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Should I Get a Humidifier for the Winter Months?

During the winter months, many of us turn up the thermostat to make our homes more comfortable. While this results in a more pleasant indoor temperature, it can also dry out the air significantly. So, is it a good idea to get a humidifier for the winter months?

A woman sitting in her couch smelling her cup of tea.

Indoor Humidity Levels

According to The Spruce, the recommended relative humidity level for optimal air quality and comfort is between 30 and 50%.

Anything lower than 30% can be uncomfortably dry — and that can cause itchy eyes, dry skin and hair, irritated nasal passages and even nosebleeds. It can also aggravate symptoms of respiratory illnesses and the common cold.

Levels of more than 50% can lead to mold and bacterial growth in the home. Additionally, it can promote the development of dust mites — and that in turn can aggravate allergies and symptoms of asthma.

In short, if you're suffering from any symptoms due to dry air, using a humidifier can make you a lot more comfortable.

Types of Humidifiers

Medical News Today reports that there are five types of humidifiers:

  1. Central humidifiers are connected to the home's central air system, so they spread moisture to the entire space.
  2. Evaporators blow air past evaporating moisture to increase the air's humidity level.
  3. Steam vaporizers create steam using electricity. The steam is cooled before being expelled from the unit.
  4. Impeller humidifiers use rotating disks to vaporize water and are generally the most child-friendly type of humidifier.
  5. Ultrasonic humidifiers vaporize water by means of vibrations.

Tips for Responsible Use of a Humidifier

If you choose to purchase a humidifier, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Keep the humidifier clean. This involves cleaning the device according to the manufacturer's instructions, as well as changing its filters as recommended.
  • Only use pure water. Tap water — which is often hard water or water that contains high levels of minerals — can cause a lot of wear and tear to an appliance, causing it to have a shorter life. At the same time, a humidifier could also expel minerals from the water into the air, which could result in the particles being inhaled.
  • Practice safe use. To avoid serious burns, minimize the chances of anyone coming into contact with the humidifier when it's on. since that could result in serious burns.

If the air in your home is too dry for comfort during the winter, a humidifier can offer an effective and affordable solution.

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