What is a Humidifier ?
If you’ve asked yourself, “What is a humidifier?” this post will help answer that question.
A humidifier is an electric device used primarily to increase the air humidity in a single room or an entire building. Increasing the amount of moisture in the air can reduce snoring, keep the skin and hair moist, reduce allergy and asthma symptoms and much more!
However, overusing humidifiers can also make breathing difficult and some allergy symptoms worse. Therefore it is important to maintain the humidity levels in your space to keep a comfortable, and healthy place. Indoor humidity levels should be between 30%-60%. The ideal humidity level is 50% and above 60% is too high.
Some people are using humidifiers not necessarily because of a low humidity but because it can spread a good aroma in the air by adding essential oils with different types of scents (Vanilla is an highly recommend oil). In addition to the aroma, essential oils have some medical benefits such as recover from stressful day or treat an illness. Essential oils can play a significant part in making you feel better or in maintaining your good health.
What is humidity?
Humidity is the concentration of water vapor present in air. Warm air holds more water vapor than cold air. When air at a certain temperature contains all the water vapor it can hold at that temperature, its relative humidity is 100 percent. If it contains only half the water vapor it is capable of holding at that temperature, the relative humidity is 50 percent.
- Absolute humidty: Absolute humidity is the total mass of water vapor present in a given volume or mass of air.
- Relative humiditiy: Relative humidity is the percentage of water vapor in the air at a specific temperature, compared to the amount of water vapor the air is capable of holding at that temperature.
- Specific humidity: Specific humidity (or moisture content) is the ratio of the mass of water vapor to the total mass of the air parcel.
Do I need a humidifier?
- If you recognize low humidity’s effects: Eyes become dry and irritated, skin gets flaky and itchy and the low humidity inflames and dries out the mucous membrane lining the respiratory tract. As a result, the risk of cold, flue and other infections is substantially increased.
- Measuring your air’s dryness using a humidity gauge: A device to measure relative humidity is called a hygrometer. The simplest hygrometer - a sling psychrometer - consists of two thermometers mounted together with a handle attached on a chain. One thermometer is ordinary. The other has a cloth wick over its bulb and is called a wet-bulb thermometer. If the humidity level is around 30% and below a humidifier is highly recommended.
What can I use a humidifier for?
- Dry skin: Some people notice that their skin become dry and fragile. Using a humidifier to add moisture to the indoor air may help to reduce the occurrence of dry, cracked skin.
- Reduce snoring: A humidifier can help you sleep more comfortably if you struggle with snoring. humidifier can help restore moisture to the nose and sinuses and thus help open the airways to prevent snoring.
- Faster healing time: Say you do end up with a cold, a sinus infection, or the flu. A humidifier will shorten your suffering. Keeping your nasal passages and your throat moist will help you heal faster and will reduce symptoms like coughing and sneezing.
- Protect furniture: Dry air can damage wood furniture as well as moldings and doors, causing them to split and crack. A humidifier can help preserve the integrity of the wood, maintaining your pieces for longer time.
- Reduce risk of infections: humidifiers might reduce the risk of catching the flue. Study shows that viruses and bacteria can’t move as well in moist air.
Types of humidifiers:
- Ultrasonic humidifier: Ultrasonic humidifiers use a metal diaphragm vibrating at an ultrasonic frequency instead of a fan to create micro-fine water droplets that are forced into your air.
- Warm mist Humidifiers: Warm mist humidifiers product a warm, soothing mist that you can see and feel. These are great for treating colds and the flu, and they tend to be quieter than cool mist humidifiers. In addition, the mist that is produced tends to be cleaner than cool mist humidifiers. Warm mist humidifiers are helpful when you want to maintain a warm indoor temperature in the wintertime. They heat the water to boiling until it vaporizes. Then, heat energy helps move moisturized air throughout your space. However, warm mist humidifiers require frequent cleaning and are generally more difficult to clean.
- Cool mist Humidifier: Cool mist humidifiers use a filter to trap minerals and impurities and then a cool invisible mist evaporates into the air. They are generally easy to clean, are more effective in larger areas and work better in warmer climates. Cool mist humidifiers distribute room-temperature moisture into your room. Although the moisture distributed is not exactly cold moisture, the cool mist can make your room's temperature fall a few degrees.
- Humidifiers turn water into breathable mist in the air. Unclean humidifiers can cause bacterial growth that can promote coughs and colds. In order to prevent that always clean the humidifier thoroughly as directed by the manufacturer. Moreover, make sure the water is not sitting for too long in the water tank and replace the filter (if there is one).
- Overusing humidifiers can exceed 50% humidity level which is the targeted humidity level. Allowing a humidifier to expel too much moisture can create condensation on the walls. As a result, mold can grow and spread throughout the home. Moreover, high humidity can even trigger allergic reactions, contribute to ongoing allergies, and dust mite problems. In order to prevent that it is highly recommended to have a humidity meter, or hygrometer in the room.
Humidifiers can make a significant difference when it comes to dry skin and airways. However, overusing humidifiers can also make breathing difficult and some allergy symptoms worse and it can not be used as a medical treatment.
To recap what we’ve learned, here are the main ideas to remember about humidifiers:
- Humidifiers add moisture to the air and increase the relative humidity in your home
- There are three main types of humidifiers: warm mist, cool mist and ultrasonic.
- The ideal humidity is 40%-60% range of humidity for most.
- Humidifiers have some medical benefits such as relieve colds, help with dry skin, however over using can do the opposite.
- Humidifiers can not replace medical treatment.
- Use a humidity gauge to help you decide what setting to use.
- Keep the humidifiers always clean to increase its usage time and to avoid bacterial growth.