.

    In our new apartment we have an air conditioning / heating unit in every room. We also have an air heater in the bathroom, that we have never used, and under floor heating in the living room. The under floor heating only covers part of the floor and in many ways it’s the modern replacement for the heated rug. I still spend my evenings sitting on a warm rug with a blanket wrapped round me. Now it’s powered by gas and not electricity.

    This means that I have never seen a radiator in Japan. And I’m thrilled about this. Because radiators take up so much wall space that could be used by bookcases. It also means that we use less gas / oil than I’m used to. As rooms aren’t just being heated because the central heating has been put on. I know that when I visit my mum again I’m going to find the heat inside her house uncomfortable.