Air Humidifier Benefits
If you’re suffering from the effects of dry air, a humidifier is an essential device to run in your home. Especially in the winter, dry air can cause a variety of negative effects on your mood, health, and overall well-being.
What does a humidifier do to solve this?
Humidifiers add moisture to the air to make your home more comfortable for your skin, your nose, your throat, and more. Learn about the different humidifier benefits and how to choose the best model for your home.
WHAT IS A HUMIDIFIER?
A humidifier is a small appliance designed to increase the indoor humidity in your home by adding moisture to the air. It’s typically a portable appliance with a water tank that holds anywhere from 100 ml to 5 L or more. The humidifier draws water from the reservoir and releases it from the air. Each time the tank is empty, you’ll have to refill it. Humidifiers use fans, vibrations, or heat to release the water vapor.
Most humidifiers feature a hydrometer that measures humidity levels. Some models use this to automatically shut off when the humidity reaches a certain level. Other humidifiers feature various fan speeds or heat levels but might not turn off automatically.
WHAT DOES A HUMIDIFIER DO?
A healthy home humidity level is between 30 percent and 50 percent. Usually, humidifier season occurs during the winter months when the cold air and a home’s heating system combine to drastically reduce the indoor humidity level.
All of that cold winter air dries out your home. That’s because cold air holds less moisture than hot air. If you suffer from dry skin in the winter, it’s because the moisture in your body evaporates more quickly in the dry air.
To make matters worse, your home’s heating system simply pulls in more dry air and heats it. Humidifiers work by blowing a fine mist or releasing steam into the air to gradually raise the humidity level.
AIR HUMIDIFIER BENEFITS
Dry skin is only one of the problems caused by dry air. Cracked lips and nose bleeds are other symptoms of low humidity levels. By using a humidifier, you can also make your home feel warmer and help reduce the severity of several other conditions.
Here are some of the most important benefits of using a humidifier.
Moisturize your scalp
For many people, dandruff tends to become worse in the winter. There is some evidence linking dry air to the dry skin that causes dandruff. Using a humidifier may reduce the severity of dandruff by keeping skin moisturized.
Make the air feel warmer
Increasing the relative humidity in your home with a humidifier may help the air feel slightly warmer. One of the main ways your body cools itself is by sweating, but it’s harder for water to evaporate from your skin when the air is full of moisture. That’s why humidity causes the temperature to feel warmer than it actually is.In some climates, using a humidifier to add moisture to the air could help you feel warmer and use slightly less energy for heating.
Require less water for houseplants
Plants take in water through their roots, which depend on the soil holding moisture. When the air is dry, water evaporates more quickly from the soil, and you may have to water your houseplants more often. Using a humidifier to increase the moisture in the air may reduce how frequently you need to water your houseplants, especially tropical species.
Reduce static electricity
You’re probably familiar with those annoying little jolts of static electricity that you occasionally feel when you touch a doorknob or shake someone’s hand. Low relative humidity can cause higher levels of static electricity. Conversely, raising the indoor humidity with a humidifier may reduce the buildup of static electricity charges during normal activity and lower the chances of feeling those little shocks.
Protect hardwood floors
Hardwood flooring expands and contracts depending on the moisture in the air and in the wood. Many cycles of expansion and contraction can lead to warping in the wood. By using a humidifier to maintain moist air and to prevent the air from becoming too dry during certain seasons, you may help protect your hardwood floors from warping.
Humidifier Benefits for Children
A humidifier helps promote a good night’s sleep when irritation or other issues caused by dry air frequently interrupt a child’s sleep. Since babies’ skin is extremely sensitive, it’s important to make sure indoor humidity is at the right level. Humidifiers can reduce skin irritation and discomfort for babies and young children. They can also help prevent eczema in children with sensitive skin.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF HUMIDIFIERS
You can choose from several technologies when buying a humidifier. These devices use different methods of spreading water into the air and maintaining the desired humidity. Each comes with some benefits and potential drawbacks, so we’ve assembled the details below to help you choose the best humidifier for your needs.
