Author Archives: lykid
Author Archives: lykid
Having the right humidity in your home isn’t just a nice-to-have benefit, it can protect you from a lot of harmful health problems. For your baby or toddler, these problems can be even more severe because they have more sensitive bodies and immune systems. As an adult, we experience direct effects of dry air like cracked skin and respiratory issues, which can affect your child even worse. In most homes, we face dry air rather than too humid ones because modern heating and air conditioning will dry out your home.This is where extra humidity from a humidification system will work wonders for you and your baby’s health. You’ll bless your baby with better skin, more comfortable breathing, protection from asthma or allergies, and reduced risk to infection from bacteria or viruses. On top of all of this, the sound of a humidifier can help your baby sleep by providing white noise in the background.
(image from https://babycenter.com)
Here’s some more information on each of the benefits you can give your baby by placing a humidifier in their room.
Babies are sensitive to dry air and susceptible to problems related to dry skin. Excessively dry air can start off by causing dry and scaly skin. If bad enough, dry skin can become itchy and cracked, which exposes your baby to skin infections and can cause a lot of pain. Lotions help keep skin moisturized, but a humidifier can address the problem at the source. A well-humidified room can also help prevent things like nosebleeds. Lotions or nasal sprays, on the other hand, aren’t so easy to use on young children or infants.
Dry air is often a culprit in chronic breathing problems. Sore throats in the morning, chronic coughing, or asthma symptoms. Your sensitive mucous linings can dry out when the humidity is too low, and you can bet that your baby’s at risk, too. Dryness can also cause nasal congestion as your body tries to fight against the dry air by producing more mucous. Better breathing for comfort and better sleep is one of the number one reasons parents choose to place a humidifier in their baby’s room.
(image from https://jonwayneheatingandair.com)
Not having enough humidity also encourages the spread of germs like bacteria and viruses. Combined with dry air, which puts your child at risk for respiratory infections, you’ll want to maintain the best humidity possible to prevent the spread of infectious germs. Keeping up the air quality in your home has also been shown to reduce not only asthma symptoms in children but to prevent asthma from developing.
Who doesn’t want their babies to sleep better? Or longer? By improving the air quality and making it easier for your baby to breathe, they’re sure to be more comfortable as they sleep. And while humidifiers are often bought for their humidity generating powers, they also generate white noise to help babies sleep under their relaxing drone or hum.
Humidifiers come in several different types. The main ones you’ll see on the market are ultrasonic humidifiers, steam vaporizers, warm mist humidifiers, and cool mist humidifiers. Each comes with its own sets of pros and cons for things such as size, the safety of your baby, noise, and maintenance.
Consider how big of a humidifier you need. How big is the room that your baby sleeps in? The larger the room, the bigger the humidifier you need. If your humidifier is too small or weak, it could run out of water before getting the room to a good humidity level. The size also affects maintenance needs. Larger humidifiers will generally require maintenance less regularly.
The different types of humidifiers create moisture in different ways. Steam vaporizers and warm mist humidifiers will kill off bad bacteria and mold spores, but they also have boiling hot heating elements that pose a safety risk for active children. On the other hand, cool mist humidifiers will spray anything in that’s in your water into the air. Ultrasonic humidifiers are popular because they’re very quiet, but they generate dangerous dust that can be breathed in.
(image from http://www.momjunction.com/)
Depending on what you and your baby needs, you might want a quiet humidifier or a louder one. A quiet humidifier keeps it from disturbing your baby when they’re sleeping. But a louder humidifier can also help babies sleep with white noise that’ll drown out other sounds that might wake them up.
People often overlook maintenance as a feature of humidifiers. How easy is it to clean? This isn’t just a matter of convenience. Since you’re buying a humidifier to protect your baby’s health, it’s equally as important to keep your humidifier clean to avoid growing and spewing bacteria and mold. If your humidifier is hard to clean, you’re more likely to clean it less, either putting your baby at risk by harmful germs or by using the humidifier less to address the problems of having dry air.
