Humidifier is a device used to increase the humidity or the moisture content in the surrounding air. Humidifiers can benefit by providing you relief from dry skin, dry throat and nasal passage and many other respiratory symptoms.
There are many benefits of using a humidifier but their overuse should be avoided. Thus, it is very important to use them correctly.
Their side effects and correct way of use is also explained in the article.
Dry air can lead to adverse health effects such as dry skin, dry nose and throat passage. Humidifiers add moisture in the air and help overcome these health hazards. They are effective in providing you relief from these health problems –
- Dry and itching skin
- Irritation in nose
- Dry throat
- Frequent coughs
- Bloody noses
- Cracked and dry lips
A relative humidity of 30 to 60 % is recommended for homes.
In the summers, the air conditioners or the AC’s remove moisture from the air.
Also in the winters, the use of room heaters and blowers can reduce the humidity of the air to as low as 10-20%.
Some benefits of humidifier are –
1. Helps to Prevent Viruses
It has been experimentally found that the humidity level of around 40 % helps to control the spread of micro-sized particles such as virus. Thus, humidifiers help to prevent many infectious diseases.
2. Prevents Respiratory diseases
According to a study, Cold temperature and low humidity are associated with increased occurrence of respiratory tract infections. Humidifiers increase the moisture content in the air and prevent several respiratory diseases.
3. Helps to control Snoring
Humidifiers are also beneficial to control snoring. The moisture-rich air, provided by the humidifier, keeps the throat lubricated and prevents it from drying. This also makes your sleep much more comfortable.
4. Prevents skin and hair dryness
Dry air can lead to dryness in skin and hair and cracked lips. Irritation in the eyes is also a point of concern due to dry air. A humidifier helps to avoid these health issues.
5. Helps to reduce electricity bill
A moisture-rich air feels warm and comforting in the winters. This reduces the need for electric room heaters and blowers. This humidifier helps to save money on the electricity bill.
6. Increases the life of wooden furniture
Dry air causes damage to wooden furniture. You may have faced difficulty in opening and closing wooden doors during winters. Wooden doors and chairs may also start producing creaky sounds. A moisture-rich air eliminates all these problems.
Types of Humidifiers
Based on the principle of operation, the humidifiers can be divided into the following five categories:
They use fans to expel the evaporating water into the air. As the humidity decreases, the water vapour output increases automatically. So they can be called self-regulatory.
These use electricity to boil water to steam. The steam is cooled and expelled in the air. These type of humidifiers can cause skin burns and are not child friendly. A demerit is that these water droplets may contain the impurities that are present in the reservoir.
They use high speed rotating disc which breaks the water into fine droplets. These humidifiers are child friendly.
They use a vibrating diaphragm to produce a cool mist. Since there is no heating involved, these humidifiers are very safe for children.
These are used to humidify the entire house with a single unit. These are installed directly in your house central ventilation system.
Precautions for using humidifiers
With time, the water tank of humidifier becomes dirty. Due to this, the vapours produced will also be unhealthy. The water should be changed regularly.
So, a regular maintenance and cleaning of the humidifier, as specified by its manufacturer, is necessary.
High humidity levels may be disadvantageous. A humidity of more than 60 per cent can cause several health problems. High humidity can boost the rise in harmful bacteria, dust mites and mold.
A hygrometer is a humidity measuring device, it can be used to ensure that the humidity of your room is below the harmful level. Today, many humidifiers come within build hygrometer.
Some types of humidifiers have the potential of causing skin burns. So, it becomes important to keep it out of reach of your children.
The tap water contains impurities and dissolved minerals. The vapours can carry these minerals into the air. This may be harmful for people suffering from respiratory diseases like asthma. Thus, it is recommended to use pure, clean, and distilled water.
Points to Note
Ensure that humidity level is normal
Regularly change the water
Use only clean and pure water
Keep it away from children
Regular maintenance is necessary
The humidifiers are very beneficial but should be used with all the precautions. They relieve you from many health issues like dry skin, itchiness, irritation in the eyes, and several respiratory symptoms.
It should be noted that a humidifier is not a cure for all the respiratory diseases. If you notice any unfavorable symptoms due to humidifiers, discontinue using it and call your doctor.