During winter months, when heaters are often put to use, humidifiers are simultaneously used in order to control humidity in the room. Heaters can make circulating air really dry causing discomfort for you and your family. Some say that humidifiers can be used to relieve symptoms of a really bad cough as well. This, however, may come with certain precautions. In order to know what humidifiers should work best for you, it’s best to know more about humidity levels and how it can help you choose the right humidifier.
What is the ideal level of humidity indoors?
Many people don’t actually realize it but humidity plays a big role in maintaining one’s health. When humidity is low and the air is too dry, nasal passages tend to dry up causing problems such as allergies, sinusitis and nosebleeds. When humidity is high and the air is too wet, it also becomes a problem since high humidity encourages the growth of mold, mildew and dust mites. This too may cause health problems such as allergies and other respiratory ailments.
These different scenarios illustrate the importance of maintaining an ideal level of humidity in the air. This should be around 40 to 60%. If the air is too dry, a humidifier may help in relieving dry cough by moisturizing air passages. It can also help lessen any other feeling of discomfort such as allergic cough and dry skin.
How can you check the level of humidity in the air?
The best way to check humidity is by getting a hydrometer that can measure humidity levels. Knowing the level of humidity in your room will give you idea of when to switch on your humidifier so you can control the climate in your room. The humidity in your room should always be balanced. It should neither be too dry nor too moist. If the air is too dry and hot, it can lead to problems in your nasal passages, which can result in problems in the respiratory system, including dry cough. If the air is too wet, allergies sprouting from molds and mildew may pose a problem.
If a hydrometer isn’t available however, thee are signs that you can look out for in order to gauge the humidity levels in your room.
Is the room too humid?
No hydrometer? No problem. You’ll know if your room is way too humid by looking at your window and checking for wet stains. Condensation, or fogging, on your windows is a sign that your room is too moist. Wetness on the walls as well is indicative of high humidity. The ultimate sign though will be the growth of molds and spores on the walls, in which case you might need a dehumidifier to lessen humidity levels in a given area.
Is the room too dry?
Sore, dry, itchy throat? Scaly, dry skin? Frequent static shock? If these sound all too familiar to you, then most probably, this is due to too much dry, hot air in your surroundings. In this case, you will need the help of a humidifier in order to increase the level of humidity in the area.
What do humidifiers do exactly?
Humidifiers are machines that release steam in order to add moisture into the surroundings, thus raising the level of humidity. During seasons when the air tends to be dry, humidifiers can add some level of comfort. If you have children suffering from cold symptoms or allergies such as runny nose or an itchy throat, humidifiers can help alleviate such symptoms. Besides this, humidifiers can help in improving other conditions that may be caused by too much dryness in the air.
Nothing beats a good night’s rest. Sleeping well revitalizes the body which is badly needed after a full day’s work. With a humidifier, your room is set to just the right temperature. Humidity is set to just the right levels so your are relieved of bothersome symptoms that may deprive you of a good night’s rest.
Winter can be a problem when it comes to maintaining moisture in your skin. Although the body is composed of 50-60% water, during winter months, the body tends to dry up, especially when the heaters are switched on. In summer, the air tends to get pretty dry in some areas that may lead to the same problem. Using a humidifier lessens the dryness in the air. This can help prevent your skin from drying out and instead, help your skin maintain its suppleness even during those dry months.
Lessens respiratory problems
Too much dryness can affect the nasal passages resulting in symptoms that may be pretty similar to a really bad allergy. Runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, headache that may result from sinusitis, sneezing and coughing may all be a result of extremely dry air. Getting a humidifier will greatly help you if you suffer from such bad symptoms.
Helps stop snoring
One of the reasons why people snore is because of irritation in the throat or nasal passages. Using a humidifier may help in maintaining the right level of humidity in the room, which can help eliminate dryness that causes these problems in the nasal passages and respiratory tract. Eliminating these irritating symptoms will lessen , and may even stop, snoring. This can actually result in much better sleep.
Stop airborne diseases
Many respiratory diseases are usually caused by viruses in the air. Many of them though don’t thrive in areas with just the right amount of humidity. Increasing levels of humidity to around 43% was shown to have decreased the presence of viruses in the air by at least 85%. This is probably one of the best arguments as to why you should be buying a humidifier.