Each of the different popular types of tabletop humidifiers have their own advantages, but in the case of providing a humidifier your baby, some advantages are going to be clearly more important than others.
A Sharper Image ultrasonic humidifier (image from https://www.sharperimage.com)
Ultrasonic humidifiers are great for 2 main reasons: they’re very quiet and usually cheaper to run. There have no potentially dangerous heating elements that could be a risk for your baby. They are also effective at humidifying because they produce a very fine mist that evaporates more easily to increase the humidity in your room. Generally, ultrasonic humidifiers also don’t use any filters for the water, which makes it cheaper but leads us into the main drawback of using an ultrasonic humidifier. Since there’s no filter, anything in the water will also be released into the air. If you’re using tap water, the minerals in the water will be released as the mist evaporates into a fine white dust. Severe injuries have been reported from babies that have inhaled the white dust that comes from ultrasonic humidifiers. If you’re using an ultrasonic humidifier, use distilled water to avoid the harmful effects of dangerous particles in the air.
These humidifiers are a popular alternative to ultrasonic humidifiers. They’re generally impeller humidifiers, but might see the term “cool mist” be used to refer to impeller, evaporative, or even ultrasonic humidifiers. Both evaporative and impeller usually have filters that’ll help filter out minerals to avoid generating the white dust you get from ultrasonic humidifiers. The main difference between the two is that impeller humidifiers use a rotating disc to spray a mist into the air. This mist will usually have whatever germs are in the water as well. Evaporative humidifiers, however, spread minimal germs compared to other cool humidifiers.
Steam vaporizers work as you might expect. Water is boiled to produce steam to humidify a room. The heat of the steam will kill any germs in the water, but you’ll have to ask yourself if you want the extra heat in your baby’s room. In the winter, you can avoid extra heating from your furnace drying out the air. But the danger here is that steam can burn your child, especially if they’re an active, curious type.
Warm mist humidifiers produces vapor the same way a steam vaporizer does with one difference. It cools the steam as it leaves the humidifier, giving you a warm mist instead of a steaming hot one. Just like the steam vaporizer, the entire process will kill any germs that go through the heating element. And although the danger of hot steam is much less with warm mist, the presence of a heating element is still a small risk factor, especially with active children.
You’re probably here because you’re trying to find out what’s wrong with your whole house humidifier, or you could just be researching whole house humidifiers as a possible solution to humidify your home. Whole house humidifiers, also referred to as furnace-mounted or duct humidifiers, are great ways to increase the moisture in your home. They generally take less maintenance than console tabletop humidifiers, but they can still have occasional problems starting up or not humidifying your home as well as it did when it was new. Despite these potential problems though, maintaining proper humidity in your home is a great way to protect your health.
Image from https://www.familyhandyman.com
Before going into the different problems that can come up, it’s good to go over a brief overview of how whole house humidifiers work. Despite the different types of humidifiers, they all work to do one thing: increase the moisture in your home. In order to do that, they need a water source, a method for turning that water into vapor, and a way to know when you need more moisture. All of these functions come to the following basic parts:
Water line – This is the main water source for your humidifier. Your humidifier gets water from a main water supply that leads to your humidifier, often through a saddle valve. This then leads to a solenoid valve that delivers water to your evaporation unit. The water supply system is a great place to start if you’re experiencing any leaks or problems with your humidifier running dry.
Image from https://www.thespruce.com
Solenoid valve – The solenoid valve controls the inflow of water to your humidifier. It’s controlled by electric current to shut the valve open or close. Attached to the water delivery system, whole house humidifiers will also have filters to help slow calcium and mineral buildup. And like the water supply, the solenoid valve can also be related to leaks or problems with your humidifier not delivering any water. Since the solenoid valve does run on electric current, a dead solenoid valve could mean something is wrong with your humidistat or power delivered to the solenoid.
