What Are Humidifiers Good For? 8 Great Benefits
The air in our homes can quickly become too dry and lead to health issues, which is something everyone wants to avoid. Luckily, devices like a humidifier come in handy when you’re experiencing issues with dry air inside your home.
If you haven’t encountered a humidifier before, it’s a device that releases steam or water vapor into the air and increases the humidity (moisture levels) in your home. It has various benefits, so having one in your household is helpful.
If you’re wondering what the benefits of having a humidifier in your home are, check out the rest of our article below.
Why Should You Maintain the Humidity In Your Home?
The humidity levels inside your home impact the quality of the air you breathe. You should always try to keep an optimal humidity level in your indoor spaces—ideally between 30% and 50%. Maintaining an adequate humidity rate inside the home is especially important for people with kids and people with asthma, allergies, bronchitis, and similar conditions.
You should avoid low and high humidity, as they have multiple disadvantages, which we will discuss below.
Although low humidity might not seem like a big deal, it’s a common source of various possible health issues. Some of the biggest problems low humidity can cause are:
- Dry, flaky, cracked skin
- Dry eyes
- Chapped lips
- Dry scalp
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Bloody nose
- Dry sinuses
- Increased asthma and allergy symptoms
Similarly, high humidity also harms you and your health, although it acts a bit differently. When the moisture in your home increases, the environment becomes perfect for microorganisms such as bacteria, mold, and dust mites to thrive. They can later cause a series of respiratory issues and various diseases if you don’t treat them in time.
If you’re still not convinced you should get a humidifier for your home, check out all the benefits it can bring to your life.
The 8 Benefits Of Humidifiers
1. Reduces risks of flu and colds
Various research over the years shows that humidifiers are an excellent ally in fighting the flu. Humidifiers add moisture to the air, reducing the risks of flu and common colds.
A study from 2010 shows that influenza viruses can survive longer in areas with low humidity conditions. Their results state that using a portable humidifier during cold months can lower the risk of influenza virus survival from 17.5% up to 33.6%.
Other research from 2013 shows that humidity levels lower than 23% in indoor spaces can increase the infectivity rate of influenza by 70%–77%. However, the spreading rate is much lower when the humidity rate remains above 43%, which is where a humidifier comes in handy.
Also, as per one of the newer studies, humidifiers have been shown to have a positive effect on preventing the spreading of COVID, as you can also transmit it through respiratory particles and visible droplets.
2. No dry skin issues
In contact with too much dry air, your skin will dry out, becoming irritated and itchy, which can be highly uncomfortable. Dry air also leads to more wrinkles, low hydration, and even possible skin conditions that can be hard to cure. The effects of dry air are even worse during winter as heating units that pump hot air make the skin and lips fragile and flaky.
Using a humidifier regularly, especially during the winter, will increase the moisture levels in your home, relieving these symptoms and moisturizing your skin.
3. Healthier scalp and hair
Like our skin becoming dry and flaky, our scalp and hair can dry out and get irritated from the lack of moisture in our homes. That can lead to damaged hair, an itchy scalp, and increased dandruff. Our hair contains collagen and needs humidity; otherwise, it would become brittle, dry, frayed, and split.
Having a humidifier in your home will help you maintain your hair and scalp health by providing them with the needed moisture.
4. Lowers allergy and asthma symptoms
Dry air increases allergy and asthma symptoms, so a humidifier can help relieve them. The added moisture that a humidifier releases into the air will soothe your throat and nose tissue, reducing the symptoms of asthma and allergies such as:
- Runny nose
- Nose bleeds
- Dry/itchy throat
- Congestion of sinuses
Air that’s humid enough will also make your cough more productive instead of it being dry. So, if you’re trying to release phlegm while coughing, consider adding a humidifier to your indoor areas. Remember to maintain an optimal moisture level as high humidity can cause mold and mildew, which can increase symptoms of allergies and asthma.
5. Loosens congestion and reduces flu symptoms
When the air in our homes dries out, the mucus collecting in our throat and nose can become thick and sticky, becoming hard to cough or blow out. Using a humidifier to increase air moisture will help you cough or blow out the mucus easier as it won’t dry out.
Higher moisture in the air will also reduce flu symptoms as your nasal passage will receive enough lubrication, allowing you to breathe easier. That can also decrease issues with a sore throat and sinus headaches.
6. Reduces snoring
Many people snore during the night as mucus blocks the airway to their noses, causing congestion. The snoring becomes even worse when the air in your bedroom is dry since there’s insufficient lubrication to your nasal passage.
Using a humidifier will reduce snoring because moist air loosens the mucus, allowing you to breathe better while sleeping.
7. Benefits the home
Humidifiers add the missing moisture to all your indoor spaces, and other than health benefits for you, they can also have a tremendous impact on various things around your household. Your plants will look and feel better and greener, and your wood furniture and floors will last longer.
Increased humidity in the air can make your home a bit warmer, which is an excellent way to save on utility bills during winter. During the summer, a humidifier will keep the air in your home moist as it typically dries out from using the AC.
Also, a good level of humidity in the air will reduce the chances of static shock that can occur when you touch certain materials and fabrics that build up on electricity due to the dry air.
- Related Read: 8 Best Humidifiers for Plants
8. Better sleep
Using a humidifier at night can make a significant difference and help you sleep better. This is connected with some of the benefits already on the list. When sleeping, issues like congestion, dry skin, and chapped lips can interrupt our sleep. Also, when our nasal passages are dry, they can lead to heavy breathing, disturbing us while sleeping.
A humidifier will enhance the moisture in the air, which will affect our overall comfort when we sleep. There will also be less snoring and no issues with runny noses or mucus collection.
Tips for Maintaining Your Humidifier
Humidifiers can significantly impact you and your home, but you need to maintain them to function correctly. During constant usage, humidifier filters and reservoirs can become dirty, spreading mold and bacteria.
Although clean humidifiers reduce flu symptoms, allergies, and asthma problems, dirty humidifiers can make these issues even more severe. Not cleaning your humidifier could lead to lung issues and increase your allergy and asthma reactions. That’s why you should always take care of your humidifier and clean it frequently.
Here are our tips on keeping your humidifier in good shape:
Humidifiers can make a huge difference in your home when you use them with care and maintain a balanced moisture level. It’s best to purchase a hydrometer to measure the humidity levels in your home and stop using them if you notice any unwanted symptoms. However, as long as you use the humidifier moderately, you should only see the positive sides it brings.
Featured Image Credit: Roman Chazov, Shutterstock