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When Should I Use a Mist Humidifier?
Do you ever notice that you wake up in the morning with a sore throat or stuffy nose? Do you get sinus infections a lot or live with your lotion in arm’s reach? Have you noticed your wood furniture or floors cracking or warping?
If any of this sounds familiar, the humidity in your home may be too low. Dry air can cause problems ranging from making asthma and allergies worse to causing your wallpaper to peel off your walls. Read on to learn more about what a mist humidifier is and how it can help you bring health, beauty, and comfort back to your home.
What Is a Mist Humidifier?
A mist humidifier is a device that sends water vapor into your room to raise the moisture levels of the room. There are a few different methods humidifiers may use to do this, and we’ll talk about these more in a moment. However, they all have some common features.
A mist humidifier has a tank of water in the bottom that it draws moisture from. Some humidifiers use heat to convert that water into vapor that rises out into your room. Other models use mechanical means to break water into small droplets and pull the cool mist out into the air with a fan.
There are four basic models of humidifier: impeller, ultrasonic, evaporative, and steam. The evaporative model is the simplest of the four. A wicking filter sits in a basin of water and draws water up where it evaporates into the air.
An impeller uses a spinning disk to break water droplets up into a fine mist. That disk then flings those droplets into a fan, which pulls them out into the air. This process is completely cool and carries no risk of burns.
An ultrasonic humidifier is the most advanced of the three models of cool-operating humidifiers. It contains a diaphragm that vibrates at very high frequencies, similar to ultrasonic speakers. This vibration breaks water droplets up into small particles that get pulled out into the air by a fan at the top of the device.
A steam humidifier uses heat to convert water into vapor. It boils the water, which rises into the air as steam. These models should not be used around small children or pets, as they can cause burns.
If You Have Dry Skin
One of the best reasons to use a mist humidifier is if you dry skin. You may keep lotion or chapstick nearby all the time, or you might notice that your skin gets dry and flaky. The skin on your hands may even dry and crack, especially if you have to wash your hands frequently.
A mist humidifier can help you return moisture to your skin. Dry air can pull essential oils out of your skin and cause them to evaporate, leaving you with ashy, flaky skin. But air with higher humidity levels will keep your skin lush and healthy.
If You Get Nosebleeds
We all get nosebleeds from time to time; maybe you got hit in the nose with a ball or simply got a nosebleed for no reason. But if you’re getting nosebleeds on a regular basis, it may be a sign that your house is too dry. You may notice this getting worse in the winter, especially if you live somewhere arid.
Air that is too dry will dry out your mucus membranes, areas like the inside of your mouth, your throat, your eyes, and your nose. When your nose is too dry, it can cause the membrane in your nostrils to crack, starting a nosebleed. Having a little moisture in the air can keep those membranes lubricated and in one piece.
If You Get Sinus Infections
Sinus infections are miserable – your head hurts, your nose runs, and you feel awful. But did you know that dry air could be contributing to your misery? When your mucus membranes are dry, it inhibits the way your nasal mucus moves in your nose, causing you to get stuffed up.
When your nose is stuffed, it causes backups in the glands that secrete your nasal mucus. Infection can start to form in those glands when they can’t drain properly. Keeping your home well humidified can help to make sure your nasal mucus keeps moving like it’s supposed to and stop these infections before they even start.
If You Have a Sore Throat
You may notice that when you wake up in the morning, your mouth is dry and your throat is sore. This can be a result of sleeping in a room with low humidity, especially if you snore or sleep with your mouth open. You pull that dry air across those membranes, drying out your mouth and leaving you reaching for your water glass in the morning.
Instead of suffering through a froggy throat every morning, set up a humidifier in your bedroom. With moisture levels a little higher, you won’t dry those membranes out as badly. You’ll wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and dewey instead of croaky and cracked.
If You Get Headaches
We all get headaches from time to time. Too much stress, too little food or sleep, or changes in atmospheric pressure can leave us in pain. But did you know that low humidity can also be a factor in why your head hurts at home?
Oftentimes, those blocked sinuses we discussed earlier can start to cause headaches. Those sinus cavities can’t regulate airflow the way they need to, which causes a sort of painful pressure in your head. Making sure your home is well-moisturized can keep your sinuses flowing normally and you headache-free.