Evaporator – Depending on the type of humidifier you have, the evaporator can work in any number of ways. Since liquid water needs to be evaporated into water vapor to increase the moisture in the air, your humidifier needs a way to easily change liquid water into water vapor. This is where the different types of humidifiers come into play, which we’ll get into in the next section. Each type can run into its own set of problems. During your research, watch out for different terms that refer to the same type of humidifier.
Humidistat – To make sure that you get the humidity you need, the humidistat works to detect the humidity in your rooms and let the humidifier know when it needs to turn on. This switches on the water and any fan or furnace that will help evaporate the water delivered to the humidifier. Problems with your humidistat can be a little trickier to diagnose, but with a multimeter and some familiarity with electrical diagrams, you can usually find out what’s exactly wrong with your humidistat.
Image from http://www.thespruce.com
Reservoir (Drum) humidifiers – These humidifiers’ have a rotating evaporator pad that works to increase the moisture in the air that passes through. The pad rotates into a reservoir of water to bring it up into the passing air to increase the humidity in the air that passes through. You’ll find that drum-style humidifiers also come in types that include its own self-powered fan or not. The advantage of having its own fan is that the humidifier doesn’t need to passively rely on the air coming from your air circulation system to drive the humidity up.
Image from http://www.iaqsource.com
Flow-through (Drip-style) humidifiers – Flow-through humidifiers work on the same basic idea as reservoir humidifier, but there’s no reservoir to keep the water. Instead, the water is passed directly into an evaporator pad that is positioned in the stream of air that passes through. Flow-through humidifiers will generally use more water because it produces a lot more extra water that drips off of the evaporator pad, which is why they’re also called drip-style humidifiers. The most common problem you might face with the humidifying mechanism on flow-through humidifiers is that the evaporator components start getting clogged from mineral buildup.
Steam humidifiers – A steam humidifier boils water to directly send water vapor into your circulation system. They’re often the most effective way to humidify your home because it doesn’t rely on evaporation to increase the moisture. The use of boiling and hot steam means you have to make sure you’re using your steam humidifier according to manufacturer instructions. Not following the guidelines for use can damage both your humidifier and home.
Image from http://www.thespruce.com
Before you get started on any work for your humidifier, check to see if it’s still under warranty. Some manufacturers have policies saying your warranty will be invalid if you do any troubleshooting or work on the humidifier yourself. But if you don’t have to worry about voiding your warranty, feel free to diagnose the problem yourself.
Always be sure to follow safety recommendations from the manufacturer and follow general safety guidelines around water and power. If you are taking apart your humidifier for cleaning, maintenance, or repair, turn off the water supply and power to your humidifier.
Calling a professional is an easy way to get your humidifier fixed quickly, but you can save a lot of money and learn a lot by doing it yourself. Being able to repair your humidifier will depend a lot on how easily you can find the parts you need.
During the cold winter months,the average house can reach low humidity levels of 15-25% versus the recommended levels of 35-45%. While you might not notice it initially, over time low humidity can have negative impacts on your health and on the condition of your home. Your skin will grow very dry and cracked while your home will also dry out and experience more wear and tear than normal by peeling, warping or cracking.
A whole house humidifier is one of the best solutions available to get your home humidity levels back up to the suggested percentage. The Honeywell HE360A Whole house humidifier is one of the most popular units to get the job done in many homes.
"If you were to invest in this whole house humidifier, what could you expect from it, both good and bad?"
Whole house humidifiers can make the job of increasing your home humidity levels much easier. This Honeywell unit seems up to the task for most homes, although anyone whose home is not insulated or is poorly insulated might not get the kind of use they want out of this machine.
Additionally, if you don’t have much DIY knowledge about electrics, the faulty electronics that sometimes come in these units might give you too much trouble. The parts needed are easy to replace if you know even a little bit about electrical installations. If it’s within the 1 year warranty you can get a new unit without charge so if this snag does arise you can get it fixed easily without having to do it on your own.
