Humidifiers are home appliances that are used to maintain optimum levels of moisture in the air, making it easier to breathe, prevent allergies, and helping keep skin from drying out. Studies have shown that excessively dry air can worsen asthma attacks and symptoms of allergies. Humidifiers keep moisture at healthy levels, making it easier to breathe and lessening the severity of allergies.
Humidifiers can also protect your skin, keeping it from drying out and cracking. This makes skin look younger, as well as less itchy and inflamed. Additionally, humidifiers can help protect your home. Moist air prevents wood from cracking, and can also protect your floors.
Although humidifiers are generally safe, they can have side effects if used incorrectly. Excess humidity can cause mold to grow on surfaces throughout your home. It can also cause bacteria to build up in the air, increasing the risk of respiratory infection.
1Humidifiers help you avoid dry skin. Many people suffer from dry skin in low moisture environments. Water evaporates from the surface of the skin, leaving it dry and irritated. This can also cause itching, redness, and painful cracks in the skin.
Humidifiers maintain a constant moisture level in the air, which prevents skin from drying out. Moist air can also keep your skin from flaking and getting inflamed, which keeps it looking younger.
2Humidifiers make it easier to breathe. Dry air can be harsh on the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. It can dry out mucus as well, leading to nasal irritation and coughing (1).
Humidifiers keep moisture levels in the air at a comfortable level, making it much easier to breathe. They also prevent mucus from drying out in your nose, which can keep you from getting congested.
Although humidifiers make it easier to breathe, they can cause respiratory problems if moisture levels rise too high. Try to keep humidity at around 50% to avoid any side effects from excess moisture.
3Humidifiers can help prevent the flu. Research has shown that various types of flu are less likely to spread in a higher humidity environment, making humidifiers an effective way of lowering the risk of contagion.
One study found that use of a humidifier significantly reduced the activity of the influenza virus. Researchers believe that humidity above 40% can make the virus less infectious, helping stop contagion (2).
These studies are only preliminary, and there is still a risk of contracting the flu if you are around other infected people. However, humidifiers may be an effective way of reducing the risk of the flu, whether at home or in the office.
4Humidifiers can reduce snoring. Snoring is caused by a constricted airway. When air cannot pass as you breathe, it may cause snoring, and also leads to your body getting less oxygen (3).
Snoring can reduce your sleep quality, leading to drops in energy levels. Moisture can make it easier to breathe as you sleep. If the air is dry, your throat can lose moisture and begin to narrow, causing snoring.
Humidifiers raise moisture to a level that makes it easy to breathe as you sleep. Although a humidifier is unlikely to fully cure serious snoring, it can significantly reduce noise levels.
5Humidifiers keep your hair from drying out. Dry air can cause damage to more than just your skin. Low moisture levels in the air can also dry out your hair, especially during the winter (4).
Many heaters work by circulating hot air around rooms. This air tends to be quite dry, and the heat and low moisture levels can both damage your hair and scalp.
Humidifiers can protect your hair during the winter by keeping moisture levels in your home at comfortable levels. Furthermore, they can help prevent dandruff and keep your scalp from drying out.
6Humidifiers can help you manage asthma conditions. Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that can lead to difficulty breathing. It can be worsened in dry environments, leading to a greater number of breathing difficulties and asthma attacks (5).
Humidifiers can keep the air at a safe moisture level for people who suffer from asthma. One study found that air with humidity levels between the range of 30 to 50% led to significantly lower rates of asthma attacks.
Although humidifiers can be beneficial for people who suffer from asthma, they can also make symptoms worse if used in excess. When running a humidifier, make sure to monitor moisture levels, stopping the device if the humidity rises above 50%.
7Humidifiers can protect your home. Dry air can cause damage to your home, warping furniture, cracking paint, and hurting wood floors. Humidifiers can protect your home and furniture, ensuring that there is enough moisture in the air to keep wood from cracking.
Although humidifiers can be beneficial, excess moisture can also damage your home. It can lead to mold growth, destroying paint, and wood. It can also affect wood furniture, causing it to lose its shape.
The ideal humidity range for most homes is around 30 to 50%. Set your humidifier so that it shuts off when moisture reaches the desired level.
Also, make sure that there is plenty of clearance around the vents. If any furniture obstructs airflow, moisture can build up on the surface, causing mold to grow. Try to run the humidifier in a room with good ventilation, which can help prevent moisture from building up on surfaces.
8Humidifiers help treat allergies. Dry air can also make allergies worse, drying out the mucous membranes and irritating the nose. Studies have shown that keeping the air at a humidity level between 30 to 50% can improve allergy symptoms. Humidifiers monitor air moisture levels, ensuring that they stay at optimum levels (6).
Take caution when using a humidifier for allergies, as excess moisture can worsen some symptoms, as well as cause bacteria to grow. Set the humidifier so that it does not reach levels higher than 60%.
