You may have heard that there are some benefits of having a humidifier in your home, but what does a humidifier do? Keep reading to learn about the advantages.

Did you know that maintaining optimal air humidity levels in your home is crucial to wellbeing? They should hover around 30 to 50% year-round.

Of course, seasonal weather patterns and geography can affect the humidity in your home. When humidity drops too low, it can lead to health problems.

You may experience chronic sinus headaches, itchy eyes, dryness in the throat or airways, or even bloody noses.

Fortunately, using a humidifier can bring the humidity in your home back up to optimal levels, easing the symptoms mentioned above. A humidifier can also help with allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions.

But what does a humidifier do? And how do you know whether or not one’s right for your home? Read on to learn more about the purpose of humidifiers as well as their many benefits. 

What Does a Humidifier Do?

Different sizes and types of humidifiers abound. You may be most familiar with small humidifiers for use in a bedroom when your kids are sick. These individual units are known as steam vaporizers.

Along with these basic devices, you may run across four other types:

  • Evaporators
  • Central humidifiers
  • Ultrasonic humidifiers
  • Impeller humidifiers

These devices put moisture into the air via water vapor. When kept clean and used properly, they can help with a variety of winter-related conditions.

Dry Winter Conditions and Your Health

Why do these conditions occur more during the winter? Because as temperatures get colder, the air becomes drier. This translates into annoying problems such as chapped lips and skin, sore throats, and respiratory ailments.

Fortunately, putting a little moisture back into the air can revitalize your health.  Humidifiers can also stop flu germs dead in their tracks and ease the symptoms of other common winter ailments like colds. 

Humidifier benefits include keeping the cilium in your nose healthy, too. These tiny strands located inside the nasal cavity represent your body’s primary defense against germs and airborne pathogens. 

If you or a loved one suffers from chronic snoring, a humidifier could change your life. How? Dry air exacerbates snoring.

It can even cause the nose to get congested and the throat to swell. But increasing the humidity levels in your house offers an easy fix. As you can see, humidifier health benefits prove plentiful. 

How to Gauge Your Indoor Air Quality

What’s the best way to monitor indoor humidity? 

Here’s a simple, affordable way to test the air. Place a few ice cubes in a glass. Add water, stir, and then wait three minutes. If no moisture forms on the outside of the glass, this means the air in your home is too dry. 

Or, consider purchasing equipment to test your air. Your local supermarket or drugstore should sell a small indoor device known as an indoor humidity monitor or hygrometer.

Simply place the device in the room you’d like to test and follow the step-by-step instructions. It’s an easy, affordable way to keep tabs on your indoor air quality levels.

If your home proves too arid, purchase a humidifier. Not sure which kind to get? Check out these humidifier reviews for starters. 

Humidifier Operation and Maintenance

When it comes to humidifier care and maintenance, cleanliness remains crucial.  

Because humidifiers create a source of moisture, they can lead to bacteria and mold growth. But you can prevent these issues by properly caring for and regularly cleaning your unit. 

Having dirty, bacteria-ridden air circulating through your home comes with its own health problems. Especially if you suffer from allergies, asthma, and respiratory ailments.

You should also make sure that your home doesn’t become too humid. If this occurs, it can contribute to mold growth. Exposure to moldy environments can lead to symptoms such as:

  • Throat irritation
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Eye irritation
  • Nasal congestion
  • Skin irritation 

Remember that the indoor humidity of your home should never exceed 60%. Telltale signs of too much humidity in the house include foggy windows, visible mold, and mildew smell.  

How to Clean Your Humidifier

Every three days, clean your humidifier by unplugging it and filling it with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. This will remove any films or mineral deposits. 

Some units recommend using other disinfectants or chlorine bleach. In that case, read and follow the instructions for your machine.

Whether you use peroxide or bleach, make sure you rinse the humidifier thoroughly afterward. Breathing in vaporized disinfectant chemicals could cause serious health issues. 

If your machine has a filter, change it often. Again, follow the recommendations outlined in your owner’s manual. If you notice the filter is dirty when you change it, schedule more frequent replacements.

More Tips for a Healthy Humidifier Experience

Besides regularly cleaning your machine, change the water every day. That way, you’ll avoid film and deposit buildups. These buildups promote bacteria and mold growth, so you want to avoid them altogether. 

Each time you change the water, make sure that you empty the device. Then, let the inside surfaces dry and refill it with clean water. 

The type of water you use in your humidifier also makes a difference. Never fill your humidifier with tap water.

Why? Because water straight from your faucet contain minerals. When evaporated, these minerals can lead to white dust on various home surfaces including your furniture. 

Instead, use demineralized or distilled water. Both have a much lower mineral content, which means fewer deposits where bacteria can grow. If your humidifier recommends it, you should also use demineralization cartridges or filters.

Enjoy Optimal Health with a Well-Maintained Humidifier

If you’ve ever asked “What does a humidifier do?” it’s time to explore humidifier benefits as we head into the colder months. Don’t resign yourself to a winter filled with chapped skin and sinus problems. Instead, get some moisture back in the air.

Still not sure if you need one? Start by testing your home’s air quality with a hygrometer. If it proves too arid, then purchase a humidifier. 

Ready for more useful life hacks? Browse our blog for the tips you need to live your best life.