This is a great choice for a mid-range whole house humidifier unit and it should last for years without any flare-up if you install it properly and keep the filter sponge maintained when necessary.
Out of the 90 reviews this humidifier has gotten on Amazon.com, the large majority are positive ratings. It holds a 4.5/5 star overall average.
Here’s a summary of what the main comment themes were regarding the Honeywell whole house humidifier:
Firstly, a large number of reviewers spoke about how easy it was to install the unit. Although some mentioned that it is not a beginner level DIY project, this depends a lot on your specific house setup. Some houses make this an easier installation than others based on where the water connections are, how close the electrical sockets are and what type of ducts are in the house. It is a simple job that the majority of reviewers said they managed to do by themselves.
The biggest negative that was consistently mentioned was that the electrical functions of this device can be faulty. This seems to be due to low quality components, specifically the transformer, pressure switch, and sometimes the circuit board. If you have any knowledge of electrical installations these are all easy fixes you can complete by yourself or else you can get the warranty to cover them if they fail within 1 year of your purchase. These problems can be a bit frustrating if you want something that you just have to install and leave alone.
Another comment made by many is that the water usage on this unit is a bit higher than they would have liked. It generally goes through about 15 gallons per day from either your hot or cold water pipe, whichever you decide to hook up to the system. Some people rigged up simple water pump systems to recycle the water and eliminate wasted water drainage. You can do this too by making a simple drum to catch any drainage water with a small pump and then transfer the water back up to the intake pipe.
Many people suggested hooking this system up to the hot water pipe rather than the cold water pipe. This is said to lower the water usage of the system as well as making it more efficient so it will not use as much electricity or water.
For anyone planning to install this unit themselves, it’s helpful to know that it only juts out about ½ - ¾ inch into the ductwork itself. You can place this near your AC coils or anything else that is working your ducts without much of an issue with the space it takes up.
The pros and cons listed here are fairly consistent with any of this type of unit that has been purchased:
Home humidity levels can easily be maintained with a whole house humidifying system such as the Honeywell HE360A unit. It’s capable of increasing humidity levels in many homes and is a great machine for the average home owner to install and use.
Kiss your dry skin and splintering hardwood floors goodbye when you order the Honeywell HE360A whole house humidifier system from Amazon.com today!
Does your infant or young child often wake up with a stuffy nose, suffer from coughing throughout the day, or catch colds more frequently than seems normal? If your home or climate is especially low in humidity, adding a little moisture back into the air with a handy humidifier just might help.
Dry air is uncomfortable for everybody – it can lead to itchy skin, dry eyes, sore throat, and a whole slew of other everyday symptoms that many people take for granted. But finding the best humidifier for baby nurseries isn't just a matter of comfort. With their delicate bodies and undeveloped immune systems, nobody feels the effects of dry air more than infants and young children.
For babies, low humidity levels are more than just uncomfortable. Dry air easily irritates the sensitive lining of the nose and throat, increasing the risk of developing colds and sometimes even serious infections. Not to mention, this irritation is a common cause of those annoying stuffy noses that make it harder for babies to breathe, sleep, and nurse. Anybody would be fussy under those circumstances!
The good news is that there are plenty of humidifiers on the market, spanning a wide variety of forms and features to suit just about any situation. Whether you're looking for something to tide your family over during the dry winter months or need something durable enough to run year-round, there's sure to be something out there that fits your preferences as well as your budget.
Let's take a look at a few things to consider when you're shopping for your next humidifier for your babies. It's easy to become overwhelmed by the vast number of options, but you can narrow down your selection quickly just by deciding between the important features and comparisons below.
While cool mist humidifiers use ultrasonic or evaporative technology (more about that below), the mist from warm mist models is actually the result of steam. Warm mist humidifiers are considered more sterile than cold mist options because the water in the tank is brought to a boiling temperature as the steam is released into the room, killing any germs or viruses that might be lurking in the water.
The power of warm mist humidifiers does come with an increased sense of responsibility. It's important to keep these humidifiers out of reach of children because the heating element – and sometimes even the mist itself – can cause burns with direct contact.