If You (Or Your Partner) Snore
If your partner snores, you may be accustomed to lying awake at night trying to ignore the ruckus next to you. Even if you’re the snorer, conditions like sleep apnea may be robbing you of good-quality sleep. In either case, reducing or stopping snoring can help you return to a normal, heathy sleep schedule that keeps you well-rested.
Keeping your airways well-lubricated can help reduce your snoring some. You can also keep your airways more open by managing conditions like sinus infections and colds. And using a humidifier may help trap allergens and irritants before they ever reach you to disturb your sleep.
If You Have Allergies
Allergies are a miserable challenge to deal with, especially if they’re severe enough. In the spring, your nose stops up and runs all at once, your throat hurts, and your eyes get puffy and water. You might even have allergies triggered by dust and other contaminants around the home.
Keeping your home’s humidity at a steady level can help to mitigate your allergies. For one thing, the increased humidity can relieve symptoms of allergies, including a stuffy nose and sore throat. But this additional lubrication can also help to flush allergens out of your sinus and nasal cavities.
If You Have Asthma
Asthma is a manageable but potentially dangerous condition that causes your airways to narrow and produce extra mucus. Many common allergens can also be triggers for asthma, and colds can make this condition worse. A sore throat may also make asthma harder to control.
A humidifier can help make asthma easier to control. It can mitigate the symptoms that make the condition worse and keep your airways lubricated and free-flowing. It is important to control humidity levels, however, as air that is too humid can be harder to breathe.
If You Have Wood Floors
If you have wood floors, you may know that they expand and contract as the weather changes. In the winter, you may see small gaps in between your floorboards. In especially humid summers, your floorboards might start to warp or buckle as they expand.
Using a humidifier can help keep your wood floors from taking damage. By keeping humidity levels more consistent, you’ll minimize any warping due to moisture change. And if your floorboards stay sealed tightly together, they’ll be less vulnerable to damage, making your maintenance load lighter.
If Your Furniture Is Cracking
You might also notice that any wooden furniture you have changes in size somewhat as the seasons change. That same expansion and contraction that you see in your floors can cause the joints in your furniture to move. However, while wood floors may be designed to “float” to accommodate this size change, cracks in furniture can be devastating.
Whether you’re protecting your grandparents’ antique furniture or the hand-crafted Italian living room set that you saved for years to buy, a humidifier is a good investment. It can keep the wood in your furniture at a consistent moisture level, which will help to prevent cracks. Keeping that wood well-moisturized can also help it last longer and prevent any damage from setting in.
If Your Wallpaper Is Peeling
As your wallpaper ages, the glue holding it in place can dry and crack away in places. When this starts happening, your wallpaper may begin to peel away from your walls. This can leave your sheetrock vulnerable to mildew and mold, not to mention damage from pests.
A mist humidifier can help keep your wallpaper in good shape on your walls. Keeping moisture levels slightly higher can keep that glue moist and intact, holding your wallpaper in place. It is important, however, to keep humidity low enough that it won’t cause mild or mildew to build up on the wallpaper itself.
All Year Round
Many people have the idea that humidifiers should only be used in the wintertime. After all, cold air can’t hold as much moisture, so humidity levels tend to be lower in the winter. That’s when it’s most important to add some extra moisture to your air, right?
In fact, running a humidifier can be beneficial all year long. For one thing, this habit will help keep humidity levels steady, which is better for your furniture and floors. But for another, air conditioning can dry out your home’s environment, leaving you vulnerable to the health issues we discussed.
Using a Mist Humidifier Safely
The key to using a mist humidifier safely is to clean it properly. Without regular cleaning, the water tank can become a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and bacteria. Those particles will then get flung out into your room with the mist, causing health challenges and aggravating allergies and asthma.
Make sure you clean your humidifier at least once a week, removing and emptying the water tank and washing it thoroughly with soap and water. Allow it to fully dry before you replace it. You may also want to run a vinegar-water mixture in a 1:1 ratio through the humidifier once a month to disinfect the dispersal mechanism.
Find the Right Mist Humidifier for You
Keeping a mist humidifier in your home can do more than just make the air feel a little less arid. It can help you sleep better and feel better in your day-to-day life, and it can protect your home from damage. It can even help you prevent allergies and asthma from getting out of hand and disrupting your life.
If you’d like to find the right mist humidifier for you, check out the rest of our site at Everlasting Comfort. We have everything from humidifiers and oil diffusers to memory foam cushions to make your home as comfortable as possible. Shop our goods and start living your best life today.
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