There is a lot to love about winter – cozy evenings by the fireplace, outdoor sports such as skiing or ice skating and the season’s first magical snow. Of course, no one looks forward to chapped lips, dry skin, or catch the flu.
However, there may be a good solution for you. A humidifier has the potential to be your key to comfort in your home.
But what is a humidifier? And what do humidifiers do?
The primary purpose of any humidifier is to add moisture to the air (aka moisture) through steam or water vapor. The The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency says that the ideal indoor humidity is between 30 and 50 percent. While levels can go above this happy medium in the summer, they often drop in the winter. A humidifier helps bring these levels into the healthy range. Are you unsure if a humidifier is right for your home? You can pick up a hygrometer at your local hardware store and measure the humidity in different rooms around the house. You should buy a humidifier if your humidity is below 30 percent. The hygrometer will also be a useful tool throughout the season. This can ensure that the humidifier does not raise the humidity levels above 50 percent (which can also be unhealthy).
Humidifier health benefits during colder months
What are the other benefits of using a humidifier to add moisture to the air? During the winter, it can make a big difference in how you look, feel and sleep. Here are some of the key benefits a humidifier can offer when it comes to your health:
1. Better skin
Do you use lip balm and moisturizer throughout the winter? You’re not alone. Our bodies are more than half water, and the dry, cold months love to extract that water right away. A humidifier takes back the moisture to prevent chapped lips and cracks in the skin.
2. Reduced risk of infections
Studies has shown that increasing humidity levels to 43% or higher reduces the ability of an airborne virus to cause influenza infections. Viruses and bacteria do not rise very well in humid air – and that can mean good news for your health. And if you get sick, a humidifier can help you heal faster and reduce coughing and sneezing.
3. Happy sinuses
What do humidifiers do for sinuses? They can help prevent that stuffy feeling in the nose and also reduce your chances of getting bloody noses. Instead of sniffing, your sinuses should be comfortable and moist.
Dry noses and throat are big culprits when it comes to snoring. A humidifier can help your partner get a better night’s sleep.
If you are considering buying your first humidifier, start small with your bedroom. Find a humidifier that covers the square footage of the space and walk away. Larger units can sometimes make a home too damp and do not completely cover every room. The first small humidifier gives you a better idea of your actual needs. You will also find that some devices emit a cool mist while others emit a warm mist. They both serve the same purpose but may vary from there. Parents usually feel more comfortable with a cool mist in their child’s room. Hot mist humidifiers are often quieter and can help heat a room in the winter. They have both pros and cons, so be sure to do your research before buying one.
Why it is important to clean your humidifier
and how to do it!
Humidifiers can do a lot of good for your health, but only if you are determined to keep them clean. What do humidifiers do if you do not? They can breed mold, fungi and bacteria due to dirty reservoirs and filters. A dirty humidifier can trigger asthma and allergies and make healthy individuals feel unwell. The best thing you can do is follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning. The Mayo Clinic also gives some more tips:
1. Do not use tap water.
Use only distilled or demineralized water. There are minerals in tap water that can create deposits that promote the growth of bacteria.
2. Clean the humidifier every three days.
And change water daily, if possible. You do not want to give your humidifier a chance to allow film or deposits to develop inside.
Use a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution.
It will help to dry out mineral deposits or film (but check what the manufacturer says). And rinse the tank well when you are done with the cleaning.
4. Replace filter.
Replace filters as often as the manufacturer recommends – and more often if they get dirty.
Do not underestimate the importance of keeping your humidifier clean. There are certain types of home maintenance projects which are easy to postpone for days or weeks, but cleaning the humidifier is not one of these. If you run a humidifier for your health in the winter, it would be foolish to get sick because you did not focus on removing dangerous mold or bacteria.
A humidifier can make your home a comfortable place to live, and home insurance can ensure that your comfortable home is protected. Get in touch with your local Pekin insurance agent to learn more.