Humidifiers serve as a form of respiratory therapy that adds moisture to dry air. This moisture aids in preventing dryness that can cause troublesome irritation in many parts of the body.
These air moisturizers are particularly suited for treating dryness of the nose, throat, lips, and skin. They have also been shown to reduce symptoms caused by the common cold or seasonal flu. They can help promote good air quality and reduce the number of allergens present in your air.
Humidity acts as a natural moisturizing agent. For this reason, humidifiers are extremely beneficial in the winter months due to dry conditions and running your heater, both of which can dry out your living space. Interestingly, running air conditioning can have a similar effect.
Humidifiers are best used for relieving the following:
- General sinus congestion and headaches
- Nose, throat, and lip irritation
- Inflamed vocal cords
- Bloody noses
- Dry/unproductive cough
- Dry skin
If you are prone to these discomforts or live in an especially dry region, a humidifier could be a solution for you.
In this article, we’re going to discuss what humidifiers can do for you and leave you more equipped in your decision on whether or not to buy.
Let’s get to it!
How Does A Humidifier Work?
A humidifier adds moisture to the air in your home.
It’s important to add moisture to the air in your living space to keep your body functioning as healthily as possible during the winter months.
As humidity levels drop outside, the air in your home follows suit. Cold air absorbs less water than warm air. When the cold air surrounding your home goes through your heating system, the warm air expands—thus making the low-humidity air lose its moisture even further.
If the temperature outside dips below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit), humidity levels in your home will drop below 20 percent—far lower than the recommended humidity level of 30 to 50 percent.
You can help to mitigate this problem if you humidify your home’s moisture levels up to standard. They have been proven to be one of the most effective ways to increase the humidity levels in your living space, making your winter more comfortable.
You can expect healthy respiratory function, better sleep, and reduction of airborne viruses and bacteria by increasing your indoor humidity levels.
With modern technology, air humidifiers are now available filterless—meaning you won’t have to deal with monthly filter replacements.
Additionally, you should consider purchasing an air humidifier that has adjustable levels of output, as over-moisturizing the air can actually serve to exacerbate the issues you are trying to protect against. You can test the level of humidity in your room by using a humidistat, because too high levels of relative humidity can lead to problems like mold growth.
Humidifiers serve as an inexpensive and regulatable option as compared to using other wellness strategies like pharmaceutical medications. And the best part is, it’s totally natural.
Big Benefits Of Air Humidifiers
If you’re on the fence as to whether or not to purchase a new humidifier, you should be aware of all the great benefits that it can bring into your home.
- Improved Skin Health- Your skin dries in the winter months, making it more prone to irritation. With more moisture in the air, you can expect a fuller complexion, less irritation, and better overall skin health.
- Fight Cold & Flu: Using a humidifier has been shown to reduce the risk of catching a cold or the flu. Using a humidifier at home or in the office will make for a less favorable environment for bacteria to reproduce, thus decreasing the likelihood of catching a sickness.
- Reduced Sinus Stress: Low humidity levels dry out your sinus passageways and lead to discomfort, sinus pressure, and headaches, which seriously effect your health. Restoring humidity levels to the proper 30 to 50 percent will soothe your nasal passages and throat to keep them moist.
- Experience Better Sleep: Dried out nasal passages can lead to you waking throughout the night and feeling like you have to drink a ton of water to stay hydrated. Moist air lets you sleep longer and more comfortably to wake up feeling healthy and recharged.
- A Warmer Home: Higher humidity levels make your body feel warmer because it cools down through evaporation. A warmer home means turning down the heat—saving you money on your energy bill.
- Healthy House: Just like our bodies, wood furniture and plants suffer from low humidity levels. Avoid cracking in your furniture and support the health of your plants by keeping them in an ideal environment to thrive through the winter. Having enough humidity in the air also means that there's less risk of static electricity.
Properly Controlling Humidity Levels In Your Home
Adding humidity and moisture to the air in your home is beneficial, as long as you do so responsibly.
