Humidifiers add moisture to the air, it’s just that simple. This time of year, the air from heaters and furnaces can be dry…as dry as 10% humidity. For optimal health and comfort, you should keep your home at 40%-50% humidity.

The lack of moisture in the air can lead to dry ad cracked skin and lips, itchy throat, bloody noses, easier transmission of illnesses such as cold and the flu, and difficulty breathing in asthma sufferers. Humidifiers can help.

The most popular types of humidifier are the steam humidifier or vaporizer, and the cool mist or evaporative humidifier.  Both types of humidifiers come in whole-house or portable models.

  • Steam humidifiers (vaporizers) work by boiling water and then releasing steam into the air. The only drawback to a steam humidifier is that they must be cleaned regularly to prevent bacteria and mold growth. Distilled water should be used in steam humidifiers to prevent mineral dust from settling in your home.
  • Cool mist (evaporative) humidifiers are simple; a wick absorbs water from a reservoir. A fan blows air through the wick and the water evaporates into the air.  The amount of water that evaporates depends upon the room’s overall humidity, so evaporative humidifiers can’t over-humidify the air like a steam humidifier can.

Some of the benefits of humidifiers include:

  • Prevent dry skin and lips.  Dry, itchy skin is usually the first warning sign of low humidity. Dry skin can be especially bad for eczema and psoriasis sufferers.
  • Keep some viruses and bacteria at bay. Moist air helps ward off cold, flu, and coughs. It also helps your throat and nose to block bacteria and dust. But, keep an eye on the humidity because if you over-humidify, different bacteria and mold can grow.
  • Help reduce nosebleeds.  Keeping nasal passages moist can prevent nosebleeds and can reduce irritation, dryness, and itchiness in the nose, eyes, mouth, throat, and sinuses. Humidifiers help when you have a cold, the flu, or if you’re suffering from allergies.
  • Reduce the symptoms of asthma. When the respiratory system is kept moist, breathing is easier. But if you have asthma, check with your doctor to find out if a humidifier is recommended for you.
  • Make you feel comfortable at a lower temperature, so you can turn down the thermostat. When air is dry, it makes the air feel colder than it is. By keeping it moist, we feel more comfortable at lower temperatures.
  • And, according to the EPA, you can save up to four percent on your heating bill for every degree you lower your thermostat—that humidifier will pay for itself pretty quickly.
  • Reduce static electricity, so no more of those nasty zaps.

A humidifier can bring better health, a lower utility bill, and a welcome boost of comfort from the dry winter air. Call us today to discuss how we can help you find out which humidifier is best for you.

Sources:
http://www.mayoclinic.org