Humidifiers For Health, The Good, The Bad, Type Of Humidifier
Home Humidifier System
The human body feels more comfortable in the humid air as opposed to dry air. The most comfortable range is between 25% to 50% humidity. One of the things that make cold weather particularly uncomfortable is the resulting dry air, especially indoors. Sometimes levels can drop as low as 10%! Enter the humidifier.
A humidifier is simply a device that adds moisture to the air to keep humidity levels at a comfortable level. Humidifiers have a range of advantages, and also a range of disadvantages. On the one hand, they can help ease symptoms of common diseases like the flu as well as make the environment more comfortable for people with asthma. On the other hand, overusing these devices, or simply neglecting to take good care of them, can potentially lead to even worse medical conditions than the ones they help to alleviate. Here are some important facts to know about the humidifiers:
Appropriate levels of humidity help with particular conditions. It prevents dry skin, nasal passages, and eyes. More humid air also generally feels warmer, which means you won’t need to crank up your thermostat anymore.
Humidifiers help to alleviate the discomfort associated with certain conditions. For example, they help to reduce the irritation some people experience in their vocal cords when the air gets too dry. Humid air also reduces the intensity of the symptoms of coughs, sore throats, and colds. One feature of mucus is that it is loosened moisture, making it less viscous so that it can do its job of cleaning nasal passages. Dry air will dry you're mucous and make it harder for it to do its job. Humidifiers also help with other issues, such as bloody noses, headaches, cracked lips, and headaches.
Once humidity levels go over a certain level, they have a negative effect. Past 60%, high humidity actually promotes the growth of bacteria. It also encourages the growth of mold, which some people are allergic to.
Humidifiers need constant cleaning or else they will actually emit pollutants and microbes into the atmosphere, which may include pathogens. Recent designs have tried to improve on this. However, we aren’t quite there yet. One needs to take constant care of their humidifier if they want to keep the air they breathe healthy. The water passed on to the humidifiers is also important. If it contains any minerals or contaminants, these will be emitted into the indoor air.
The FDA doesn’t regulate humidifiers. They are only advertised as increasing the comfort levels in a room. The only cases in which the FDA steps in are when medication is emitted through the devices.
Tap water is definitely a no-no with humidifiers. Tap water contains minerals that may be dispersed into the air by the humidifier. These minerals can also form deposits within the humidifier, providing a supportive environment for the proliferation of bacteria and molds. On the one hand, you can use demineralized water. On the other hand, you can purchase special humidifiers that come with demineralizes already fitted in. These, however, require regular replacement and aren’t exactly cheap.
Some humidifiers can be pretty noisy.
Humidifiers are expensive to run, with the running costs often exceeding the cost of purchasing the humidifier!
The Different Types of Humidifiers
Humidifiers come in all shapes and sizes, catering to different budgets. They typically range from models costing less than $50 to models costing ten times that. The type you choose for yourself ultimately depends on your preferences, budget, and the size of the room you want to be serviced. Overall, there are 5 different
types of humidifiers:
As for their sizes, humidifiers are typically either portable or console. Consoles are very large, with wheels for moving them around, and add moisture to the entire building one room at a time. Portable humidifiers are ideal for traveling and are much smaller than their console cousins.
These are cheap humidifiers using a simple mechanism. The moisture is blown through a filter and the whole device is powered by fans with the moisture being blown into the air through a single unit. The downside with evaporators is that they have a limited range. They are also susceptible to blowing out too much moisture, which can help the growth of mold.
This type of humidifier works with the help of disks that rotate at very high speeds. They create cool mists with minimal risk of burns so they’re child-friendly. They are also affordable. They have pretty much the same disadvantages as evaporators in that they have limited range and can promote mold growth and cause allergic reactions in sensitive people when overused.
These are built directly into your home’s HVAC system and disperse humidity throughout the entire house. They also don’t emit steam, thereby posing minimal burn risks. The flip side is that they are much more expensive than conventional evaporators and impellers.
These humidifiers are the cheapest of the bunch. They are electrically powered and work by heating water and cooling it just before dispersing it into the air. They also pose the highest burn risk in this list.
These are the most innovatively designed on the list and work on the principle of ultrasonic vibrations. They use these vibrations to disperse a cool mist and are child-friendly. Depending on the size of humidifier you need, the price will vary from relatively affordable to very pricey.
The Most Common Risks Associated with Humidifiers
Humidifiers pose a range of risks connected with their design and nature that you must be careful to avoid. This is especially important if you have children in the house as they are the most susceptible to these risks.
Here is a list of them:
The risk of burns is the most common risk associated with conventional humidifiers. You should never allow your children to play with humidifiers and shouldn’t install warm mist steamers in children’s rooms.
Leaving your humidifier uncleaned poses serious health risks to you and your family. You should regularly clean out your humidifier by rinsing out the used water. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions at least every 3 days.
Do not allow your humidifier to disperse too much moisture into the air as this creates a good environment for the growth of mold. Always strive to keep humidity levels between 25 and 50 percent.
Use distilled water to prevent humidifiers from dispelling minerals into the air. Alternatively, you can purchase a humidifier that comes fitted with a demineralized.
Humidifiers are a boon that can significantly increase comfort levels and help alleviate certain skin conditions. They should be used carefully, however, and should not be considered a replacement for medical treatment. If some symptoms persist, you should seriously consider seeking medical advice. A home remedy can only go so far.