There are plenty of reasons why you’d need a humidifier for your home. Humidity simply means how much water vapor or moisture is in the air, and sometimes, these levels need to be increased for reasons directly related to your health.
Low humidity means dry air, and dry air means dry skin. Even if you don’t have skin conditions like psoriasis, dry skin can sooner or later become more than just a cosmetic issue. Cracked and scaly skin can leave lingering cuts that not only hurt but are also prone to infections.
This is often followed by itchy eyes as well as irritation on the soft tissues on and near your face, including your throat, sinuses, and even the mucus membrane lining the inside of your respiratory tract.
Leave this irritation from dry air untreated and you can get inflamed mucus membranes and sinuses, frequent nosebleeds, near-constant discomfort, and higher vulnerability to cold, flus, and other viruses/infections.
The good news is that you can prevent any and all of that simply by getting a humidifier. Just don’t neglect the fact that if your home’s humidity levels get too high, it can also negatively affect your health in different ways.
Higher humidity has been linked to higher rates of survival and transmission for airborne viruses and bacteria. And as many of you know, unchecked levels of moisture in the air is the number one cause of mold growth on or inside the walls of your home. It can even cause mold and mildew to grow in carpets or your mattress.
The answer to all of this is of course keeping your humidity levels balanced at all times. So yes, get a humidifier, but also invest in a reliable hygrometer.
The Key to Controlling Humidity is Regular Monitoring
A hygrometer is also known as a humidity monitor, sensor, or gauge. It allows you to tell exactly how humid the room is in terms of percentages.
Health experts have pegged ideal humidity levels to be around 40 to 60 percent. This sweet spot of humidity allows for just enough water vapor in the air to keep your vulnerable soft tissues comfortable, but not enough for airborne viruses and dust mites to thrive. It’s also the recommended humidity levels for people with asthma, allergies, and other respiratory conditions.
Keeping humidity at these healthy levels is crucial for everyone, not just for people with breathing and skin problems. Completely healthy people who’ve been exposed to too little or too much humidity for too long are bound to sooner or later suffer some of the abovementioned ill effects.
So, invest in a reliable hygrometer aka humidity monitor. Even if you have a humidifier with a built in monitor, it would still be ideal to have an independent monitor that you can cross-check in order to get the most accurate humidity percentage readings.
Common Household Activities Affect Humidity As Well
The easiest way to increase humidity is with a humidifier and the easiest way to decrease it is with a dehumidifier. But you don’t necessarily need both of these devices to affect relative humidity at home.
Regular household activities such as cooking, especially if it involves a lot of water, increases humidity significantly. The same goes for showering and then letting the steam out of the bathroom. Watering indoor plants with a spray or atomizer can also contribute to higher humidity levels.
Meanwhile, having the heater on is a good way to decrease humidity. If it’s not raining outside, the same effect can be achieved by simply opening the windows to let some air inside your home. Keeping the windows shut and just having the air-conditioner on all day can also keep the air relatively dry.
Whenever you do any of the above regular household activities, always be aware of how they can affect relative humidity. Check your hygrometer or humidity monitor if you’re still within safe and ideal levels.
Remember: staying within 40 to 60% relative humidity is not only healthier, it also lessens the risk of mold and mildew growth inside your home.