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Humidifiers8 min read

Humidifiers

What is a humidifier?

Using humidifiers in therapy prevents dryness from occurring, which can irritate numerous body parts. Humidifiers can help treat dry skin, lips, nose, throat, and other body parts. Additionally, they can lessen some flu and cold symptoms. However, using humidifiers excessively may make respiratory issues worse. It’s necessary to know how to use them correctly.

Types

The type of humidifier you select depends on your choices, budget, and the size of the area you want to add moisture to. There are five types of humidifiers:

  • Central humidifiers
  • Evaporators
  • Impeller humidifiers
  • Steamed vaporizers
  • Ultrasonic humidifiers

Size

These are often classified as console, portable, or personal. To add moisture to the entire house, console units are designed. They are often substantial but usually have wheels, so you can quickly move them around. Console units are intended to add water to one room only. Portable humidifiers are the smallest and best choice if you need a humidifier while traveling.

Central humidifiers

Central humidifiers are made directly into your home’s air conditioning or heating unit. These are the most expensive humidifiers, but they are the best choice if you want to add humidity throughout the house. Traditional humidifiers bear a potential risk of burns from the steam they emit. Central humidifiers do not emit smoke.

Evaporators

Evaporators blow moisture through a moistened filter. A single-unit system powers the unit and expels the humidity into the air. These are less expensive than central humidifiers, but they can only operate in one room simultaneously. Additionally, they could release too much moisture into the air. People living with asthma may find this challenging because it increases the chance of mold formation.

Impeller humidifiers

Impeller humidifiers work with the aid of rotating discs that run at high speeds. These items frequently cost less. Since they produce cool mist and pose no burn hazard, they are also among the child-friendly gadgets. The problem is, like evaporators, they only function in single rooms. They can cause breathing difficulties for people with allergies and asthma when overused.

Steam vaporizers

Steam vaporizers run on electricity. They warm the water before cooling it and releasing it into the atmosphere. These humidifiers are the most affordable and transportable. They are available at pharmacies. This type is not the most kid-friendly because it might result in burns.

Ultrasonic humidifiers

Ultrasonic humidifiers work by discharging minute water droplets into the air, evaporating and turning into water vapor, and humidifying the area. The water in conventional humidifiers is evaporated using heat or other techniques, and the moisture is released into the air. Ultrasonic humidifiers are also quieter and require less maintenance than traditional evaporative humidifiers. Filters and wicks on ultrasonic machines never need to be changed, and there is no chance of steam burns. These devices use less electricity because they do not create mist from water.

Caution

Controlling humidity levels

Although increasing atmospheric humidity may be advantageous, excessive moisture can negatively affect health. High humidity levels can exacerbate respiratory conditions and make the air feel unpleasant and wet. This may promote the development off:

  • Dust mites
  • mildew
  • mold
  • Harmful bacteria

Your home’s humidity level can be determined using a hygrometer. Hygrometers are available at hardware stores, but some central humidifiers already have them. Check the humidity daily, especially if someone in your household has allergies or asthma.

Possible risks

The most frequent harm caused by humidifiers is burning. In particular, watch out if you have kids. Never allow kids to use humidifiers, and never put a warm-mist steamer in a kid’s room.

When a unit releases too much moisture, condensation may form on the walls. Mold may consequently develop and spread all over the house. Unclean humidifiers can cause bacterial growth that can promote coughs and colds. Steam vaporizers can get dirty quickly, but they’re also the easiest to clean. Rinse out all of the used water between uses. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, clean the unit regularly to prevent bacterial growth. Wash the bucket and filter system every two to three days during usage. These can potentially emit minerals and microorganisms. They are not necessarily harmful, but the residue can bother people with asthma. Use distilled water to avoid this problem.

The takeaway

When appropriately used, humidifiers can significantly improve the condition of dry skin and airways. But remember that this is a home cure, not a prescription. If your symptoms do not improve or seem to worsen because of this device, stop using it and notify your doctor.

How to safely use a humidifier?

You should be informed of some of these gadgets’ hazards and safety measures before using one in your house to prevent adverse health effects.

Manage humidity

There should not be too much moisture in a space. The humidity in the distance should not be higher than 50%. When the humidity level hits this point, bacteria and mold might grow. This can bring on asthma and allergy symptoms. A room’s humidity should ideally range between 30% and 50%. To monitor the moisture in your house, you can buy a hygrometer. Just turn on your humidifier when you need it to maintain low humidity levels.

Use distilled water

Besides water, its airborne particles pose another health danger. A humidifier, particularly one with an outstanding mist machine, can emit harmful mineral particles. You can use distilled water in your humidifier because it contains fewer minerals.

Keep your machine clean

Every time you use your device, you should clean it, and before using it again, make sure the water tank is completely dry. To prevent using old standing water containing mold, bacteria, or fungi, rinse and replenish the moisture in your humidifier’s tank every night. The humidifier may have white accumulation inside. Scale is a substance that may be released into the air and create health issues by causing particles to enter the lungs.

Your humidifier should be washed every few days with a solution of water, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or another cleaning agent suggested by the manufacturer to prevent or eliminate scale or mold. An outdated humidifier that has not been cleaned frequently may need to be replaced.

Replace the filters regularly

Some humidifiers have parts that need to be cleaned or updated, such as filters. For instance, follow the manufacturer’s directions when replacing the filter in your central humidifier.

Keep the interior doors open

To avoid over-humidifying a room, keep the door open to allow air to flow in and out of the room.

Use caution when using a humidifier in a child’s room

Since not all humidifiers are created equal, you should consider the safest alternative if you plan to use one in your child’s room at night. A humidifier that warms or boils the water within could be dangerous. The air needs to be kept clean since cool mist humidifiers might release more hazardous substances into the air.

Risks and precautions

Using a humidifier safely should lower the dangers, but keep in mind the following:

  • A space that has too much humidity can be hazardous.
  • Unclean humidifiers can release dangerous substances that can cause respiratory issues.
  • Children who handle warm mist humidifiers risk getting burned.
  • Cool mist humidifiers may release minerals that are unstable and other particles that cause lung irritation.
  • The safest water to use with a humidifier is distilled water.
  • An older humidifier may contain harmful bacteria or mold that you can’t clean or remove.

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