9Humidifiers can help manage cough symptoms. If you have a cold, coughing can irritate your throat, causing it to dry out and constrict. Low amounts of moisture in the air can worsen these symptoms, drying out the mucus in the throat and in the nose.
Humidifiers keep the air moisture at an optimum level, helping prevent mucous membranes from drying out. Although this will not cure a cough, it can make the symptoms much more bearable, and possibly speed recovery times.
10Humidifiers help you get a better night’s rest. Dry air can cause irritation in your throat as you sleep, leading to tightening and a narrowed airway. A dry throat can also cause you to wake in the night, preventing you from getting a full night’s rest.
Designed to keep moisture at optimum levels, humidifiers can make it easier to sleep through the night. You’ll be able to breath more easily, as well as lower the number of times you have to get up to get a drink of water.
11Humidifiers help you avoid static shocks. Static builds up in furniture when the air dries out. Without water on the surfaces, electrical charges can build up and cause painful shocks.
Humidifiers keep enough moisture in the air to prevent charges from building up on surfaces. This can save you the pain of getting zapped when you sit down on the couch or touch a blanket.
12Humidifiers can protect houseplants. Houseplants can do more than just decorate your home. They’re also beneficial for air quality. However, many common houseplants require moisture in the air, or they will begin to dry out. Low amounts of moisture can cause leaves to wilt and brown.
Humidifiers are one of the best ways to ensure that there is enough moisture in the air for plants to grow and maintain healthy leaves. This helps your plants live longer and look greener.
13Humidifiers make it easier for infants to sleep. Many babies struggle to sleep in dry air, as they get congested and their airway narrows. Humidifiers keep the air at an optimum moisture level for sleep, reducing the number of times they wake up throughout the night.
This can also improve your sleep quality, as you won’t have to wake up as many times throughout the night to comfort a crying baby.
14Humidifiers can increase the feeling of warmth in the house. Water is a better conductor of heat than air, so you won’t feel as cold if you’re in a room with higher humidity. Humidifiers can help you save money on your electricity bill during the winter, as you can keep the thermostat a few degrees lower without actually feeling colder.
You can also find a number of humidifiers that warm the water directly before emitting a jet of mist into the air.
1Humidifiers can increase mold. One of the main downsides of using a humidifier is an increased risk of mold. It’s difficult for mold to grow in dry environments, so adding extra moisture to the air can cause mold to pop up around your house. If you run a humidifier frequently, check the hygrometer on the device that measures moisture in the air. Try to prevent the humidity level from exceeding 60%, and stop running the humidifier if you notice any moisture settling on surfaces.
2Humidifiers may cause harm. Furthermore, some humidifiers come with a small burn and fire risk. Humidifiers that use steam to warm the air can get too hot, and may cause burns if you stand close to the jet. Although very rare, these devices can also cause fires if left near flammable materials.
3Humidifiers can make it difficult to breathe. Although humidifiers can help people with respiratory problems, the air that is excessively moist can actually make breathing much more difficult. Try to keep humidity at levels of around 40 to 60%.
4Humidifiers can spread bacteria. Also, make sure that you clean out your humidifier regularly. The water chamber can begin to grow significant populations of bacteria, some of which can cause respiratory illnesses if they find their way into the air.
5Humidifiers can be loud. Some people may also be bothered by the noise level of humidifiers. They emit about as much noise as a small fan, so they could disrupt sleep if you run them at night.
The specific instructions will depend on the type of humidifier that you have. Follow the specific instructions provided by the manufacturer to set up the device.
For the best results, run a humidifier constantly. This will ensure that moisture levels are consistent and prevent sudden changes in air conditions, which is important for people with respiratory illnesses.
Make sure that the humidifier is placed in an area with good airflow. If you put it behind furniture, moisture will not circulate throughout the room, and can also cause mold to grow.
You should also use a humidifier in an area that has good ventilation. If you use it in an enclosed space, moisture levels can rise quickly and build up on surfaces, leading to mold.
If you are just using a humidifier to add a bit of moisture to the air, you can run it for a few hours per day and then leave it off at night.
Make sure to clean out your humidifier on a regular basis to prevent bacteria from growing. Rinse out the water chamber, and follow any other cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer.
How do humidifiers work? Humidifiers are fairly simple devices. They use a chamber of water to add moisture to air passing through the device. Dry air comes in, uses the water you add to the humidifier, and leaves at the humidity level you set.
Most humidifiers have automatic hygrometers that measure levels of moisture in the air. Once you reach the target level, the humidifier will stop using as much water, so that the air stays at constant moisture.
What happens if you don’t clean your humidifier? The most important reason why you should keep your humidifier clean, however, is because if you don’t, then you risk spreading potentially harmful bacteria and mold into the air. Without proper disinfection and cleaning, the water in your humidifier will just sit there and stagnate.
