What is a Humidifier?
Before you go ahead and purchase a humidifier, it helps to understand what it is, the options available and the features you can expect. As a result, it becomes easier for you to understand which item to buy to fulfill the needs that you have. You will be able to derive the several benefits that these devices tend to have. In this article we go over a brief explanation of the most common types of humidifiers and a little bit about their functions. For a more technical read on different types of humidifiers, check out this page.
As the name suggests, a humidifier increases the humidity of the air that it is operated in. These devices can be used for humidifying a single room or even a building. There are several areas where humidifiers can become necessary.
What can I use a humidifier for?
Low humidity can occur indoors if the spaces are heated artificially. In fact, the humidity levels might even drop to less than 20% during winters when the cold air is heated inside a room. Hot climates like deserts or high altitude locations generally have low humidity.
You can use a humidifier to help solve problems caused by low humidity. Each of the links in the list below will take you to an in depth article on the subject.
- dry skin
- excessive snoring
- irritated vocal cords
- sinus congestion
- They are especially helpful for babies with stuffy noses
The local weather report is an easy way to see how humid your environment is. Inside your home or office may be different than the outside air though. In this case, you will need to invest in a hygrometer to measure indoor humidity.
This can result in a range of health problems such as respiratory distress. Apart from health, low humidity can affect wood and paper, resulting in irrevocable damage in certain situations. Low humidity also contributes to the annoying static electricity that causes static cling on your clothes and messes with your hair. A humidifier can help in avoiding such situations.
There are a number of benefits to keeping the relative humidity between 30% and 50%.
The Potential Risks of Using Humidifiers
While humidifiers have their benefits, there are certain risks as well that you need to be aware of. For starters, you should never let children handle or use humidifiers. Adults need to pay special attention to keep these devices out of their reach.
One of the most common kinds of injuries linked with warm mist humidifiers is burns. As such, never place any humidifier that uses heat in a child’s bedroom. Cool mist humidifiers are the best option for you child’s room. Additionally, humidifiers need to be cleaned regularly to prevent bacterial growth. These bacteria can cause coughs, colds and other diseases.
You should not use humidifiers too much. Letting them produce excessive moisture can cause condensation to form on the walls. In turn, this promotes the growth of mold which can quickly spread throughout the building. This results in a variety of health complications including asthma and allergies.
What kind of water should I use in my humidifier?
Ultrasonic humidifiers emit minerals in the vapor they produce when operated with unfiltered water. This can be an issue for asthmatic people. Using filtered water or distilled water in your humidifier will solve this problem. Your humidifier will also last longer between cleanings since there will be less mineral build up.
Now that you know the answer to ‘what is a humidifier’ and the various types, you can make a better decision for your family or office. A quality humidifier is always the most cost effective choice long term. Remember, this device contributes to your health and comfort.