Have you wondered if a humidifier would be a good addition to your household? The answer is yes. After all, humidifiers have been known to help reduce the risk of influenza transmission, let you sleep better, and offer tons of other benefits.
What does a humidifier do? It adds moisture to the air through steam or vapor. This moisture is a critical addition when you live in a place with cold, dry air.
For an investment of just a few hundred dollars, you can improve your quality of life and save money on your heating bills. If you’ve been on the fence about adding this device to your home, keep reading to learn about 11 amazing benefits of a humidifier!
1. Maintain Moist Skin in the Winter
Winter is cold and dry for many of us, and it wreaks havoc on our skin and lips. People living in arid climates also deal with chapped skin, sometimes year-round. Dry skin looks bad, itches constantly, flakes, and may even crack.
Humidifiers can be a game-changer in the fight against dry skin and lips. Rather than reaching for another bottle of lotion and clogging your pores in the process, you can turn on a humidifier to build more moisture into the air. Keeping the humidity at 30-40% in your home will ensure a more comfortable environment.
Humidifiers can come in warm-mist or cool-mist options. The warm-mist option releases steam into the air while the cool-air variety releases cooler air.
Both moisturize your skin effectively but it’s important to note that the cool-air version requires more frequent cleaning to avoid the build-up of mold. The warm-mist version may score better on that point, but it is going to be hot to the touch. With curious kids or pets around, you might want to choose the cooler humidifier or make sure that it’s out of reach.
One more thing — a humidifier can help keep your hair moisturized, too! For as much of a problem as dry skin can be, dry hair can be worse. You want to look your best in your professional life, so buying a humidifier for your living space can help give you smooth, silky hair on those dry winter days.
2. Keep Away the Flu
Speaking of winter, there’s flu season to consider. Sure, washing your hands, getting plenty of sleep, and staying away from infected people can help keep the germs away. But even if you do all of that plus get the recommended flu shot each season, you still should add one more preventative measure: a humidifier.
Research suggests that dry air allows viruses to survive better. Consequently, it is believed that keeping humidity levels above 40% can greatly reduce the risk of flu virus transmission.
When the air is dry, your nasal cavities will be dry. When that’s the case, your nose can get congested and the hairs inside won’t be able to do their main job: clearing the bad stuff out. This means that it’s more likely for dangerous particles (like a virus) to enter your body.
A humidifier can be a strong preventative measure during flu season, as long as you’re using it properly.
When you’re adding water to a humidifier, remember to use distilled water. Regular tap water has minerals that may be introduced into the air if used in a humidifier, and those minerals can be harmful. Since you’re trying to use a humidifier to help your overall health, there’s no reason to make things worse with the wrong water.
3. Cough More Effectively
Waking up in the middle of the night with a coughing fit is never fun. If you’re dealing with a cold, it can be painful, exhausting, and endless. That’s where a humidifier can come in handy.
The moisture produced by humidifiers can loosen up the sticky phlegm or mucus in your throat, allowing you to cough more easily – and more effectively. The more productive the cough, the sooner you’ll get over whatever bug is disrupting your life.
Some research indicates that cool-mist humidifiers are the better choice if coughing is your issue. If you think you’ll use your humidifier only during times when you’re stuck in bed with a bad cough, don’t put it back in storage until you’ve thoroughly cleaned it.
4. Speed Up Recovery Times
Yes, that’s right. You can reduce the amount of time you’re stuck in bed with a stuffy nose or any other ailment with the help of a humidifier. Given that Americans are working more hours and constantly on-call due to smartphones, being able to minimize those sick days is a huge benefit.
Many of the other reasons on this list contribute to speedier recovery times, too. If you can sleep better with a humidifier, that will give your body more time to fight off a virus. And if a humidifier can keep your nasal passages lubricated, that sets you up for better breathing and more productive coughing.
All of this points to faster recovery times and more money in your bank account since you won’t have to miss work!
5. Avoid Sinus Issues
Another nasal issue that benefits from a humidifier is sinusitis. If you’re one of the 31 million people dealing with sinusitis or other sinus problems, a humidifier can ease your pain.
Dry nasal cavities can mean that fluids in your nose don’t drain as they should – and this leads to tenderness and even severe pain. Within your nose are little hairs called cilia that catch bad bacteria before it enters your body.
With a humidifier, these cavities will be less likely to dry up, making for a much more comfortable experience.
There are many humidifiers on the market, and some target sinus issues better than others. Since finding the right humidifier for sinus problems requires some investigation, visit https://www.everlastingcomfort.net/blogs/comfy-reads/humidifier-for-sinus to learn more about different options and benefits.
