Have you ever wondered what are the benefits of a humidifier? What purpose is served by putting moisture back into the air using a machine?
Modern heating and cooling systems mean that indoor air tends to be quite dry. Whereas, when we breathe, our lungs prefer air that is saturated with moisture. It is the job of our nose and nasal cavity to moisten the air we breathe in (National Institutes of Health). An air humidifier, usually just called a humidifier, works by putting moisture back into the air by warming water and releasing it in a fine mist.
Humidifiers are often used during the dry, winter months of the year. They help alleviate the symptoms of conditions such as colds, flu, snoring, asthma, dry skin etc. Humidifiers can also be used to help maintain wooden furniture and musical instruments, such as guitars and violins.
Benefits of a Humidifier
Humidifiers come in a wide range of types and styles. They can range from simple air humidifiers made to keep inside instrument cases, to complex timer-based humidifiers that can diffuse essential oils as well as moisture into the air. Humidifiers are often made to keep one or two rooms from becoming too dry during the year. Keeping a single humidifier in a closed room can help open your sinuses as well as give you the feeling of a warmer room during the winter months. Humidifiers can also help reduce the effects of snoring by making sure the nasal passages do not become dried out or irritated during the night.
For personal health, humidifiers can help reduce or all together eliminate the presence of dry skin. They are especially useful during winter months, as air is drier during winters. Humid air can help keep your skin from cracking and drying out. Humidifiers are also helpful in preventing symptoms of allergy , as they can help stop pollen and other debris from becoming easily airborne due to the moisture content of the air itself. Humidifiers also help reduce the inflammation of your sinuses which can help you to get rid of that stuffed up feeling.
Humidifiers are incredibly useful to help prevent static. Whether you are simply sick of having your hands get a little electric jolt every time you touch a door handle, or are looking for static reduction for sensitive projects around the house, a humidifier is the perfect tool for you. This can be incredibly useful if you have a lot of electronic and electric gadgets in your home. Reduced static means a diminished chance of accidental fires.
While these are all wonderful ways to use a humidifier, one of the main reasons that people invest in humidifiers is to help prevent and treat illness, especially during the height of flu season. Investing in a humidifier may be one of the best ways to treat and prevent airborne illnesses, as well as help treat other ailments.
How Can a Humidifier Help with Airborne Illnesses?
Humidifiers are able to prevent the spread of airborne infections. In some studies, the effectiveness of airborne viruses to spread in a moisture-rich environment was reduced by 43%, meaning that these viruses were unable to reach a new host. This, in turn, means that a virus was unable to spread and was rendered effectively useless. Due to the high moisture content in the air, many airborne viruses may get stuck with the tiny water droplets. This makes them too heavy to remain airborne, causing them to sink harmlessly to the ground.
If you or your loved ones are prone to illnesses, due to an immunity weakness or are generally exposed to more sources of infections or for any other reason, a humidifier can help reduce the risk for airborne infections. Humidifiers have also been shown to reduce the rate by which influenza spreads. We recommend that you consult your physician before getting one but generally doctors do recommend using humidifiers overnight, especially during the flu season.
Humidifiers are also useful when you are suffering from breathing troubles. They help reduce inflammation in the sinuses, as well as help loosen up any mucus that may have formed. Breathing in warm, humid air can help loosen up pockets of mucus left in your lungs and sinus passages, making your illness pass quicker.
Humidifiers are helpful in drier climates where flu and cold season are often accompanied with dry and cold air. Not only do humidifiers help reduce the effects of dry air on your body, they can also contribute to a warmer house, as moist air often times feels much warmer than dry air on the body. This is also useful during an illness, as having airflow that is both beneficial and soothing can help reduce the discomfort caused by the illness itself.
Humidifiers are also incredibly useful in cases where the one is suffering from swelling or inflammation of the joints, such as in the case of arthritis. Here are some of the ways using a humidifier on a daily basis in your home can help reduce the symptoms of arthritis, and can help return some functionality to stiff, painful joints.
How is a Humidifier Useful for People with Arthritis?
Arthritis is caused most often due to a swelling and inflammation of the joints. This is most often due to a wearing down of the cartilage that protects the ends of your bones. When this cartilage is worn down or is no longer present, the bones can rub against each other, creating soreness and inflammation in the joint. This can lead to swelling and a drastic change in mobility for the joints themselves. Arthritis is best managed through the use of preventative measures, as well as pain and discomfort aids, such as over the counter medications and hot and cold treatments. This is where the use of a humidifier for arthritis comes in.
Patients who suffer from arthritis often times report flare ups during the colder, drier months due to the low temperatures and the lack of humidity in the air. A humidifier can help these symptoms by putting moisture back into the air, which has been tied with reducing the overall inflammation felt as a symptom of the condition. The warming properties of humidifiers can also help cut down on the discomfort caused by cold air leaking into your room or home, making the symptoms of arthritis less painful. There is no real cure to arthritis as of now. One has to just work around it by managing the pain. A humidifier can be an effective tool in this regard. It can help ease the discomfort felt from the ailment, and help one regain mobility in the affected joints again.
To help treat arthritis, placing humidifiers throughout your home can act as a preventative measure against dry air. Make sure your humidifier is positioned in such a way as to best allow for the movement of the moisture through the entire room. It is also important to not place your humidifiers near anything that may be sensitive to moisture. Keeping your humidifier directly next to your television, computer or other electronic gadgets may cause damage to it in the long run. Placing a humidifier on a bookshelf can also increase the risk of water damage to your books, and should be avoided. Proper spacing of your humidifiers is the best way to make sure that your home stays properly aerated and humidified without causing bothersome messes.
Here is a YouTube video that outlines some of the better humidifiers on the market:
If you are looking to reduce the symptoms of a cold, the flu, or a longer term condition like arthritis, humidifiers can help your body to relax and can be used to reduce inflammation of the joints. They can help prevent dry out skin too. If you are looking to bring some warmth and comfort back into your home during the winter months, you should consider investing in a humidifier.