Consider any mobile toddlers or younger children who might have access to the infant's nursery before investing in one of these powerful warm mist units. On the other hand, even cool mist humidifiers should be kept out of reach of children because of small parts, water, and electrical hazards, just like any other household appliance.
Cool mist humidifiers can work in two ways. The more traditional models are evaporative – these use a large wick to absorb water, and a small fan distributes the moisture from the wick into the room. Ultrasonic models are a newer technology that uses high frequency vibrations to excite water particles and propel them into the air.
Evaporative humidifiers tend to make a little more noise because of the fan, but some parents prefer the gentle white noise because it helps to lull the baby to sleep. On the other hand, even ultrasonic models can potentially make noise, like occasional bubbling as the water settles or beeps from built-in sensors.
Humidifier filters don't play a direct role in terms of function, but they can definitely effect the convenience and cost of the unit over time. Most ultrasonic humidifiers do not require filters at all, saving on replacement costs over time. However, there is a drawback to filterless models – they tend to leave a "white dust" around the unit since any minerals from the water gets dispersed rather than filtered out.
Evaporative humidifiers (and some ultrasonic ones) have filters to catch any minerals before they can get distributed through the mist. Check the manufacturer's recommendations to find out how often these filters should be replaced. It's always a good idea to check the cost of replacement filters before investing in any humidifier that requires a filter.
– These small humidifiers are the smallest and most compact options. They range from models that are small enough to hold in the palm of your hand (nice for desktop use and immediate relief) to larger tabletop sized models that can control the humidity of an entire room. When it comes to nursery needs, the higher-capacity tabletop models are the most popular solution.
– If you need something to humidify a large family room or other wide open space, a console humidifier might be right for you. These models are often too large to sit on a tabletop and instead sit on the floor. Because they can be heavy, they often come equipped with wheels.
– Humidifying an entire home requires a heavy duty solution. Induct humidifiers distribute humidity through the actual ductwork of your home. Unfortunately, induct humidifiers often require professional installation since they need to be wired directly into your home's electrical system and tapped directly into your water lines.
Now that we've talked a little bit about the different humidifier styles that are available, let's look at some real world examples. These are the most popular and highest-rated picks, both among people shopping for nursery needs and for general household purposes as well.
|Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier|
|Honeywell Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier|
|Honeywell Cool Moisture Console Humidifier|
|MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier|
|TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier|
Want to get to know these models a little better? Check out these detailed baby humidifier reviews, covering each item on the top 5 humidifier list above.
With a little research, it's easy to avoid the most common mistakes people make while buying humidifiers for a baby's nursery. Finding the right humidifier often comes down to figuring out how much time and effort you can dedicate to maintaining the machine and keeping it running, as well as how much you want to spend to do so.
Does your favored humidifier require filter replacements? It pays to see how much those replacement filters will cost before investing heavily in a certain model. Plus, you'll need to consider how often those filters need to be replaced – sometimes it makes sense to buy the model with the more expensive filters if those filters need to be replaced less frequently.
Some models are definitely easier to clean than others are. All it takes is one long weekend of neglect before noticing that mildew, mold, or other problems have developed. Warm and wet environments like the inside of a humidifier are breeding grounds for all kinds of fungus. Sometimes harmless mildew is easy to wipe away, such as if it's just on the inside of reservoir, but other things like filters are harder to cleanse.
Although everybody hopes their new humidifier will run perfectly out of the box, there's always a small chance that something could go wrong. Read reviews to make sure the manufacturer actually responds to requests for returns. And don't forget – even top brands can discontinue their products at any time, making it difficult to find replacement parts like new filters or seals.
Bigger capacities are always better, right? The answer really depends on how you plan to use your humidifier! Larger capacity reservoirs need to be refilled less often, but they can be heavy to carry when they're full. Humidifiers with big capacities also tend to take up more space, making it harder to find somewhere out-of-reach to plug it in. Consider making up for a smaller capacity by looking for a model that uses water efficiently and has a longer run time.
