There are many parched regions of the country that suffer from low humidity levels at different times of the year. This can cause several annoying health issues such as scratchy throats, chapped lips, dry skin and so on.
The reason for these varying humidity levels is that warm air holds more moisture than cold air. So humidity levels fall when outdoor temperatures dive below freezing.
So what can you do to prevent falling prey to a drop in humidity? Well, you can install air humidifiers that may provide you with some relief. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of humidifiers so you can choose the one that’s best for you.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Uses of Humidifiers
- Types of Humidifiers
- Risks and Possible Drawbacks of Using Humidifiers
Uses of Humidifiers
High humidity in the air can act as natural moisturizers and relieve dry skin. This can be especially useful in the colder months when the cold air dries out the nose, lips, and lungs. Some buildings will have central air-conditioning which will also have the same effects indoors.
Listed below are some benefits of using a humidifier at home.
Infections are Reduced
Viruses don’t thrive in the moist air which is why humidifiers are able to actively reduce them. As a result of these humidifiers adding more moisture to the air, you are at less risk of catching flu or other viruses from the air.
More Vibrant Skin
Cold air dries out your skin by removing the moisture from it. As a result, you are left with dry, itchy, dull and flaky skin that is more prone to aging. A humidifier restores the moisture in the air, helping you to maintain a glowing and vibrant complexion.
Dry air causes our sinuses and throats to dry out, resulting in snoring. This can be improved with the help of humidifiers. It also increases comfort by making the temperature warm and moist that aids in better sleep.
Lower Energy Bills
Moist air feels warmer than dry air. So during the winter days, you can add more moisture to the dry air with the help of a humidifier and it will actually feel a lot warmer. This way, you can bring down your energy costs by saving on your heating bills.
Keeping Wooden Furniture in Good Shape
Dry air causes damage to wooden furniture, doors, and moldings. They can often split and crack as a result of prolonged exposure to dry, cold air. Humidifiers can preserve the integrity of the wood, allowing you to maintain your precious pieces for years to come.
Relax your Vocal Chords
Dry air can cause your vocal cords to dry up overnight and make you sound hoarse in the morning. Using a humidifier in the room can help soothe your throat.
Your sinuses can get severely dried out during the winter and cause a tight feeling in your nose. A humidifier can help with fighting bacteria and viruses so that you wake up with a more comfortable and healthy nose and throat.
Get Rid of Electric Shocks
The dry air during the winter months can cause a build-up of static electricity that can shock you. Pets are especially vulnerable to this. Use a humidifier to lower the risk of static shocks.
House Plants are Better Maintained
Houseplants tend to suffer more in winter. The leaves get droopy and the soil gets drier. Since the plants pull in toxins from inside the house, we need to ensure they stay healthy. Humidifiers will restore the moisture in the air, ensuring the plants stay healthy and in turn so do you.
Reducing Allergy and Asthma
Humidifiers help eliminate dry sinuses which can provide relief for people suffering from allergies. Humidity levels that are too high or too low levels can increase the risk of asthma-like symptoms. Humidifiers keep the humidity levels stable and decrease these risks.
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Types of Humidifiers
The type of humidifier you should choose depends on various factors such as your budget, your personal preference type and the size of the area you want to treat. There are five types of humidifiers to choose from. They are described below in detail:
These humidifiers are installed in the furnace. it can be installed either on the supply or return end of your ductwork. When the air enters the humidifier from the ducts, it comes into contact with the water inside. The water then evaporates into the air.
Therefore, the air that leaves the other side of the humidifier is moisturized. Central humidifiers don’t emit steam so there is no risk of potential burns. This option is also the more expensive humidifying method.
To make vaporizers work you have to fill them with fresh water up to the indicated line. After turning the vaporizer on it will use internal burners to heat the water slowly up to a boiling point where it changes from water to gas. The gas is then emitted into the air, providing moisture.
These humidifiers are inexpensive and are easily available at drug stores. Be careful with them around children as they can burn the skin.
These humidifiers contain a small metal plate that is fitted into the humidifier water reservoir. These plates vibrate at an ultrasonic frequency. This vibration breaks the water particles into cool vapor and emits the fine mist into the air.
The device is available in both cool and warm mist versions. The mist version of this humidifier is a better choice if you have children.
Evaporators work using a box-like enclosure that has a fan and water-soaked pads fitted into it. The air is propelled into the soaked pads by the fan and blows this moisture out into the air.
These are a bit less expensive than central humidifiers. A problem with these devices is that they might expel more humidity into the air than that is safe. This can increase mold growth and could be a problem for asthma patients.
Water is sent into these humidifiers through a diffuser, where the water is broken into smaller droplets using a rotating disc running at a high speed. These droplets are sent into the air and they exit the humidifier in a fog-like mist. These humidifiers add mineral free moisture into the air and can be used to humidify large areas.
One downside of these machines is that they need to be cleaned regularly or bacteria can grow on the filters.
These are very large humidifiers and can provide moisture to the entire house. They have wheels so it’s easier to move them around the house in case you want to humidify different rooms of the house.
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Risks and Possible Drawbacks of Using Humidifiers
If they’re not cleaned and maintained properly over time, humidifiers can have some serious disadvantages. We’ll discuss these risks below:
Some air humidifiers are the perfect harbingers for some organisms that can pose serious health risks. Certain bacteria, such as Legionella pneumophila, is a cause for some serious forms of pneumonia.
The filters need to be changed and cleaned regularly, following the manufacturer’s guidelines. This will take care of any problems, but prolonged respiratory illness needs to be checked out by a doctor.
Too Much Moisture
If a humidifier is not self-regulated there is a chance that it will emit too much moisture into the air. Too much moisture in the air can cause breathing difficulties and potentially worsen allergies.
Allergens such as mold and mildew as well as dust mites thrive well in damp environments. This can be solved by using humidifiers with humidistat or hygrometers. These gadgets measure the humidity in the room so that you can constantly monitor the humidity levels in your home.
The main purpose of humidifiers is to turn water into breathable vapor. Hence if the water tank is unclean, then you will be breathing in a dirty vapor. The humidity tank can be an environment where germs are fostered.
Cleaning the humidifier at least once a week will prevent these situations. The water should not sit in the tank for too long; watch the water’s surface to see if the film is collecting on it. You should also keep an eye out for hard water deposits and stagnant water.
There are minerals in the water that fall as white dust in your home once they evaporate. Whether breathing in this dust is harmful or not, is yet to be established, but it is known to be unhealthy.
This can be avoided by using distilled water, as it has less mineral content than that of tap or bottled water. The machine can also be caused to wear out faster if the minerals from hard tap water are allowed to build up inside the machine.
Burns or Other Injuries
One of the most common risks associated with humidifiers are burns and other associated injuries. So you must be extra cautious to not let children handle humidifiers. Also, it’s a good idea to not put a warm mist humidifier in your child’s room. In the case that you need to put one in a child’s room, be extra sure to supervise them really well.
Humidifiers can be noisy machines; some are quieter than others. If you are looking for quieter models then the ultrasonic models are the best option.
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Humidifiers are a Godsend for people suffering from respiratory and skin problems. Keep in mind that humidifiers are not to be used as a treatment for these issues, they are only there to make the conditions better.
If you experience any problems after using a humidifier, you should stop using it immediately and consult a doctor. Humidifiers are available easily both in department stores and online.