Steam Vaporizers: Warm Mist Humidifiers
A steam vaporizer heats and then cools water from a reservoir inside the machine to produce steam. The steam rises, spreading out through the room. These devices are also called warm mist humidifiers, and they’re some of the most common humidifier products available.
Impeller Humidifiers: Cool Mist Humidifiers
An impeller humidifier uses a set of rapidly rotating discs to propel tiny droplets into the air from a water tank. By creating this fine, cool mist, it pushes moisture into the air, increasing humidity.
An impeller only works in a single room. Using an impeller continuously could make the humidity level too high and cause irritation in people with allergies and asthma.
Pros and Cons of a Warm Mist Humidifier vs. a Cool Mist Humidifier
Warm mist and cool mist humidifiers both increase humidity equally well. A warm mist humidifier are often the smallest, most portable model. The mist from a warm mist humidifier quickly cools to room temperature once it leaves the machine, so there’s little difference in the humidifying effects of either type of humidifier.
You can safely use cool mist humidifiers if you’d prefer a device without a heating element.
You’ll still need to clean any humidifier regularly to prevent mold growth and dust buildup. Cool mist humidifiers could be slightly more involved to clean due to their multiple moving parts, but it isn’t a difficult process.
An ultrasonic humidifier uses ultrasonic vibrations to vaporize water and emit a warm or cool mist. The use of ultrasonic vibrations means you won’t hear the machine’s rapid vibrations. Its basic operation still might make some noise, however.
An evaporator uses fans to push air through a moistened wicking filter. The air carries the moisture as a fine cool mist into the room. Use an evaporator to humidify a single room. Depending on the size of the device, it could support a small or large room.
A central humidifier is the most effective (and most expensive) option because it’s a system that adds moisture to the air throughout your whole home. A professional installs a central humidifier in your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Central humidifiers don’t produce steam; they simply add moisture to the air that’s already circulating through the HVAC system.
A central humidifier can work with both the air conditioning in the summer and the heating in the winter. If your home does not have a central humidifier built into its HVAC system, installing one could require expensive renovations.
POTENTIAL RISKS OF HUMIDIFIERS
Whichever type of humidifier you choose for your home, you’ll want to do regular maintenance to ensure that it’s running properly and safely. Follow these tips to maintain your humidifier:
●Change the water every day to prevent mold from growing inside the machine.
●While your humidifier is off, empty the tank and let it air dry thoroughly.
●Clean your humidifier at least once per week to reduce any bacteria that might grow in the damp environment inside.
●The Environmental Protection Agency recommends using purified or distilled water in your humidifier. This will help it emit cleaner air and prevent the buildup of minerals inside the machine.
RELIEVE DRY AIR IRRITATION WITH A HUMIDIFIER
Using humidifiers is an important part of staying healthy when the air in your home is dry, especially during the winter months. You’ll feel better, breathe better, and enjoy many other humidifier benefits for your health and well-being.
After considering your preferred size and type of humidifier, you’re ready to start enjoying more comfortable indoor air at home. Explore the various home humidifier options available to choose the best humidifier for your household.
Medical Disclaimer: This content is provided for informational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
How Dry Winter Air Can Cause Respiratory Problems —From Bronchitis to Nosebleeds, Cleveland Clinic: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/can-best-combat-effects-dry-winter-air/
Warm-Mist Versus Cool-Mist Humidifier: Which Is Better for a Cold?, Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/expert-answers/cool-mist-humidifiers/faq-20058199
Indoor Air Facts No. 8 Use and Care of Home Humidifiers, EPA: https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/indoor-air-facts-no-8-use-and-care-home-humidifiers
Eczema, American Academy of Pediatrics: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/tips-tools/Symptom-Checker/Pages/symptomviewer.aspx?symptom=Eczema
The Effect of Humidity on Static Electricity Induced Reliability Issues of ICT Equipment in Data Centers –Motivation and Setup of the Study, ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/290673742_The_effect_of_humidity_on_static_electricity_induced_reliability_issues_of_ICT_equipment_in_data_centers_-_Motivation_and_setup_of_the_study