You must have seen by now advertisements for a humidifier if you’ve been living in a colder or dryer part of the world and wondered “What Does a Humidifier Do?”. In simple terms, humidifiers release moisture into the air to increase the humidity of a room. Not to be confused with its cousin, the air purifier, which helps reduce indoor air pollution.
Humidified air is the answer to symptoms like dry skin, cracked lips, and bloody nasal passages which are caused by the dry air of the cold weather. Humidifiers work tremendously well in resolving these problems by controlling humidity levels. They also tremendously improve the air quality in dryer atmospheres by adding moisture to the surrounding air. Other than all these flowery remarks what does a humidifier do really?
1. What Does a Humidifier Do Exactly? Let’s Find Out
A humidifier is an air conditioner that can create steam to help tackle low humidity levels. It is used to remedy symptoms like dry sinuses by increasing the air’s moisture by releasing water vapor (warm or cool mist). Instead of acting like an air conditioning unit that may increase the relative humidity of a room, A humidifier can increase the actual humidity level in a room.
1.1 Why Should I Get a Humidifier?
A humidifier is a must needed household item if you live in an arid area with minimal moisture in the air. A couple of reasons that can be stated to own a humidifier are;
1.1.1. Helps to Eliminate Dry Indoor Air
Dry indoor air is a major cause of inflamed nasal and throat passages.
1.1.2. Humidified Air Can Help Combat Flu Symptoms
Humidified air works a lot like a steam inhalation in the context of a cold by alleviating stuffy noses and sinusitis. It also helps in combating flu-like symptoms.
1.1.3. Bringing Down Expenses in the Winter Months
In addition to the health benefits it also helps the household/workspace to be more economical by saving money on heating in the winter months. A warm mist humidifier can bring warmth by maintaining the humidity levels in a room at around 35-55%
1.1.4. Increase Longevity of Wooden Furniture
Maintaining proper humidity levels in a space can be the difference in your furniture lasting 1 or 10 years. As a dry and cold atmosphere can chip and crack wooden furniture.
2. What Humidifiers Work for My Atmosphere?
Do not hastily buy your first humidifier, first look at the different kinds of humidifiers available to you and pick an appropriate one to suit your space!
Humidifiers can mainly be classified into two categories
2.1. Warm Mist Humidifier
A warm mist humidifier is a humidifier that releases warm mist in a room by way of heating up a water source like a steam inhalation machine. It is more optimal for a cooler climate since it helps warm spaces by promoting high humidity.
2.2. Cool Mist Humidifier
A cool mist humidifier works by way of vibrating a water source to convert it to water vapor or cooling down heated-up mist and releasing it into the atmosphere.
It is to be noted that both types of humidifiers are used to treat cold and allergy symptoms. based on the personal preference of the user they can opt for either one of the two to treat their cause.
3. Types of Humidifiers
Many kinds of workspace and home humidifiers available to us in today’s market come under the above two categories. Here are a few choices available to us.
3.1. Central Humidifiers
Central humidifiers are humidifiers that are built into the structure of a house/ building to regulate humidity levels throughout the entire house. Ideal for larger areas like warehouses or storage units since there is no personal humidity preference in each room, unlike a household.
3.2. Evaporative Humidifiers
An evaporative humidifier adds moisture to the air by a fan which can blow air over a wet cloth/wick or filter to increase the humidity level in a space.
3.3. Ultrasonic Humidifiers
An ultrasonic humidifier can act as both, a warm mist humidifier and a cool mist humidifier by producing high-frequency sound vibrations which propel water vapor into the air. Ultrasonic humidifiers as the name suggest use an ultrasonic vibration that is near silent when operational. Making them ideal for a space that requires silence.
3.4. Impeller Humidifiers
An impeller Humidifier works by using a rotational disc that propels the water up to a diffuser which can diffuse the water into water vapor and increase the humidity in a room.