It's always annoying to find out that a helpful "feature" is actually a detractor that keeps the baby awake at night or makes the humidifier harder to care for. A few common examples are power lights that shine too brightly, sensors that beep when the water level runs low, and decorative reservoir shapes that seem impossible to clean.
The best way to measure humidity is with a hygrometer. These inexpensive devices will give an accurate reading instantly. You can keep one somewhere near the baby's crib (out of reach, of course) to know the exact humidity level at any given moment. Ask your doctor or take a quick peek at the FAQ section to find out the best humidity level for your infant's nursery room.
All humidifiers need to be regularly cleaned and inspected according to the manufacturer's suggestions. Some models require the filter to remain wet for the unit to operate, but most of the time, it's good to avoid prolonged moisture or standing water when you're not going to use the machine for a while.
The good news is that there are products that can reduce the amount of cleaning you'll need to do. For example, there are antimicrobial water treatment cartridges made specifically for home humidifiers. Of course, it's always good to ask the manufacturer which products they recommend before putting anything other than water in your machine.
It's hard to find a humidifier model that truly makes zero noise at all. Even the most whisper-quiet models might bubble or beep under certain circumstances. Not all of this noise is avoidable. Some of the noise can actually be beneficial – white noise, like the sound of an evaporative humidifier's fan, can actually help drown out other noises and help lull babies to sleep at night.
Otherwise, consider investing in a best humidifier for babies with a timer or find out whether your current humidifier will work with the type of timer that hooks directly to a wall outlet. As long as your baby's nursery is relatively well-insulted, the room should continue to hold at least some humidity throughout the night, although the results will definitely pale in comparison to leaving the unit running.
Many professionals suggest keeping nurseries at humidity level between 40-60%, easily achievable with any of the models listed previously in this guide. If humidity is too low, the dry air can irritate the infant's delicate nasal passages. If humidity is too high, it can promote the growth of mold in the nursery.
Every humidifier is different. The manual that comes with your machine should have specific answers, although you may need to clean more or less frequently depending on exactly how you tend to use it. Always change the filter immediately if you notice the growth of mold or mildew to prevent particles from entering the air.
Unless the product was marketed specifically as an essential oil diffuser, the answer is usually "no" – consult your manual before putting anything in the water reservoir or filter. The same goes for water treatment kits intended to cut down on mildew and bacteria growth. Consulting the manual, and then following up with your child's doctor, is always the safest way to go.
Purified water is almost always easier on the inner components of a humidifier. Unless your tap water is exceptionally "soft", minerals will eventually build up around moving parts or within the reservoir. It's still possible to use clean tap water without harm – just consult the manual to find the manufacturer's recommendations for removing any accumulated scale.
When was the last time you cleaned your humidifier? Maybe you clean it 1-2 times a month. Or once a week. Maybe you got it fairly recently and you haven’t cleaned it since you started using it. And even if you’re one of those people that clean it everyday just in case, you might wonder to yourself if that’s too much.
No matter what your cleaning habits are, you probably don’t like the thought of cleaning your humidifier. You have all of these little pieces to take apart. The tank is big and bulky. It hardly fits into your sink. And it just seems to take way too much of your time. It’s just water in there, right? How badly do you really even need to clean it?
The truth is, keeping your humidifier clean isn’t just for following a manufacturer recommendation in the manual. It’s critically important for your health and well-being. You’re probably using a humidifier for health reasons range from skincare to addressing chronic breathing issues. Humidifiers also prevent health issues that can come from dust mites. And if you don’t clean your humidifier properly and regularly, you’re putting your health at even more risk.
First, the damp corners of your humidifier are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and viruses. They linger and grow, and your humidifier spews them into the air. Harmful mold spores and bacteria love to reside in your lungs and spread. The wrong type of mold can be fatal if you don’t go to the hospital early enough.