6. Relieve Your Allergy Problems
According to experts, over 50 million Americans deal with allergy problems. Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, burning or itchy eyes, and sore throats. Allergies can be disruptive to daily life and prevent people from functioning at their best.
Humidifiers offer a dose of good news on the allergy front. As with other sinus issues, dry air can cause a host of issues inside your nose. Your nasal passages can become congested with mucus and any other particle that can trigger a reaction.
Regulating the humidity in the air will prevent this from happening. You’ll be able to breathe more easily – and your body can get rid of the nasty allergens that cause you stress.
What kind of humidifier works best for allergies? There’s not an expert consensus on whether warm-mist or cool-mist is the better choice when buying a humidifier for allergy problems. Some users prefer the feel of cooler air while others point to the warm-mist version as better at thinning mucus.
If you want to stretch beyond those common options, air washer humidifiers are known to get out dust and pollen effectively. As one more prospect, steam vapor humidifiers are known to protect against bacteria.
With any type of humidifier, you do need to remember to clean it regularly (generally once a week for the cool-mist ones). If you don’t clean, mold and other contaminants can build up inside and cause more harm than good.
7. Say Good-bye to Static Cling
We’ve all done it: reached for a doorknob or fluffy cat only to be met with an electric sting. This phenomenon, better known as static cling, comes with the territory during dry winter spells. It happens when electrons pile up, most often in dry and cold air.
Static cling seems innocent enough, but if enough builds up it can be dangerous. Too much pent-up electricity can yield a spark – or worse.
Fortunately, setting up a humidifier in your basement or living room can eliminate the problem. It will add moisture to the air and cut down on those electrifying moments.
8. Stop That Annoying Snoring
If you’ve shared a room with someone who snores or you are the snoring culprit, you know how awful it can be. Sleepless nights can drive a wedge into a good relationship, and it’s easy to think that nothing can be done to stop snoring.
There are patches, nose strips, and expensive medical procedures. But why not try a humidifier? Just like with sinusitis and other issues of the naval cavities, snoring issues can benefit from more humidity.
Dry mouth can lead to snoring and it can be caused by – you guessed it – low humidity. The same is true for a sore throat. Adding more moisture to the air minimizes the congestion and dry mouth, which helps the snoring stop.
If you know someone who snores or you are that person, a humidifier might be the fix you need. Don’t let this problem fester!
9. Help Wooden Furniture Thrive
Wood furniture and cold, dry air aren’t a winning combination. Those antiques you inherited from your grandmother’s attic? That 18th-century violin you’re hoping to sell for big bucks? They will be splitting and cracking if exposed to too much cold air – and the same is true for your hardwood floors.
Humidifier benefits don’t apply only to humans. They extend to anything made of wood in your house.
Wood furniture and hardwoods are not cheap purchases, so it’s worth it to prioritize their maintenance and preservation. Keeping a constant level of moisture in your house will allow those heirlooms to stay in good shape for years to come.
10. Help Your Houseplants Stay Happy
The humidifier benefits also extend beyond humans and wood. Since houseplants thrive on moisture, they also stand to gain from having a humidifier nearby. Unless you choose plants that thrive in dry climates (eg. cacti) or like watering plants constantly, a humidifier is a solution to happy, healthy plants.
Plan on keeping your plants about 5 feet away from your humidifier and keep tabs on things in the first few days. Every plant behaves differently, so you’ll want to monitor yours. If your plants seem limp, the humidifier might be too close.
Room size also impacts the size of the humidifier you should get, so do the research and a little measuring to figure out what size you need. If your plants are all clustered in a small area, you may be able to get away with buying a smaller humidifier.
11. One of the Best Benefits of a Humidifier: Lower Utility Costs
Utility bills are the pieces of snail mail no one wants to open. If you’re one of those people who wears a parka indoors because you’re cold all of the time, you’re probably trying to save on utility costs. An easier solution is to get a humidifier.
How does a humidifier help?
The moisture created by a humidifier makes you think that the air temperature is warmer. Apply this logic to a summer day – when the humidity is 90%, it feels hotter and more uncomfortable than the air temperature suggests. In the winter, though, that extra humidity can feel amazing!
If your house feels warm and toasty during the winter months thanks to a humidifier, you’ll be less likely to crank up the thermostat. And if you leave the thermostat a little lower during the January chill, you’ll save on utility bills. It’s really that simple.
What To Do Next
The benefits of a humidifier go far beyond the 11 listed here. When taken care of and used correctly, humidifiers offer relief and comfort that will make you more productive and happy. What’s not to like about that?
And if you happen to have a furry friend, humidifiers can help their sleep patterns. Dogs and cats get sinus problems, too. The whole family will benefit.
To learn more about other personal wellness solutions and advice, check back for more great articles!