3.5. Steam Humidifiers
A steam humidifier works by heating up the water in its source and converting it to steam, much like steam vaporizers, which are then cooled before being let out. These steam humidifiers can be considered slightly dangerous in your household if you have tiny infants who can topple over or stick their hands into them. Because the hot water present in it can cause severe burns to them.
4. Proper Use and Care of a Humidifier
While using a humidifier can solve many dry indoor air-related problems, using a humidifier that isn’t maintained can lead to a new set of problems. It is essential to learn how to keep a humidifier clean and maintained properly to avoid new problems like bacterial growth, mold, and excessive indoor humidity which can lead to respiratory problems and even lung infections.
Dirty humidifiers can end up causing as much damage as it does help.
4.1. How to Keep a Humidifier Clean?
While your humidifier might be seeming to run fine it is important to look inside it ever so often to make sure that harmful bacteria and mold growth aren’t taking over the walls of your household. Here are a few maintenance tips for your humidifier so it doesn’t quickly breed bacteria and mold on your walls.
4.1.1. Avoid Using Unclean Water Sources
Using a humidifier with tap water as its water source is a surefire way to promote mineral deposit growths on the humidifier’s filter which can be released into the air in the form of water vapor or steam. You can notice if your humidifier’s water reservoir has a high mineral concentration if there is a layer of white dust coating your furniture.
The easiest way to remedy this is by using a clean water source that is made of distilled water so as to have a minimal amount of minerals in the water. Make sure to change the water present in the reservoir often to prevent it from becoming a breeding ground for bacteria since standing bodies of water can become polluted quickly.
4.1.2. Manual Filter Cleaning
A humidifier has to have its filters regularly cleaned or replaced just like air conditioners or a central heating system. Dirty humidifiers always do worse than their counterparts. Changing filters on a regular basis is important so as to prevent bacterial growth or mold from taking over.
4.1.3. Check for Dampness Surrounding Humidifiers
Follow all the proper maintenance tips provided by the manufacturer and check for dampness around where the humidifier is kept to make sure your humidifier is not faulty or defective.
If you do find the surrounding carpet, furniture, or walls damp and moist it would be recommended to get your humidifier repaired. It is better to replace humidifiers if they have reached the end of their recommended lifespan.
4.1.4. Properly Storing Humidifiers
Proper storage practices after using a humidifier are a good idea since they will help reduce the risk of having dirty reservoirs which are caused by leftover humidifier water. Remembering to empty your humidifier’s pool is always a good practice as it saves you a lot of trouble.
While these are a few of the basic practices to follow in the care and maintenance of humidifiers, more can always be done so as to ensure your humidifier lasts longer and works better in the long run.
5. Humidity and Health
Maintaining a good humidity level in your household can have numerous health benefits for you and your family! Science has discovered many health benefits correlated with using a humidifier and aspects of health!
A good example of this is the improvement humidifiers can bring is to your breathing. if you seem to be suffering from any respiratory troubles like asthma or a respiratory infection. A humidifier should help ease breathing, especially using a warm mist humidifier.
Using a humidifier has been linked with an overall rise in sleep quality. A significant improvement in the reduction of snoring and sleep apnea has been observed in people who use humidifiers as opposed to those who don’t.
Please consult your doctor for personalized advice on using a humidifier as the effects of using one can vary from person to person and it may not be well suited for your condition if not medically prescribed.
6. Bottom Line
As observed now, a humidifier is a solution to the majority of your problems caused by dry air like dry skin, cracked lips, heels, and nose bleeds. Be it warm mist humidifiers or cool mist humidifiers, they help negate all the problems caused by dry air. It can be especially helpful in resolving breathing troubles caused by dust mites or other irritants.
Humidifiers can also be the best alternative to central air conditioning, as you can use a humidifier to control the humidity of an individual room, unlike central air conditioners which can only heat up an entire structure or cool it.
Plan on getting a humidifier as soon as possible as it can be the best solution to the long, cold, and dry winter months!
Jorge is a student of Law and commerce wherein lies his sharp and to the point writing style. He plays music and reads books to kick back and relax.
He enjoys writing on a variety of topics but enjoys things related to cine-culture and music the most.