Even if mildew, mold, and bacteria don’t end up in your lungs, harmful growth in your humidifier makes your home more likely to have these sorts of issues, especially if you’re humidifying your home.
If you don’t clean your humidifier often enough, you might be scared to find out what can grow in your humidifier. Take care of your humidifier, and it will take care of you.
Now, the answer to the big question. How often should you clean the humidifier? As often as you need to. But generally, a deep, thorough cleaning once a week should be enough. Refer to your humidifier’s instruction manual for any other recommendations. You should also rinse your humidifier everyday or rinse it out to dry when it’s not in use. If you leave your humidifier on overnight and keep it off during the day, you should rinse out your humidifier and leave it out to dry completely. Keeping your humidifier dry will help fight mold and bacteria growth.
To prepare for cleaning your humidifier, gather the following supplies. Each of these play an important role in keep your humidifier clean and protecting your health.
Vinegar – If you’re using hard water filled with a lot of minerals, you’re probably seeing a lot of calcium deposits in your humidifier. As your humidifier runs and water dries on the surfaces of your humidifier, mineral deposits will gather on those surfaces. You also want to be sure that you avoid too much calcium from building up on your vaporizer or sonic humidifier elements. Vinegar does the trick to get those stubborn deposits out. For even better results, use warm vinegar. It helps dissolve things like calcium even better.
Bleach – The biggest reason you need to clean your humidifier is to prevent bacteria or mold growth. Bleach is going to help you kill any bacteria or mold that’s beginning to take hold in your humidifier. Do not use warm water with your bleach solution. The active ingredient in bleach, sodium hypochlorite, can degrade in high heat. Follow the instructions for your humidifier manual for any details about preparing a bleach solution. If you don’t have instructions, use 1 tbsp in a gallon of cool water for sanitizing, which will kill most of the germs on a surface. For heavier cleaning, use as much as a ¼ cup for each gallon of water.
Brush – Opt for a soft bristle brush if you can to protect your humidifier parts. You can go for a stiffer brushes if you have some really stubborn parts to clean. Use any brush that will help you reach all the parts of your humidifier and tank.
Warm and cool water – Generally, you want to avoid very hot water because it could damage sensitive parts of your humidifier. Warm water works best for making diluted vinegar solutions, and cool water is best for your bleach solutions.
Now that you have your supplies, follow this guideline for cleaning your humidifier. As always, follow your instruction manual if you have it, but if you can’t get a hold of it, here’s what you can do:
Once you’ve cleaned your humidifier, you’re ready for another week of all the benefits of humidifying your home. See these next articles for more information on how to humidify your home.
Read More About Humidifiers
(image from https://wonderopolis.org/wonder/what-is-humidity)
Do you hate the sticky feeling of humidity in the summer? The way it can make you miserable and hot? You can step out of the shower and instantly feel just like you did before the shower.
Or maybe you love the moisture, and you can’t stand dry air. Your skin just gets really dry. It cracks and itches. Your lips split and you spend the entire next week trying to get it to heal as it splits over and over again.
Chances are, you’ve gone through both sides of it. The negative effects of high humidity are often felt in the summer in humid climates, while the winter will usually dry the air out.
Humidity is the amount of moisture from water in the air. It can make you feel hot and miserable, or dry and itchy. But besides just making you uncomfortable, humidity is actually an important part of maintaining your health. Whether you love dry air or humid air, it’s important to know the risks from air that’s too dry or too humid. Before getting started, you might already be wondering what the optimum level of humidity is. According to the studies that support the information here, the best humidity level for your health is between 40% and 60%.
If you’ve ever been somewhere more humid than you’re used to, you’ve probably felt how much hotter it feels when it’s more humid, even at the same temperatures. The extra moisture in the air makes it harder for your body to cool off by sweating. Because of this, your body can start overheating if you aren’t careful. The effects of overheating can start off with cramps, rashes, and exhaustion, which can all eventually lead to heatstroke.
