Humidifiers can be a useful addition to your home. Their main function is to combat dryness in the air. This can be beneficial in a number of ways. Before you go ahead and buy one, it is a good idea to understand when humidifiers should be used.
When Should Humidifiers Be Used?
Humidifiers are meant to be used when your home experiences dry air inside. As a result, it can be quite beneficial for homes in hot dry climates. In other regions, it can be an advantage during the winter season.
During winter, indoor air tends to be dry. The usage of indoor heating ends up exacerbating the dryness further. This dryness can be harmful in a number of ways. It can adversely affect your respiratory system. Existing respiratory conditions can be worsened as a result. Your will also experience dryness in your nasal passages among other things.
Learning about the effects of humidifiers is a good idea as it will help you known when they should be used.
What is the difference between humidity and relative humidity?
Two different terms may come up when talking about humidity. ‘Humidity’ and ‘relative humidity’ – they mean the same thing there’s no difference between them. People talk about the humidity being 40 or 50%. That number means there’s 40 of 50% of the water in the air that the air could possibly hold. These numbers are measuring the same thing that your meteorologist talks about in their weather report.
A hygrometer is an instrument that measures relative humidity. If you’re unsure of whether or not you need a humidifier, a portable hygrometer is an inexpensive way to test the humidity in your home or office.
The Impact on Your Health
It has been noted that higher humidity levels can have a positive impact on your health, especially in terms of respiratory troubles such as the common cold. This is due to the fact that airborne viruses tend to lose their effectiveness in high humidity. As a result, you are reducing your risks of catching these diseases if you use a humidifier.
Apart from reducing the likelihood of suffering from the cold or the flu, humidifiers can also be of help when you do catch them. Diseases like the cold tend to cause a lot of congestion in the nasal cavity. The mucus becomes thicker and drier as well which affects their flow.
Ultimately, the sinuses are unable to drain properly resulting in the formation of clogs in the nasal passages. A lot of symptoms are exacerbated this way such as painful sinuses, nasal passage irritation, stuffy nose and sore throat.
Humidifiers eliminate the dryness in the air that you breathe in. As such, it becomes easier for the air to pass down the nasal passageways without causing any irritation. For this reason, it becomes easier to recover from those diseases. After all, your nasal passages will have the proper level of mucous.
It is also possible to find relief from the various allergy symptoms with these devices. They can reduce the particulates floating around in the air and reduce the irritation of your nasal cavity. There are also humidifiers available which are specially designed to help those with allergy and asthma.
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Avoid Skin and Hair Dryness
The dryness of the winter season tends to drain the moisture present in your skin. For this reason, you see an increase in wrinkles and the formation of cracks. By creating a humid atmosphere inside the home, you keep your skin moist and less likely to experience the above issues.
In the same way, your hair can be affected by the dryness of the atmosphere. Your hair needs moisture for its flexibility. By taking it away, your hair becomes brittle and dull. Even your scalp is affected like the rest of the skin. It becomes itchy and even flaky.
Reduced Utility Bills
One of the surprising ways a humidifier can help you out is by decreasing the money you spend on heating your home. The fact is that an increase in the humidity level can increase the warmth that you feel. In fact, lower humidity levels can decrease the warmth up to 5 degrees. Therefore, extremely dry air with 10% humidity at a temperature of 70 degrees might actually feel as if it were only 65 degrees.
In the same way, a humidity level of 50% will feel a lot warmer to you. For example, a temperature of 67 degrees at 50% humidity might actually feel like 70 degrees. You can use this principle to reduce the usage of the heater. As a humidifier’s energy consumption is far lower than a heater, it will be more cost-effective option for you. Additionally, some humidifiers produce warm mists which can keep you warmer for long.
Safeguard Your Home
Your home can also be affected by dry air. One of the most important of these effects is on wooden items such as floorboards, doors, furniture and other wood furnishings. Dry air causes wood to shrink, split and even crack. Even the structural aspects of the home such as moldings can be affected.
According to the Woodworking Network, “As of Friday, June 1, it is illegal to manufacture or import composite wood products in the U.S. if they contain excessive amounts of formaldehyde.” This is an important step in protecting the air in your home from gaseous indoor air pollutants.
Fluctuating humidity levels can encourage formaldehyde to diffuse out of wooden fixtures and into the air. The highest levels of formaldehyde emissions come from hotter and more humid conditions. This makes it especially important to measure the levels of humidity in your home with a hygrometer or to use a humidifier with a built in hygrometer.
Either of these solutions will give data on the humidity levels in the air. As a general rule staying between 40% and 60% is the best range to be in. Keeping relative humidity levels below 60% will reduce the number of dust mites and mold spores in your home. Additionally, staying above 40% helps to avoid excess moisture loss from your body that can lead to dry skin and even nosebleeds.
Paper tends to desiccate if the air is too dry and ruin it completely. You may notice this effect on your wallpapers. If you have books and other important, they can also be affected by the dry air.
Dry air can also result in the buildup of static electricity. You can experience shocks when you touch carpets and your pet’s fur. Static electricity can destroy electronics as well. A humidifier can help in avoiding all of these issues.
There are many reasons to use humidifiers. Keep in mind that you should choose the right humidifiers based on your requirements and budget.