If humidity levels reach too high, health complications and other negative effects could occur, including:
- Worsening of respiratory problems
- A feeling of uncomfortable dampness in the air
- Encourage the growth of dust mites, mildew, and mold
- Allowing bacteria to exist comfortably
- Creating condensation on the walls of your home
You can monitor the humidity levels in your home by using a hygrometer. These can be found relatively inexpensively at your local hardware store.
Burns are also a risk associated with humidifiers but can be easily prevented.
If you have children or pets, you should take extra precautions. You should never let your children handle a humidifier and keep it out of reach from potential spills if you have rambunctious pets.
You’ll also want to be sure that you keep your humidifier clean. Unclean humidifiers can cause the expelling of bacterial growth, and potentially worsen coughs and colds. Always use distilled water.
Should you or your child suffer from asthma, allergies, or other cardiovascular conditions, you should talk to your doctor before putting a humidifier in your home.
Increased humidity will ease breathing for asthma and allergy sufferers. But, dirty mist or over-moisturized air can trigger or worsen these symptoms.
If you follow your manufacturer’s cleaning instructions, position your humidifier safely, and monitor the humidity levels in your home, you can experience all the great benefits that an air humidifier brings with very little labor.
Which Humidifier Is Right For You?
There are many types of humidifiers on the market, making it difficult to sift through, which can be best humidifier for your home. Warm mist humidifiers, also known as steam vaporizers, use a heating element to turn water into water vapor for humidification.
Firstly, you should consider what size humidifier will best fit the room you are attempting to moisten. A larger humidifier will produce more mist, better suiting large rooms. For a single room like the bedroom or an office space, however, it may be better to go with a smaller size. Room humidifiers generally state on the packaging what number of square feet they are recommended for. There are even central humidifiers which can provide moisture to your whole house.
You’ll also want to decide what type of technology your portable humidifier uses to add moisture to the air. Cool mist humidifiers are generally considered to be safer options. Evaporators use a fan to send tiny droplets of water into the air to add moisture.
Ultrasonic humidifiers are the latest in air moisturizing technology, using high-frequency sound vibrations to produce extra-fine mist.
These humidifiers have no filter in their design, saving on operation costs and cleaning time. Additionally, these ultrasonic humidifiers are considered safer because there is no hot water present—nullifying the risk of burn.
Ultrasonic humidifiers are also extremely quiet. This makes for ideal conditions in the bedroom or in the office where you may want to avoid distracting sounds. This quietude comes as a result of ultrasonic technology being fan-free, reducing noise output.
Because ultrasonic humidifiers do not boil the water, there is a risk of bacterial growth. But, following the manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines will be sure to keep your humidifier operating as cleanly as possible.
These factors tend to make ultrasonic humidifiers the leading choice over evaporative humidifiers, as they are safer and cost less to operate throughout the course of the season.
So, Should You Buy a New Humidifier?
If you are looking for:
- Improved skin health
- Increased ability to fight colds and cases of flu
- Reduced sinus stress
- Better sleep
- A warmer and healthier house
- Relief from nosebleeds
- Reduction in nose, throat, and cough irritation
Then investing in a new humidifier might be a good option for you. All these benefits come through an all-natural process, so you can be sure that you are meeting your body’s needs as safely as possible.
Humidifiers do require some maintenance. However, relief that humidifiers can provide can bring you peace of mind, and make a huge impact on your day-to-day comfort and happiness.
You should be aware of the risks that come with humidifiers and be sure to follow the best cleaning practices. You should also consult with your doctor if you have underlying health conditions that may be affected by treating winter-time complications with the use of a humidifier.
With the right humidifier, you can expect to save money on your energy bill, making the initial investment of the humidifier pay for itself in no time.
There are so many high-level benefits that come from naturally treating your body, home, and surrounding environment by adding moisture to the air. Who knew—you can feel better, sleep more soundly, and save money just by adding a little bit of water to the air!
If the winter blues have set in, investing in a humidifier is a great way to improve the health and well-being of you and your family.