Humidifiers add moisture to the air, which can benefit people with respiratory symptoms or dry skin.
There are several ways to use humidifiers in the home or office, but there are also some risks.
In this article, learn about the benefits of humidifiers, how to use them correctly, and precautions to take.
Five humidifier uses and their benefits:
Some people experience respiratory symptoms in the summer months when the weather is hot, and the air contains more allergens. Air conditioners and fans can circulate dry air through the room, and air conditioners remove any moisture from the air. A humidifier may be beneficial during this season.
However, people are more likely to benefit from a humidifier in the cold months, when cold air dries out the lungs, nose, and lips. Also, some types of central heating can dry out the air indoors.
Benefits of a humidifier may include:
1. Preventing influenza
Authors of one study trusted Source noted that humidifiers might reduce the risk of catching the flu. After adding the influenza virus to the air with a simulated cough, researchers found that humidity levels above 40 percent rapidly deactivated virus particles, making them much less likely to be infectious.
2. Making a cough more productive
Dry air can cause a person to have a dry, unproductive cough. Adding humidity to the air can get more moisture into the airways, which can make a cough more productive. A productive cough releases trapped or sticky phlegm.
3. Reducing snoring
Increasing the amount of moisture in the air can also reduce snoring. If the air is dry, a person’s airways are less likely to be sufficiently lubricated, which can make snoring worse.
Adding humidity to the air by running a humidifier at night may help to relieve some symptoms.
4. Keeping the skin and hair moist
Some people notice that their skin, lips, and hair become dry and fragile in the winter.
Many types of heating units pump hot, dry air through the house or office, which can make the skin dry, itchy, or flaky. Cold air outside can also dry out the skin.
Using a humidifier to add moisture to the indoor air may help to reduce the occurrence of dry, cracked skin.
5. Benefits for the home
Moisture from a humidifier can be helpful around the home. Any moisture-loving houseplants may become more vibrant, and wood floors or furniture may last longer. Humidity can also help to prevent the wallpaper from cracking and static electricity from building up.
Humid air can also feel warmer than dry air, which could help a person save money on utility bills in winter months.
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