Humidifiers can be a great way to increase humidity in the air, especially during dryer seasons in the winter (or even in the heat of the summer when your AC is blasting). Just like too much humidity can be bad for your health, too much dryness in the air may cause a variety of health problems in otherwise healthy people. While this may seem like a small change, using a humidifier in your home, and especially throughout the night, can make a big difference!
Here are seven ways that humidifiers can improve your life:
1. Helps Manage Allergies
If you suffering from allergy symptoms, you may want to consider buying a humidifier. Humidifiers increase humidity and purify the air. Rotating filter discs submerged in water remove larger pathogens such as bacteria and viruses as well as irritants from the air. While humidifiers with filters need more regular cleaning, they can offer more allergy relief by filtering out pollen and dust and relieving allergy symptoms such as mucus buildup, nasal congestion, irritation, and inflammation.
2. Improves Sleep
A humidifier increases moisture in the air, which keeps the nasal passage and throat from drying out. It improves breathing and creates a comfortable atmosphere, which helps people sleep better at night.
3. Prevents Dry Skin
Dry air may cause dry skin. When your skin’s protective barrier is damaged, it creates small cracks in the skin, causing moisture to escape, says Marina Peredo, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. This can be incredibly uncomfortable. A humidifier pulls moisture back into the air to improve dry, itchy skin and help it retain that hydration, Peredo adds. However, it’s important to note that a humidifier won’t replace your skincare routine. It’s vital to moisturize dry skin daily with creams.
4. Reduces the Spread of Germs
Respiratory viruses thrive in the cold, dry air during the winter months. Pathogens thrive in this weather and travel easier from host to host. Dry air provides a clear pathway for airborne viruses,” said Akiko Iwasaki, an immunobiologist at Yale University. An aerosol researcher from Virginia Tech University who studies coronavirus transmission recommends using a humidifier in your home. “You could invest in a humidifier and set it to keep the humidity above 40% but below 60% in the wintertime,” she told Business Insider. Viruses have a hard time surviving as easily under these conditions, and your immune response will improve with more moisture in the air.
5. Helps Congestion
If you frequently suffer from congestion, you may want to consider using a humidifier in your indoor environment. Dry air can cause mucus to become dry and thick, which can result in clogged nasal passages. As a result, this may lead to a stuffy nose, sore throat, and sinus pain. Humidifiers can help by adding moisture through water vapor back into the air, which may help break up phlegm in your nose and chest.
6. Helps Prevent Snoring
Low moisture levels in the nose and a soft palate increase snoring because air cannot move freely due to the dryness and gets trapped. Humidifiers increase moisture in the air, which loosens and drains mucus. As a result, this can help relieve or reduce unwanted symptoms such as throat irritation and restriction in the nasal air passage and will ultimately decrease your risk of snoring.
7. Keeps Hair and Scalp Healthy
Just like the skin on the rest of your body, your scalp can also become dry and irritated when there is a lack of moisture in the air. Luckily, there is a simple solution! Humidifiers can help prevent the unwanted feeling of a dry or itchy scalp and dandruff. Since your hair is made up of collagen, it requires a certain amount of moisture to be healthy. When exposed to dry air for too long, your hair can become dry and brittle. Adding moisture back into the air around you may help with this.
How to Clean Your Humidifier
Humidifiers are great at restoring moisture into the atmosphere. However, they can become murky, musty, moldy, messy, and filled with bacteria if not maintained.
Source: Clean With Confidence/Youtube
To clean out your humidifier, start by unplugging it and emptying all the remaining water. If stagnant water is left inside the humidifier for too long, it can begin to grow mold and bacteria. Pour 1 cup of water, and 1 cup of white vinegar (6%) into the appliance and let it sit for an hour. Vinegar is a natural cleanser that will disinfect the humidifier. After soaking, pour out the liquid and wipe down the interior of the base and allow it to air dry.
Adding a humidifier into your home is a small change that you can make that will make a big difference in your life! Not only can they prevent sickness during drier winter seasons, but they can improve your sleep quality, reduce snoring, add moisture to your skin and hair, assist with allergy and asthma symptoms, and relieve congestion. However, if your humidifier is not maintained properly, it can accumulate bacteria that can worsen allergy symptoms or cause sickness or infections. Therefore, always make sure to clean your humidifier properly and monitor humidity levels to experience all of the possible health benefits.
For those looking to for a humidifier for a small to medium size room, this AuquaOasis Cool Mist Humidifier for $39.95 and this Burlan Cool Mist Humidifier for $39.99 are great options. For a medium to large size room, this LEVOIT Smart Humidifier for $109.99 and LEVOIT Classic 300S Humidifier for $79.99 should do the trick. If that will last a long time between refills and will fill up a very large space, this AILINKE Humidifier for $119.99 comes highly rated.
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