But in addition to overheating, high humidity in the home can cause problems that lead to chronic health issues. This means that even for high humidity lovers, you need to be careful about allowing your home to be too humid.
High humidity promises you the following issues covered further below:
To start, moist homes will worsen allergy symptoms from mites. That’s because mites, which are one of the biggest sources of indoor allergies, grow better in humid environments. You’ll get bigger mites and more of them. On the same note, molds and fungi also do better in humid environments, many of them needing at least 60% humidity to grow at all. Molds are an often overlooked cause of long-term health issues. If you live in a humid home and you deal with unsourced breathing or coughing issues (maybe using the word issues too much), it’s worth talking about your symptoms with a doctor.
Dust mites thrive in humid homes (image from http://www.dustmites.com/)
If you suffer from asthma or severe indoor allergies, you’ll doubly want to avoid high humidity in your home to prevent making yourself any worse from dust mites and molds. And whether you have these conditions or not, there are additional reasons to keep humidity at more optimal levels.
Studies have also shown that humid environments are related to the spread of bacteria and viruses. The first reason is that certain bacteria and viruses thrive in humid conditions. The second is that people in humid conditions were found to have higher chances for infection. To be fair, it’s not clear from these studies if this chance is directly due to humidity or other factors such as poor ventilation, which can trap moisture.
On top of reducing bacteria and virus infections, avoiding extra moisture and keeping your home ventilated also helps you keep your home low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are organic chemicals that can come from regular household things like the varnish or paint used on your furniture and walls. The same study on bacteria and viruses showed that humid environments lead to higher concentrations of VOCs in your air.
If you love dry climates, all of this might sounds great for you. Unfortunately, however, the answer isn’t to keep your house as dry as possible.
Too much humidity sounds like a bad situation, but many of the same risks from high humidity are the same in really dry environments, too. Here’s what you still have when the humidity in your home starts dropping below 40%:
Two out of five left. Not too bad, right?
But here are some bonuses you get from not having enough humidity:
Starting with the same symptoms from before, how does dry air, like humid air, also lead to increased spread of bacteria and viruses?
Just like in high humidity, some bacteria and viruses thrive in dry conditions. You just can’t seem to win. And unlike humid environments, dry environments make it easier for droplets of viruses to float around in the air, which also increases the infection rate.
On the topic of chemicals in the air, although dry air reduces the level of VOCs in the air, you end up with more ozone in your air instead. Ozone can form in your home when VOCs react with other chemicals in sunlight, which is why there’s a direct trade-off between ozone and VOCs as you lower the humidity. Too much ozone can cause coughing, breathing issues, or irritation in your throat. Ozone is a common source of free radicals in the air, which lets it react freely with organic material like body tissue, leading to the health problems described.
Cold, dry air can make your coughing issues worse (image from http://www.health.com/cold-flu-sinus/how-to-stop-coughing#post-nasal-drip-cough)
Another common concern about dry air is that it can dry out and irritate the sensitive lining of your nose, throat, and lungs. If you’re healthy, your body will do okay, but if you’re already sick or susceptible to respiratory infections, dry air can make it worse for you. So if you’re sensitive to respiratory issues from dryness, be sure to do some extra research on the best humidifiers for your needs.
One of the most direct health issues felt in dry places is dry skin. On top of just drying out your skin, dry air can make your skin scaly and itchy. If you have chronic skin issues like eczema or psoriasis, dry air can be absolutely horrible for your condition. With sensitive skin, you can get irritating bumps, rashes, or even blisters. And when you’re at home, using heating systems can dry out the air even further. Usually, you can solve skin issues with the right regimen of lotions or creams, but like with anything else, it’s better to address your problems at the source–in this case, the humidity level of the air.
Now, knowing about the different risks from humidity, here are some things you can do to deal with either high or low humidity.
For really dry homes, you can consider doing the opposite of everything above.
An Air-O-Swiss humidifier (image from https://www.healthable.org/difference-diffuser-humidifier/)
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