How loud are humidifiers? It will depend on the type of humidifier. Evaporative humidifiers use a fan to pull air into the device, so they tend to be a bit louder. However, they are still fairly quiet, with the sound level being about what you’d expect from a small fan running on low.
Other types of humidifiers don’t circulate air with a fan, instead using a jet that puffs out mist into the air. Without a fan, these devices tend to be fairly quiet.
Will humidifiers purify the air? In most cases, no. Humidifiers are designed to take in air and add moisture, not to filter it. They may pick up some dust, but not nearly enough to fully filter the air.
There are a few humidifiers that have a built-in filter as well, although these products may not be as effective as stand-alone humidifiers and purifiers.
How often do you need to add water? It depends on the size of the humidifier and the setting you choose. If you run the device on high, you may need to refill the water chamber once a day. If you have it running on low, you may only have to refill the chamber every few days.
How much do humidifiers cost? It depends on the humidifier. You can find a number of small options that will cost around $50, although they will only work for fairly small rooms. Larger humidifiers that will work for areas such as living rooms will generally cost upwards of $100, with some costing significantly more for added features.
You can also find a number of humidifiers that are designed to add moisture to your entire home or apartment. These will usually cost over $200.
How much energy will a humidifier use? This, of course, will depend on how much you run the device and the setting that you use. If you run a humidifier constantly throughout the day, the average cost will be around $10 per month. Warm air humidifiers will use a greater amount of energy, as they have to heat the water.
What’s the best type of humidifier? It depends on what you plan on using it for. Regular fan humidifiers are usually the most effective for circulating air throughout large rooms. However, they tend to produce a bit of noise, so they may not be the best option for those who like to sleep without any background noise.
Warm air humidifiers don’t use fans, instead emitting a jet of hot mist. This is great for those who need a humidifier that also slightly raises the temperature of the air, although they aren’t a good option for people who already live in warm climates.
Can humidifiers treat sleep apnea? No. Humidifiers are not designed to treat sleep apnea, although they may make breathing easier throughout the night. Speak to your doctor if you plan on using a humidifier for sleep apnea.
Why do people use humidifiers? Humidifier therapy adds moisture to the air to prevent dryness that can cause irritation in many parts of the body. Humidifiers can be particularly effective for treating dryness of the skin, nose, throat, and lips. They can also ease some of the symptoms caused by the flu or common cold.
Can you get sick from a humidifier? Although useful, humidifiers can actually make you sick if they aren’t maintained properly or if humidity levels stay too high. Dirty humidifiers can breed mold or bacteria.
Do humidifiers cause mold? Excessive wetness or humidity can cause mold to start growing on porous surfaces such as windowsills and walls. Humidity below this level can cause dry sinuses, bloody noses, and dry, itchy skin and eyes. When using a humidifier, clean your unit on a daily basis and only use distilled or demineralized water.
Can you leave a humidifier on all day? Yes, generally humidifiers operate day and night. Cool mist is safer if you have concerns about keeping boiling water in a particular room; warm mist is safer if you are more concerned about possible mold or mildew in your humidifier.
Can I put vinegar in my humidifier? Ordinary household vinegar, the kind you buy at the supermarket, will dissolve any calcium and lime deposits in a humidifier if allowed to soak for 24 hours to do its work. Add about 1 cup of household vinegar to the humidifier, then fill with hot water.
What is the difference between a vaporizer and a humidifier? Humidifiers are used to add moisture to the air, usually with the intent of combating dry climates or relieving cold and flu symptoms. A vaporizer is a type of warm mist humidifier that uses boiling water to create hot steam. Because they use boiling water, vaporizers may not be appropriate around small children.
Humidifiers are an effective way of adding moisture to dry air. They can make it easier to breathe, as well as help you get a better night of sleep. They also come with a number of benefits for your home, protecting wood furniture and surfaces.
Research has shown that dry air can make symptoms worse for people with asthma and allergies. Humidifiers allow you to keep moisture levels within the optimum range of 30 to 50%, lowering the chances of an asthma attack.
By increasing moisture levels in the air, humidifiers also make it easier for you to breath as you sleep, preventing your mouth from drying out. They can also prevent snoring by keeping your airway moist.
Furthermore, humidifiers can keep your skin healthy, preventing it from drying out. This can reduce itching, as well as make your skin look younger. They also keep your hair and scalp moist and can help people with dandruff.
Humidifiers can also be used to help protect the furniture and surfaces in your home. Dry air can warp wood surfaces and also cause paint to peel. A humidifier keeps moisture at a level that won’t affect furniture or paint.
Humidifiers are generally safe if used according to instructions. However, there are some downsides and safety risks. Avoid raising the humidity past moisture levels of around 50%, as this increases the risk of mold and bacteria growth. Excess humidity can also worsen certain respiratory conditions, including asthma.