If you equate winter with static electricity, scratchy throats and chapped lips, then you may be a candidate for installing an air humidifier in your home. Because cold air cannot hold as much moisture as warm air, humidity levels are very low when temperatures outdoor dip below freezing.
The discomfort level is felt even more keenly with heated air indoors. Arid regions of the country (the southwest) experience low humidity levels most of the year. The tips below should help you determine whether you need a home air humidifier, and what type is best for you.
Air Humidifier Benefits
* Better Health
The most important benefit you will receive from an air mist humidifier is making your home’s environment less conducive to cold and flu germs. The abundance of colds in the winter season is due more to the dry air indoors, where airborne viruses thrive, than the cold weather
Women’s Health Watch:
Humidifiers can help alleviate symptoms of COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Check out this article if you’re wondering ‘what is copd?’
When it comes to comfort, nobody likes to cope with skirts that cling and hair that stands on end due to static electricity. Dry noses, bloody noses or any of the other uncomfortable symptoms due to dry air can turn a pleasant winter into a dreary winter.
An air humidifier will make the air in your home feel more like the other seasons, so you and your family will experience less discomfort. Unless you are really stuck on tradition and the way things have always been, this is a good thing. Just think of the money you will save on body lotion!
Clingy skirts are not the only victims of static electricity. Believe it or not, a spark of static can damage your computer or other electronic devices. This can hurt the wallet a lot more than the momentary zap of electricity.
Virtually all indoor houseplants are of the tropical variety that thrive in, well, the tropics. While you don’t need tangible mist hanging in the air of your home to make your plants happy, they need more than 23%, which is the level of humidity when the temperature outside dips below freezing. Your plants will love you for bringing an air humidifier on board!
In extremely dry homes, the wallpaper and paint can be affected to the point of peeling. That expensive textured paint job you paid for could last a lot longer if you simply put some moisture in the air when needed. The slats of a wood floor can separate and leave gaps that fill with dust, which keep them from closing back.
Saving energy and money – When the humidity level is high, your body feels warmer. You understand this principle when you compare how warmth is perceived when the accompanying humidity level is either high or low.
80 degrees Fahrenheit can feel much warmer in Florida (high humidity) than in Colorado (low humidity). The same principle applies to your house; if the humidity level is low, you will feel cooler. Rather than pouring on more dry heat, simply adding moisture to the air of your home will make you feel warmer, save energy, and in the end, you will save money.
Types of Humidifiers
These models were some of the first made for home use. Perhaps you remember your mother placing one in your room at night when you had a cold or the flu. They even have a dispenser for medicine that diffuses into the room along with the vapor.
They are the cheapest models. Their disadvantages include the danger of burns from the hot steam. Because the water is boiled first, the chances of bacteria and fungi is lessened.
*Warm Mist Humidifiers
Like the steam vaporizers, this type operates on the same principle of heating the water to create steam, but they cool the water a bit before it comes out.
That takes care of the burn danger. Both the steam and the warm mist humidifiers tend to warm up the room where they are placed, which may prove uncomfortable unless you can adjust the thermostat for that room by itself.
*Cool Mist Humidifiers
There are several types within this category. The impeller spews water at a screen that breaks the water into a fine mist. The evaporative humidifiers are self-regulating and do just as the name signifies using a wick (filter, sheet) soaked with water which then is absorbed into the air as needed.
Ultrasonic humidifiers also fall into this category, and it is believed that the ultrasonic frequency may kill bacteria and fungi, but this is not proven. Cool mist is the American Academy of Pediatrics humidifier of choice.
These humidify your whole house. Some can be installed to work along with your furnace.Air purifiers and humidifiers should not be confused. A humidifier puts moisture in the air, and a purifier takes out the pollutants and odors.
Some brands combine the two, but typically the combination detracts from the performance of both.Is it better to buy a unit for each room of the home, or install one single unit to humidify the whole house?
The choice depends on your home and preferences, but make sure that you can easily clean whatever system you choose. You might want to consider a unit in your office at work to give you added protection from catching all of those merry winter bugs.
For regions of the country where dry air is a problem at different times of the year, the benefits of an air humidifier far outweigh the drawbacks. Ask your doctor what he or she recommends if you (or a member of your home) are highly sensitive to allergens.