Humidifiers and Health

Humidifiers add moist air to the home and help preventing dryness which can cause irritation. Humidifier therapy can be helpful in the treatment of a wide range of health problems, such as dry skin, throat, lips, and nose. It is commonly used to guard against the flu or cold.

Still, too much use of a humidifier can possibly exacerbate respiratory problems. It is key to know how to use a humidifier correctly.

Humidifiers and Health

What you can use a humidifier for?

Generally, they function as a natural moisturizer to ward off dryness. Because of this reason, they are used to relieving the following:

  1. Dry skin.
  2. Dry throat.
  3. Sinus congestion.
  4. Bloody nose.
  5. Nose irritation.
  6. Irritated vocal cords..
  7. Cracked lips.
  8. Dry cough.

Anyone can be prone to all of these health disorders if the air in your house is dry. And this is commonly seen during winter period or at summer when air conditioner is been used.

 

Types of humidifier available in the market

Choosing and buying a humidifier depends on your requirements, the size of the area to be humidified, and your budget. In essence, there are five types of humidifiers :

  • Central humidifiers.
  • Ultrasonic humidifiers.
  • Evaporator humidifiers.
  • Steam vaporizers.
  • Impeller humidifiers.

Central Humidifiers

This type of humidifier is built directly into your heating or air conditioning unit. Central humidifiers are the most expensive but the best choice for the money if you intend to add moisture in an entire building.

Traditional humidifier units carry a risk of burns from the steam coming out from them. Central humidifiers don’t produce steam and therefore don’t have this issue.

Evaporator Humidifiers

This type of humidifier emits humidity through a moistened filter. They are built with a fan that controls the unit and emits moisture into the home atmosphere.

They are cheaper compared to the central ones, but are only fit to work in one room at a time. They also have the potential to disperse excess moisture into the air. This can pose a serious problem to asthmatic people as it can increase the probability of the growth of mold.

Impeller Humidifiers

Impeller humidifiers work by using rotating disks that run at high velocity. People with an average budget can afford the impeller type of humidifier. They are also the most kid-friendly because they produce cool mist and carry no risk of burns.

The impeller humidifiers can only be used in one room at a time. They may also cause breathing difficulties for those with asthma and allergies when they are over-used.

Steam Vaporizers Humidifiers

Steam vaporizers are powered by electricity. This humidifier type heats water and cools it before distributing it into the air. The steam humidifiers are budget friendly and portable. They are available at pharmaceutical stores.

Ultrasonic Humidifiers

Ultrasonic humidifiers work by using ultrasonic vibrations to produce cool mist. Ultrasonic humidifiers come in different sizes, depending on your budget and needs. Both warm and cool mist models are available.

The cool mist ultrasonic humidifier version is a good choice if you have kids.

Humidifier Sizes Available OnThe Market

Humidifiers come in the portable or console designs.

The console versions are intended to add moisture to the whole house. They are usually large but some come with wheels to facilitate easy transportation.

The portable (or personal) humidifiers are the table size and are compact. They offer mobility and are a good choice of humidifier to bring with on trips.

Controlling Humidity Levels

Adding extra moisture to the air is important, but too much of it can cause health problems. An excess of humidity can worsen respiration problems and create uncomfortable moistness in the room. This can also promote growth of:

  1. Mold.
  2. Harmful bacteria.
  3. Dust mites.
  4. Mildew.

According a publication from the Mayo Clinic, the ideal home humidity level should be within the range of 30 to 50 percent. The use of a hygrometer can help you determine how much humidity is in your home. Some of the central humidifiers come with hygrometers, but they are also available in hardware stores or dealers.

Test humidity daily, especially if someone in your household has allergies or asthma.

Possible Risks of humidifiers

The most common injury that is associated with a humidifier is burns. Take precaution if you have little kids around. Do not allow your children to operate the humidifier. Avoid placing a warm-mist steamer in your baby’s bedroom.

Letting your humidifier distribute excess moisture can create condensation on your home walls. This can later turn into mold and spread all over the home.

Dirty humidifiers also cause the growth of bacteria that encourages colds and coughs. Steam vaporizers can easily become dirty but are usually easy to clean. Empty all used water between uses and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Clean the system on a regular basis to prevent the growth of bacteria. Make sure to wash the filter and bucket every two to three days during heavy usage periods.

Humidifiers can also release microorganisms and minerals. Even though some may not be harmful, they can cause discomfort in those who suffer from asthma. Using distilled water can help prevent this problem.

Final thought

When a humidifier is correctly used and cared for, it can correct the humidity level in your home, which may help with some health problems.

 

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