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Best Practices When Using a Humidifier

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Maintaining the perfect environment for each member of your family in your home is not always the easiest task. From regulating the temperature, being respectful of noise levels, and considering others when turning on and off lights are just of the few ways in which we attempt to make homes more comfortable. However, how you ever considered the humidity level in your house? Knowing when to use a humidifier in your home can be a game-changer, giving those who need it a much more pleasant space to live. Make sure to follow to follow humidifier best practices to ensure safety.

What is a Humidifier?

Simply put, humidifiers release moisture back into the air when the air is particularly dry. Therefore, when deciding when to use a humidifier, consider especially dry months like those in winter. Each humidifier comes equipped with a large tank of water at the base. When this small machine is turned on, air is forced through a filter where it then evaporates some of the water in the base. This process successfully increases the humidity level in the surrounding area. Maintaining a humidifier requires very little work, as most machines today are completely self-regulating. In fact, the machine will detect the specific level of humidity at a given time, releasing more or less evaporated water as needed.

Humidifiers come in a number of different sizes based on the specific needs of an individual or family. There are small, tabletop size humidifiers ideal for increasing the humidity level of a single room. A console humidifier will cover a bit more ground, maintaining a comfortable humidity level across a few rooms. Lastly, a whole house humidifier, as the name indicates, will maintain the humidity level throughout the entire house.

Humidifiers are also available in cold air or warm air. Making a decision when to use a humidifier and which type between warm air vs cold air humidifiers really comes down to personal preference, as they are both equally as effective. In the debate between warm air vs cold air humidifiers, some things to consider are that cool mist humidifiers tend to use less energy because they have no heating elements, and they are less hazardous for small children. On the other hand, warm mist humidifiers are usually quieter, and can really help out on chilly winter nights.

Benefits of Humidifiers

In determining if and when to use a humidifier, consider the numerous benefits they offer. For one, humidifiers can help to reduce your heating costs. Humidifiers can reduce energy costs because they not only make the air moister, they also make the air warmer as well. Because most humidifiers are energy efficient, you will use up less energy than if you were to keep your heat on. Another benefit to using humidifiers is that they can reduce experiences of static electricity shocks. Most often, we experience static shows as a result of coming into contact with dry and dusty carpets. However, when moisture is added back into the air and surrounding surfaces, this is less likely to happen.

One of the most important benefits for why and when to use a humidifier is the positive impact they can have on health. It is generally recommended that the humidity level in our living spaces sits between 30% and 50%. Unfortunately, many of us to do not have humidity levels in this range in our homes. Without the right humidity level, occupants of a home are at risk for issues including respiratory irritation, asthma, and even infection. Additionally, using a humidifier can have unexpected benefits such as reduced snoring, moist skin, and fewer allergy symptoms.

When to Use a Humidifier?

How can you tell when to use a humidifier? While humidifiers are mostly associated with winter, you could actually need a humidifier in summer. There are a few signs you can look out for to figure out when to use a humidifier, and whether a humidifier is needed in summer or winter. If you or someone in your family is experiencing issues including chronic runny nose, sinus congestion, dry throat, flare-ups of asthma, allergy flare-ups, nose bleeds, or hay fever symptoms while inside the house, there is likely not enough moisture in the air. Also, if you notice that your skin has become drier than usual despite the consistent use of lotion, dry air may be to blame. Additionally, if your partner’s storing has kicked into overdrive, they may be suffering from the effects of low moisture in the air.

Humidifier Best Practices

If you’ve determined why and when to use a humidifier, and have made the decision to purchase one for your home, there are some very important best practices to keep in mind. Best practices when to use a humidifier include:

  1. Clean frequently: one of the most important practices for how to maintain a humidifier is to clean it frequently. Cleaning a humidifier is a must because harmful mold and other contaminants can begin to grow within the machine. Mold grows in moist environments, and humidifiers produce moisture, so they are at particular risk for growth. For cleaning a humidifier, you can simply use vinegar, cloth, and q-tips to get into small nooks and crannies. Make sure to completely disassemble the humidifier, and let each component soak in vinegar for about 30 minutes. Each model comes with recommendations for frequency of cleanings.
  2. Use clean water: Another important best practice when to use a humidifier for how to maintain a humidifier is to always use clean water in the machine reservoir. Water can carry various levels of minerals, that, if distributed in the air, can cause bacteria and respiratory issues. Opt for cold water over warm water, as it typically contains fewer minerals. Before each use of the humidifier, empty the tank and fill with all new water.
  3. Find the right humidity level: how and when to use a humidifier in your home will be determined by how humid the air already is. If you notice condensation gathering on the surfaces in your home, the humidity level is likely too high and you should probably turn off the humidifier. This excess moisture can lead to water damage, including nasty mold growth.

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