Types of Humidifiers
As simple as their mechanisms may be, humidifiers come in different types and they do have a bit of differences.
These humidifiers are powered by electricity in order to produce steam. The problem with warm-mist humidifiers is that the steam they produce may be too warm to the point that they may cause slight burns. Warm-mist humidifiers, are not recommended for use on children precisely because of this reason. Warm-mist humidifiers may help relieve those who are suffering from cough and colds since these can help increase the temperature in a room during cooler temperatures.
These humidifiers are the opposite of warm-mist humidifiers. Although these too are electrically powered, the produce cool vapor that can help cool down a room even during warmer temperatures. These also help trap contaminants with the use of filters. These help get rid of allergens that may cause discomfort in allergy sufferers. These can also lessen skin dryness which is typical in dry, warm temperatures.
Of all the humidifiers, this is probably the most pricey of them all. This is because these humidifiers are capable of controlling humidity in every room in a house as well as filtering air that enters it. These should undergo regular cleaning and filters should be changed on a regular basis. Unlike other humidifiers, it is highly recommended that only distilled water be used for these kinds of humidifiers so that white dust does not accumulate in the unit.
These humidifiers are the newest types that have been introduced in the market in recent years. Using the latest technology, these make use of a metal diaphragm that creates ultrasonic vibrations. These vibrations are responsible for producing moisture which is released by the humidifier. These are quiet and they do not produce white dust commonly seen in whole house humidifiers.
Humidifiers are usually needed in order to relieve symptoms associated with coughing. It is, however, important to take note of what type of cough needs to be relieved in order to know what kind of humidifier is needed.
Types of Cough
A dry cough is considered to be a common allergic reaction. This may also be a result of irritation in the throat and larynx, or it may even be caused by acid reflux. A dry cough does not result in the formation of mucus or phlegm. It may also worsen in very dry conditions. In this case a humidifier may be quite helpful in relieving dry cough.
A wet cough is usually associated with a viral infection. This type of cough is characterized by production of mucus and phlegm from the lungs which is expelled. There are times, however, when over an extended period of time, a wet cough may eventually turn into a dry one.
Can humidifiers help relieve coughing?
Humidifiers aren’t anything new. People have been using humidifiers for the longest time to relieve coughing. Increasing levels of humidity in the air helps relieve dryness in air passages, allowing for easier passage of sticky mucus and phlegm. Cool mist humidifiers, most especially, help ease symptoms caused by extreme dryness.
Humidifiers are able to help moisten a dry throat that, if not corrected, may lead to extreme soreness. These are also able to lessen inflammation, resulting in improved breathing. Congested sinuses may also be eased with the use of humidifiers. Other conditions which may be corrected by humidifiers include nose bleeds, cracked lips and dry skin.
What type of humidifier is recommended for a cough?
Whether it’s a steam vaporizer or a cool-mist humidifier, both can add moisture to the air to relieve coughing. In fact, the Center for Disease Control recommends the use of cool-mist humidifiers for the relief of congestion since cool-mist humidifiers can help loosen mucus in air passageways. For children, cool-mist humidifiers are more recommended than steam vapors since steam vapors release warm steam that may lead to minor injuries in children.
Can a humidifier worsen a cough?
Like all kinds of equipment, maintenance plays a huge role when it comes to function. If you want your humidifier to function properly, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to maintenance. Keeping the humidifier clean helps prevent accumulation of molds and bacteria in the humidifier that may be released in the air during use. It is also recommended that distilled or purified water be used in order to prevent buildup of minerals in the humidifier. It is also recommended that the humidifier’s tank be washed and dried daily in order to keep the humidifier clean.
Not being able to keep your unit clean will encourage the growth of molds and bacteria, which when released in the air can definitely worsen your cough. That is why it is important to keep your unit clean at all times.
Humidifiers can greatly help in maintaining humidity in the room. Maintaining humidity, while oftentimes ignored, is important in order to keep healthy during dry and warm temperatures since extremely dry conditions may result in many problems such as allergies and coughing. Having a humidifier in your home can help eliminate all of these which may lead to a healthier lifestyle for you and your loved ones as well.